Victoria Whale Watching Report: The Southern Resident Orcas Came for a Visit!
July 26, 2020
Sunday, July 26th, 2020 – 12pm Covered Vessel Tour
This morning our covered vessel, along with two zodiacs, headed out into the Juan de Fuca Strait in search of wildlife.
After a bit of travelling, Captain Jordan stopped the boat because he had seen some Killer Whales ahead of us. Upon arrival we thought these were Transient Killer Whales, the kind that hunt mammals. After taking many photos and monitoring their behaviour, we determined that they were actually K Pod Southern Resident Killer Whales. This ecotype eats salmon, which they find using echolocation.
K Pod is the smallest of the three (J, K, L) Southern Resident Killer Whale pods. There are currently 17 individuals in K Pod out of only 71 remaining in the population. They are a critically endangered animal due to many factors relating to prey availability. When we saw them we noticed they were very spread out, so we left the area slowly and cautiously.
We then spotted a Humpback Whale blow and stopped to get a better look! Based on its size we could tell that this individual was definitely a juvenile. It was moving quite fast in a very unpredictable pattern which made it difficult to track. This whale taught us a lesson in patience, because after watching it for quite some time it breached itself out of the water! This was a spectacular thing to witness! This happened twice and it then went down for a deep dive, so we decided to leave the area.
Our next stop was Race Rocks Ecological Reserve. Here we saw many Harbour Seals and Steller Sea Lions hauled out on the rocks. We were also lucky enough to spot our resident Sea Otter, Ollie!
It was then time to head back to Victoria after an incredible morning on the water!