Victoria Whale Watching Report: Humpbacks, Harbour Porpoises, Steller Sea Lions, and More!
July 20, 2020
Monday, July 20th, 2020 – 12pm Covered Vessel Tour
This afternoon we headed out into the Juan de Fuca Strait in search of wildlife.
We were incredibly lucky with the conditions on the water today which makes spotting wildlife a lot less difficult. After a bit of travelling, we came across a Humpback Whale! These gentle giants spend time here from the Spring until the Fall, as this area serves as their feeding grounds. They will head back to their breeding grounds in areas such as Hawaii, Mexico, and Costa Rica in the Fall where they will mate and give birth to their calves. While here, they are eating up to 1 tonne of food a day! This includes krill, herring, sand lance, and other small fish. This particular whale was a bit aloof, so we left in search of more animals to see.
Not too much further away there was a large congregation of Harbour Porpoises! To see so many all together was an incredible sight. Naturalist Leah even saw one jump out of the water! We don’t normally stop to watch Harbour Porpoises because they are usually much more shy.
We saw some Humpback Whales breaching in the distance so we sped off to get a closer look. On the way over, we saw them do this several times! This is an uncommon sight in our area so we were really excited. Once we arrived the breaching had stopped, but we were able to see several whales in all directions of our boat. Surfacing closest to us were two of them side by side, so we sat and watched them for a while. We were rocked around a bit in the swell, but it made for some interesting views of the whales.
After spending time with those Humpback Whales, we made our way over to Race Rocks Ecological Reserve. Here we were able to see many Harbour Seals and Steller Sea Lions hauled out on the rocks. We had to pass through somewhat quickly to make it back to Victoria, but we were still able to see (and smell) the animals that were around.
We then made our way back to the dock after a beautiful afternoon at sea.