Sightings Report Mar 24-Apr3

The last week and a half has been incredible. J-Pod has been in the area on and off, and there have been tons of Transient Killer Whales around as well!

The Ocean Magic II started off whale watching season “officially” on Wednesday, with a visit to see the T36 and T37s just south of Victoria. I always wonder if the first Ocean Magic II trip of the season is going to see whales, and this year certainly did not disappoint. Then yesterday, there were 3 separate groups of Transient Killer Whales that were spotted later in the afternoon. Big Mama, our favouriteHumpback Whale, has also maintained her presence recently, and was even spotted fromFriday Harbour last week!

The most exciting news, however, is that we were blessed with the birth of yet another J-Pod calf this week! Skipper Rush was out on Monday, and he returned to exclaim that he was certain he’d seen a newborn. And sure enough, he was right — The Centre for Whale Research confirmed it the next day, which means that FOUR calves have been born since New Years, and this is the third born into J-Pod. We are all keeping our fingers crossed that these calves will survive,

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Sightings Report

Spring break is a busy time for us, and it’s always so wonderful to see so many young people visiting the city with their families! These last few weeks have been delightful on the water (when the weather is being our friend, that is!). Spring whale watching is a blast because, with each sighting, you know you’re getting a little bit closer to summer… J-Pod even made an appearance last week with both new calves in tow.

Here is an update on what’s been happening:

We have had Transient Killer Whales around on and off, and you never quite know what you’re going to get with them. Transients are far more unpredictable than Resident Killer Whales due to the fact that their prey are intelligent (seals, sea lions, porpoise, etc), and can pick up on the presence of a killer whale much easier than a salmon can! Therefore, the whales must make themselves practically unnoticeable in order to be able to sneak up on their prey. This makes it extra special when we find them, because they are arguably the most inconspicuous of all the whales that we see (unless they’re hunting!!!). Seeing them around has been great fun.

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Sightings Report Feb 19 – Mar 10

“Be a Tourist In Your Own Hometown” was a huge success this year. In the past, the event only ran for one weekend, but this year it was extended to last 11 days. As one of the attractions who took part in this extension, we offered whale watching for $50 per person for the whole thing. And my goodness did it go over well!! With multiple trips a day, we were taking tons of people out onto the Salish Sea to look for our large marine mammal friends. Although we didn’t see them much, this is the first year that we have been able to offer our guests the NEW year round “No Whale Guarantee”, so all of those who didn’t get the chance to hang out with the whales this time around will be able to come back out with us again for free.

There has been a ton of wildlife around for the last few weeks, from porpoises to Lags (Pacific White Sided Dolphins), and of course the seals and the sea lions of Race Rocks Ecological Reserve. We have also had some incredible run-ins with different groups of Transient Killer Whales as well. On one particular trip,

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Sightings Summary February 13-18

I had to pinch myself a few times this week, because it could literally pass as April. Red Fish Blue Fish is open again, and the harbour has begun buzzing. Hotels are even selling out midweek! It’s crazy!

Here is what has happened over the last week:

*DISCLAIMER: READ THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPH AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION IF YOU DO NOT LIKE THE THOUGHT OF A SEAL EATING AN OCTOPUS!

On Friday, skipper Mark Malleson and his passengers set out in search of our friends, the marine mammals of the Salish Sea! The sun shone, and the sea was smooth. The whales decided not to attend the party that day, however, but our passengers did have a very interesting encounterwith a seal near Race Rocks Ecological Reserve.From far away, they could tell that the seal was trying to eat something of significant size. As Mark and his group got a bit closer, they discovered that the prey was an octopus! This wasn’t any meager octopus either – Mark estimates that it was about 80 lbs., and the deceased creature was almost larger than the seal’s entire body. Mark and his intrigued group of passengers watched the seal attempt to gulp down each tentacle,

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Sightings Summary February 8-13

On Sunday afternoon Skipper Mark Malleson (aka Mallard) departed with a full boat holding 12 eager guests.  They started their trip by heading west from Victoria, cruising past East Sooke Park, and continuing on to an area which is a personal favorite for Mark and an area that is often reliable for fall killer whale sightings. Although no whales were present on this trip, guests enjoyed scenic views of the rugged coastal landscapes and were lucky enough to see a wide selection of other marine mammals throughout their time on the water. The first species they encountered was a group of approximately a half dozen Dall’s porpoise(Phocoenoides dalli). On the way home the group encountered seals, sea lions, elephant seals and even a lone sea otter. All of these animals were seen in proximity to Race Rocks Ecological Reserve!

Our most recent tour departed on Tuesday afternoon at 2:00pm. This time, skipper Mark set out with a group of 6 guests! Even though the wind had been gusting and the fog had been rolling through in the early morning, the weather improved as the day progressed. The mix of an ominous overcast sky dotted with patches of sun breaking through the clouds made for enjoyable afternoon weather and the water remained placid throughout the entire trip!

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