Sightings Report for September 22nd, 2018

Another great day on the Salish Sea. Started off with a mixed bag of weather, a little over cast and some rain then sun and a bit windy as the day progressed. I guess being that today is the first official day of Fall we had it all!

Started off the morning with spotting a juvenile Humpback cruising around the magnificent waters of Race Rocks where there were also lot’s of California Sea Lions and Stellar Sea Lions enjoying the day.

Later in the morning and afternoon we came across two pods of Transients Orcs’s, T-35’s and T-38’s near Constance Bank whom were on the hunt for their next meal. . . let’s just say they “sealed” the deal. ;) This pod of eight whales consisted of adult females and juveniles.

Our featured photo today was taken by one of our guest’s recently, Stephanie Willems whom came out with us September 15th on BC Luna and got some great pics!

Sea you soon!

 Photo Credit Guest Stephanie Willems

Photo Credit Guest Stephanie Willems

Capt Tom
Sightings Report for September 21st 2018

Winds were calm and skies were grey as our fleet left the dock in the morning. There were reports of Resident orca’s west of Victoria before the fleet left the harbor!!

The Residents were fishing in the Juan de Fuca Strait as they headed west towards the open ocean. This was a good opportunity to drop the hydrophone into the water to see if they were vocalizing. Orca’s communicate using a series of clicks, whistles, and pulses that are unique to each population, it was very cool to hear them vocalize!

Humpback whales are still around foraging on microscopic zooplankton that is abundant in our waters. it wont be long before they begin to migrate back down to tropical waters for the winter.

Lots of seals and Sea Lions can be seen relaxing along the shoreline of Race Rocks Ecological Reserve. Often heard barking at one another as they compete for space.

~ Stay tuned!

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Capt Tom
Sightings Report for September 20th 2018

It was a gloomy day in the Victoria but the water was calm and the whales were active!

Today felt like deja vu! The same Biggs orca pod and juvenile humpback whale were still hanging out a race Rocks, super cool! The whales visit the area because of its abundance of food; big and small. The base of the food chain consists of microscopic zooplankton that the humpbacks gorge themselves on throughout the winter. The mammal eating orca’s are here to feed on the many marine mammals that inhabit the Salish Sea, including seals, sea lions, and porpoise! The orca’s were identified as the T109’s and consists of 7 whales, three of whom are confirmed to be female.

~ Stay tuned!

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Capt Tom
Sightings Report for September 19th 2018

Another great day on the water!! It began with sunny skies and calm seas, but into the afternoon the winds picked up and brought some rain clouds.

Whales were everywhere (yet again!), so in the morning the fleet went east to encounter the southern residents. They were seen fishing around the San Juan Islands, spread out through a channel corralling their next catch. We hope they are finding enough prey to sustain the energy needed to thrive!

By the afternoon there was a humpback whale and Biggs orca within 900 m from each other right near Race Rocks Ecological reserve!!!! It was incredible to observe so much life in one glance, and crazy to imagine what was taking place below. The orca pod was being very active at the surface, after catching their next meal they were seen frolicking through kelp beds and tail slapping!

~ Stay tuned!

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Capt Tom
Sightings Report for September 18th 2018

The sun was shining and the waters were calm as the fleet headed out. Reports of orca and humpback whales came in early so we were excited to get out there!

West of Sooke there are a lot of humpbacks feeding in the Juan de Fuca Strait, on the morning tour passengers got lucky and witnessed a breach! There were whale blows and tail flukes as far as the eye could see.

The mammal eating Biggs orca were also out west, seen snacking on their latest meal. The pod was identified as the T60’s and includes the 38 year old matriarch, her 17 year old son and 3 younger calves (still not sexed). They were spread out scanning the area and the youngest of the group shadowed their older brother to perfect their hunting skills.

~ Stay tuned!

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Capt Tom
Sightings Report for September 17th 2018

September is flying by and the whale encounters have yet to slow down! It was a beautiful sunny day with calm seas.

East of Victoria the Southern Residents were seen fishing off the San Juan Islands! This orca ecotype specializes in hunting salmon, and as the rainfall becomes more frequent salmon come back to spawn in the coastal freshwater rivers. The mammal eating orcas were also around seen searching for their next meal.

There is a large ‘honeypot’ of humpback whales feeding in the Juan de Fuca Strait past Sooke. Its incredible to see so many large mammals in one place!

The guests on BC Orca had a lucky encounter with a Northern fur seal, so cool!! This species common range is Alaska and northern BC, perhaps it is lost?

Dont forget to use our Fall promo code ‘WHALESALE’ to save 20% on your whale watching tour!

~ Stay tuned!!

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Capt Tom
Sightings Report for September 16th 2018

A day full of rain, clouds, and sunshine, typical for this time of year as we transition into Fall. Our captains were excited to leave the dock and set out for another day on the water!

There were a lot of Biggs orca in the area and we got to encounter several family groups throughout the day. Each pod on a never-ending quest to find their next snack, scanning the shorelines for harbour porpoise and seals. Most of the action takes place underwater but when it spills over at the surface it is always exciting to see!!

We end our season October 31st but there is still plenty of fun to be had, save 20% on your whale watching adventure by using the promo code WHALESALE when booking online!

~ Stay tuned!

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Capt Tom
Sightings Report for September 12 2018

Saturday began with grey gloomy skies and it rained all morning. By the afternoon the fog lifted and the sun came out.

We headed out west in the morning to see the large group of humpbacks feeding in the mouth of the Juan de Fuca Strait. There was over 50 individuals present and the water was so clear they could be seen frolicking in their environment. Behaviours above the surface included fin slapping, tail lobbing and lunge feeding.

In the afternoon BC Luna headed north to check out the Resident orcas as they made their way down Georgia Strait. They were seen socializing with one another and even breached a few times.

~Stay tuned!

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Capt Tom