Written by: Lori, Lead Naturalist
The week of June 6th.
The start of June has brought with it some incredible wildlife sightings. This week we were able to spot several different Killer Whales, numerous Harbour Seals, and even our favorite sea otter among others.
We started our week off right with a sighting of one of our favourite male Killer Whales: T87! This male is a “lone male” that is often seen traveling apart from other Bigg’s Killer Whale groups. Killer whales are known for their extremely strong bonds with their family members, and male killer whales often stay with their mothers for life. T87 has a distinct dorsal fin that looks almost like it has a piece shaved off from near the tip, and so he is easy for us to identify.
In addition to seeing T087, we were also able to spend some time with the T123’s this week! The T123’s are most well known for surviving a stranding that occurred near Prince Rupert in 2011. T123 and her son, Stanley (T123A) were stuck on a sandbar as the tide dropped. Locals monitored the pair, and the two were able to eventually swim free when the tide rose again. T123 was likely pregnant with T123C “Lucky” at the time, and she was named such because her mother survived the event and Lucky was eventually born to her! The T123’s are local favourites, and it is incredible to see this tight-knit family surface and swim together in unison.
Last but not least, one of the highlights of this week was certainly seeing one of our favourite furry faces at Race Rocks Lighthouse. We often pay a visit to Race Rocks Lighthouse on our tours, as it is an area that is well-known for the diversity of wildlife that live there. We are consistently able to see Harbour seals, Sea Lions, a wide diversity of different bird species, and occasionally a sea otter! Otters were hunted extensively for their fur between 1741 and 1911, which nearly wiped out the entire sea otter population. They were re-introduced to British Columbia, and have slowly been repopulating on our coast. Still, they are a relatively rare sight in the waters surrounding Victoria, and guests and crew alike delight in seeing one of the very few sea otters in our region.
That’s all for this week! We can’t wait for next week where we untie from the docks and explore the incredible region that is the Salish Sea.
Join us for covered vessel tours departing daily at 10:00AM and 2:00PM!