Daily tours from Victoria & Port Renfrew. Call us or book online!

Captain’s Blog

Victoria Whale Watching Report: Humpback Whales, Killer Whales, Steller and California Sea Lions, and So Much More!

September 14, 2021

Written by: Lori, Naturalist – The week of September 6th, 2021.

As always, this past week has been full of excitement and indescribable moments with some of our favourite creatures of the Salish Sea. We have encountered humpback whales, transient killer whales, steller sea lions, California sea lions, harbour seals, and a wide variety of different marine birds. We have been fortunate enough to have some incredible weather so far this September, and each day we have been thrilled to depart the harbour with the wind at our backs and the sun on our faces. The weather has been nearly as amazing as the wildlife sightings!

We have been very fortunate this week to observe a behaviour that is quite rare to see on our tours known as kelping. Kelping is where whales will drape kelp over their dorsal fins, pectoral fins, and tail flukes. It is quite a sight to see, and we were lucky to see a large humpback whale partaking in this behaviour. The humpback whales’ movements were slow and relaxed, and it seems fit that the main theory behind why they perform this behaviour is that it simply feels good for them!

One group of transient killer whales that we love to see are the T060’s. This week we were able to spot them near Race Rocks, a Marine Ecological Reserve with an incredible diversity of wildlife. There is no doubt that the T060’s were looking for a meal while in this area. The reserve is covered in harbour seals, steller sea lions, and California sea lions – some of the favourite prey of transient killer whales.

Over the past few months, steller sea lions and California sea lions returning from rookeries have certainly overtaken the rocks at Race Rocks Lighthouse! We often spend a portion of our tours watching them frolic in the waters surrounding Race Rocks, and compete for space on land. If we look closely, we can also spot the much smaller harbour seals on the rocks as well. Harbour seals spend about 80% of their time in the water, so it is always nice to get some good looks of them when they are hauled out on land! When they are on land they are often sleeping or warming up in the sun. If there are no suitable haul-outs for harbour seals to sleep on, they are fully capable of sleeping on the seafloor as well, and will surface every 5-7 minutes or so to take a breath.

After such an incredible week, it is no wonder that we always look forward to what each new day has in store for us! We cannot wait to go back out on the boat, and see some more of the incredible wildlife we have here in the Salish Sea.

Social

Tags

aboriginal peopleAboriginal People BCalbino orcaaquariumsBald EagleBamfieldBC west coastBC whale watchingbe a touristbear watchingbehaviourbigg's killer whalesbirdsblack bearBlackberryBlackfishbreedingBritish Columbia Whale Watchingcalifornia sea lionscalvescanada daycaptivitycareerscoast salishCorey VinkCorkycruise adventuresCruiser TourCruiser whale watching toursDall's porpoiseDawn Brancheaudealsdivingdolphinsecholocationelephant sealsfalse killer whaleFamous Killer Whalesfamous orcafeedingfeeding & foragingfirst nationsfirst whale watchingfood chainGlobal Ghost Geargrannygray whalegreat white sharksgrey whaleHarbour AirHarbour porpoiseHarbour Sealhuman encounters with killer whaleshumans and orcashumpback whalehumpback whalesIkaikiinteresting sh!*InvisibiliaJ PodJ-2J-Pod namesJ-Pod resident orcasJim DarlingK PodKasatkakiller whale factskiller whale vs great white sharkskiller whaleskiller whales huntingkiller whales in the wildL Podl pod orcaslpod orcasLuna the Whalelunge feedingMickMick Millermigration patternsminke whalenatural habitatnaturalistNootka SoundNorthern Elephant Sealnorwegian cruise lineoldest killer whale on earthOrcaOrca Adventuresorca attacks sharkorca communicationorca encountersorca familiesorca feeding habitsorca historyorca kayak videoorca languageorca lessonsOrca photographyOrca SpiritOrca Spirit Naturalistsorca whaleorca whale encountersOrca whale fightOrca Whale Toursorca whalesorcasorcas and humansorcas and peopleorcas in captivityorcas in whytecliff parkorcas of j-podPacific Salmon Press releasepinnipedPorpoises Vs. Dolphinsport renfrewrace rocksrace rocks ecological reserveRace Rocks LighthouseRachael MerrettRaptorresident j-pod orcasresident orcasResident orcas of J-Podresident whalesresidentsresidents orcassalmonscholarshipsea ottersea otterssealsealionsealsSeaWorldSeaworld OrlandoSeaworld San DiegoSheenah DuclosSightingssouthern resident killer whalesSpringerstaff profilesstellar sea lionssteller sea lionsSummer Whale Watching VictoriasuperpodTaylor ChapdelaineTilikumTillikumtransient orcastransientsTumboUlises Killer WhaleUniversity of AlbertaVacation IdeasVancouverVictoriaVictoria Whale WatchingVictoria whale whatchingWest Coastwest vancouverwhalewhale evolutionWhale Watcher's ScholarshipWhale Watchers Scholarship 2018 Contestwhale watchingwhale watching experienceWhale Watching VancouverWhale Watching Victoriawhaleswhytecliff parkwild renfrewworld's oldest orcaZodiac TourZodiac ToursZodiac whale watching tours
Show more tags

Leaders in responsible Eco-Tourism

Close Menu Book Tour