Ocean Magic Marine Wildlife Adventure Oct 26

Today’s Marine Wildlife Adventure was pure magic! Our skipper Jeff headed us out south west to find Transient Killer Whales. Our crew of Casey, Mika and Jen passed along to our guests a wealth of information about this amazing marine ecosystem. These apex marine predators were working their way south, rising as a group for air and then back down. This was just the beginning of our adventure, we then headed west past Race Rocks Ecological Reserve and found Resident Killer Whales off Beecher Bay. They were headed northwest, spread out all over. There were members from each pod, J’s K’s and L’s. There were spy hops, breeching and fluking. Truly an awesome experience to have both types of Orca on one trip. Next we headed closer to shore to find three Humpback Whales. We viewed two from a distance as they dove deep, raising their tails high into the air. We then had the third humpback rise closer and head our way until it dove deep raising its massive tail high above the water. Next we took a tour of Race Rocks Ecological Reserve. Here we viewed Steller Sea Lions, California Sea Lions, Harbour Seals and Elephant Seals.

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Ocean Magic Marine Wildlife Adventure Oct 20

Our Ocean Magic Marine Wildlife Adventure took us west to find Three Humpback Whales. Our Skipper Jeff put us in perfect position to view these amazing animals. They would raise their flukes high in the air as they took their deep dives. Truly a wonderful sight to witness. Our crew of Casey, Mika and Jen passed along a wealth of information about these gentle giants of the sea and the diverse eco system they call home. Our trip then took us to Race Rocks Ecological Reserve. Here we took in the sights and sounds of Steller Sea Lions, California Sea Lions, Elephant Seals and Harbour Seals. Our Skipper then took us east to San Juan Island. Off this picturesque Island we found Resident Killer Whales. We had a Super Pod, all the members of J, K and L pods. They were headed north along the shoreline, all spread out. Just a wonderful experience to watch these Orca as they rose to the surface, showing their size as the water rolled off their backs. Our guests were all smiles after this great adventure with Prince of Whales!

Clint “Orcawizard”

Most of the images on the blog are shot with a 400 mm &

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Ocean Magic Marine Wildlife Adventure Oct 17

It truly is peek season for Humpback Whales in this area. New ones show up almost daily and some familiar ones return, seeking the rich, cold waters of the Salish sea that surrounds this area. Capt Jeff in the wheelhouse of the12.15, Ocean Magic II vessel this Thursday afternoon, headed us out of the Victoria Harbour, and set a course west. We were hoping to encounter some of the amazing wildlife to be found at this time of year. Sure enough it wasn’t long before we found several large whales , the Humpback Whale, foraging enthusiastically in the tide lines that hold so nutrient. Bait-balls of schooling fish were evident in every direction. Hundreds of squawking gulls and sea birds on the surface certainly indicated that the waters were teaming. We were thrilled with the 7 active Humpbacks that were to be found close to Race Rocks Ecological Reserve. Their activity included deep dives with raised ‘Flukes’ that allowed for rivers of sea water cascading from their tails. Always thrilling to view. We also had great views of Harbour and Elephant Seals, Steller and California Sea Lions at Race Rocks Lighthouse. What an amazing trip once again. Our Biologist Jen,

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Ocean Magic Marine Wildlife Adventure Oct 14

Under sunny skies, the Ocean Magic set out for an adventure. With Capt Jeff in the wheel-house this afternoon, and a crew of experienced Biologist and Naturalists we were in for a real treat. Casey, Jen and Rhonda, were on board to enhance our experience in the waters south of Victoria. Our first encounter with the fascinating wildlife was a humpback whale. We watched as this gentle giant rose for a few breaths then showed tail as it dove deep. We the followed the shoreline west as we searched for more wildlife. We found a second Humpback and watched as it rose for air and to show its massive tail. We then took a tour of Race Rocks Ecological Reserve where we saw Harbour Seals, California and Steller Sealions jockeying for the best position on the rocks. The Lighthouse here was first lit on Boxing Day, 1850, but is now automated. Yet another exciting trip with Prince of Whales.

Clint “Orcawizard”

Most of the images on the blog are shot with a 400 mm & 600 mm telephoto lenses. Because of our restrictions around wildlife (100+ meters), we use powerful lenses to better share orca activity that passengers see on their trips.

