Victoria Whale Watching Report: Scratchy, the Humpback!
July 19, 2020
Sunday, July 19th, 2020 – 12pm Covered Vessel Tour
This morning we headed out into the Juan de Fuca Strait with beautiful conditions.
After a bit of travelling, Captain Jeremy spotted a blow and slowed down the boat. He had found a Humpback Whale! Around this whale, we were also able to see quite a few Harbour Porpoises swimming around. That means we were around the smallest Cetacean in our waters, as well as one of the largest. Leah quickly determined this whale to be “Scratchy” because she was able to get a photo of his fluke. The unique colouration and markings on Humpback Whale tails allow us to tell each individual apart. This whale was given the name Scratchy because of the many scratches he has on his fluke from being attacked by Killer Whales as a calf.
Scratchy was surfacing and going for dives and we stayed in this spot watching him for a while. There had been no other reports of whales in the area, so several other boats joined us observing him. Just as some of these boats were deciding to turn around in search of other wildlife, Scratchy fully breached out of the water! This spectacular event is somewhat rare to see, so we were extremely lucky to have this experience. After he breached, he continued to lunge out of the water multiple times! He then slapped his pectoral fins on the water for several minutes- what an extraordinary sight! Once he had finished playing around we left the area in search of more wildlife.
Our next stop was at Race Rocks Ecological Reserve. Here we saw many Harbour Seals and some Steller Sea Lions hauled out on the rocks. We could hear the loud growl of the sea lions as we passed by. Once we turned the corner, we were shocked to see an Elephant Seal blowing bubbles in the water! Looking at their large proboscis, it’s no surprise why they’re given their name. We also saw some Oystercatchers and Pigeon Guillemots flying around the area.
We then made our way back to Victoria on this hot summer day. What a fantastic morning on the Salish Sea.