Captain’s Blog

Victoria Whale Watching Report: Race Rocks Lighthouse, Ollie the Sea Otter, Killer Whales, and More!

August 30, 2020

Sunday, August 30th, 2020 – 12pm Covered Vessel Tour

Victoria is known as a spectacular area to see marine wildlife and be surrounded by picturesque mountains, ocean, and old-growth forests. Today we experienced all these things as we headed west on the Juan de Fuca Strait. Reports of whales had been made but they were really far west and on the move towards the open Pacific. We were just passed Sooke when a new report came in…there were orcas right off the Victoria Harbour!

We pulled a big ocean U-ball and made our way back east. Before racing to the whales, we stopped at Race Rocks Lighthouse to show our guests the amazing sights of Harbour Seals, California Sea Lions, Steller Sea Lions, and Ollie the Sea Otter!  Ollie is a special little guy as he is the only Sea Otter in our area. We haven’t seen him in a few weeks, so it was even more rewarding to spot him relaxing in one of the Bull Kelp beds. One poor Steller Sea Lion looked like he may have had a vicious battle with an orca because he had big wounds on his face and across his chest. Common Murres are also all over the straits, squawking and fishing on the calm seas.

We left Race Rocks and found Bigg’s Killer Whales just off the Ogden Point break wall!  After a few good looks at their individually unique dorsal fins, we knew we were with the T36A family. They were slowly moving southeast, likely on the lookout for unsuspecting Harbour Seals, sea lions, or porpoises. This eco-type of killer whale only hunts mammals, and they travel in small family units made up of a mother and her offspring. They love to meet up with other Bigg’s families so that they can spend time together socializing, mating, and hunting. After getting some great views of Trail Island Lighthouse, we headed back to port excited about the wildlife experience we just had!

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