Written by: Sarah, Naturalist
Week of July 3rd, 2022
The sun has been out, and it was another amazing week out on the water. We started off the week with an exciting encounter with some friendly Humpbacks, who were showing off their beautiful tail flukes with every dive. Those magnificent tail flukes can be up to 18 feet wide in the largest animals, and the individual shape and pattern on these tail flukes helps us identify these individuals!
The highlight of our week was definitely when a curious juvenile Humpback came up close and personal with our boats. This friendly whale spent over an hour checking out our boats and our guests just off of Race Rocks Ecological Reserve! This juvenile humpback was so close that both our guests and naturalists got an amazing look at the large bumps all over the head region of this whale. These bumps are called tubercules, and they are about the size of an average human fist. These tubercules are believed to help the whale sense vibrations in the water.
On that same day, we encountered two different pods of Biggs Killer Whales, and one of the pods had a newborn calf in the mix. Young Orcas don’t know where their blowhole is yet, so instead they jump out of the water far enough to breathe through their mouths instead. Killer Whale calves are also born with a peach-coloured hue to their bodies, which eventually becomes black and white as they grow!
We had an amazing encounter with this pod of Biggs Killer Whales. While our attention was focused on the group of females and the calf, this big male swam underneath our boat and surprised out guests. It was a sighting to remember!
Race Rocks Ecological Reserve was also an exciting place to visit this week! Everything from our favorite Sea Otter Ollie, to groups of lazy Stellar Sea Lions soaking up the sunshine, and too many Harbour Seals to count! Those Stellar Sea Lions are massive, with the largest males weighing in at around 2500 pounds.
This was a fantastic week on the water. We had so many incredible sightings, and we can’t wait for another week to go out and explore the wildlife that the Salish Sea has to offer!
Come join us at Orca Spirit Adventures to explore the wonderful wildlife that’s just outside our front door here in Victoria! We have multiple departures daily and we hope to see you there!