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Ocean Magic Marine Wildlife Adventure Oct 10

It is ‘ Humpback Whale ‘ time, in our waters off Victoria. These marine mammals are physically huge, 40-50 tonnes and 40-50 feet in length. They are mighty spectacular in every way. Capt Jeff headed the 12.15 Ocean Magic II vessel out of the harbour and west toward Race Rocks Ecological Reserve. As we travelled we observed many sea birds and gulls on the surface, including an active Bait-ball. Migrating Heermann’s and Bonaparte’s Gulls were evident. We could see several Humpback Whales in the tide line. A mother and calf were our first encounter with these huge whales. Several others gave us good looks at their flukes/tails as they dove below the surface for small schooling fish. Some were familiar and some were new whales to this area. 14 years ago we never saw any Humpback Whales, but now each year, new and old return to the safety of these waters. It is fantastic to see females bringing their 8-9 month old calves with them. We must have seen 7 Humpbacks in total south and west of the Lighthouse. A visit to this area gave our international guests good looks at noisy Steller and California Sea Lions, as well as lazy Elephant and Harbour Seals on the rocks.

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Ocean Magic Marine Wildlife Adventure Sept 29

Our Capt Scott took the Ocean Magic II out west on the 12.15 trip as we had word that a Humpback Whale had been seen. It was not long before we spotted two Humpback Whales. These gentle giants would rise and blow high in the air as they exhaled. Showing their massive tails as they took a deep dive each time. Then as we watched, the one Humpback breached out of the water, sending up a huge splash. We then headed south to catch up with incoming Killer Whales.They were Southern Resident Orca, members of J , K and L Pods, the salmon eating Orca. It was fabulous to see these magical creatures breaching, spy hopping and tail slapping as they travelled slowly, in family groups, towards Victoria. Our experienced crew, Casey, Clair and Jen shared their knowledge of the unique variety of marine life found in these very cold, but nutrient rich waters. We then took a tour of Race Rocks Ecological Reserve. We observed the sights and sounds of barking and roaring California and Steller Sea Lions at the Light House of Race Rocks. Harbour Seals were evident too on low lying rocks at this protected Ecological Reserve.

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Ocean Magic Marine Wildlife Adventure Sept 22

Under an overcast sky, the Ocean Magic set out for an adventure. With Capt Scott in the wheel-house this afternoon, and a crew of experienced Biologist and Naturalists we were in for a real treat. Casey, Jen and Lindsay, were on board to enhance our experience in the waters south of Victoria. Our first encounter with the fascinating wildlife was a humpback whale. We watched as this gentle giant rose for a few breaths then showed tail as it dove deep. We the followed the shoreline west as we searched for more wildlife. We stopped to observe a Bald Eagle resting on an a rocky island. From this location we spotted another Humpback Whale. This whale was working close to shore, rising now and then for air. We then stopped off at Race Rocks Ecological Reserve where we saw Harbour Seals, California and Steller Sealions jockeying for the best position on the rocks. The Lighthouse here was first lit on Boxing Day, 1850, but is now automated. Yet another exciting trip with Prince of Whales.

Clint “Orcawizard”

Most of the images on the blog are shot with a 400 mm & 600 mm telephoto lenses.

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Ocean Magic Marine Wildlife Adventure Sept 21

Our Ocean Magic Wildlife Adventure took us south of Victoria to view a Humpback Whale. This gentle giant was milling around, gently rising for air, even a spy hop. Truly an amazing encounter with this baleen whale. Our trip then took us west to Beecher Bay. Here our Skipper Scotty put us in excellent position to view Transient Killer Whales. These apex ocean predators were working the shoreline. The sunshine glistened off their backs as they broke the surface for air. These whales are the marine mammal hunters. They were traveling and looking for seals, one of their favourite prey items along the kelp beds. We watched them as they travelled slowly along the shoreline. Our trip then took us to Race Rocks ecological reserve. The Steller Sea Lions and California Sea Lions were out of the water resting on the rocks. Yet another amazing adventure with Prince of Whales.

Clint “Orcawizard”

Most of the images on the blog are shot with a 400 mm & 600 mm telephoto lenses. Because of our restrictions around wildlife (100+ meters), we use powerful lenses to better share orca activity that passengers see on their trips.

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Ocean Magic Marine Wildlife Adventure Sept 16

Some days have to be grey to really appreciate the bright sunny days on the west coast. Sometimes too, there are no Southern Resident Orca around either as they can travel 100 miles in 24 hours always in search of their favourite food, Chinook Salmon. Generally though, there are other orca around as well as Humpback , Gray or Minke whales. This afternoon’s trip followed up on a report of Transient Orca deep in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Capt. Scott of the 12.15 trip and crew members, Mika, Casey and Jen, 3 biologists on board set us up well to view this family group of 5 whales, the T 46’s. A young calf of a year was always swimming close to T 46, an older mother of 49 yrs. They were in traveling mode and headed toward the picturesque Lighthouse at Dungeness Spit where harbour seals will often haul out. A few were seen but the whales actually passed by that area and headed in behind this very long spit of land. Perhaps they weren’t hungry. Later they appeared to find something momentarily but soon changed direction and headed out of this sheltered bay to proceed south east.

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Ocean Magic Marine Wildlife Adventure Sept 14

It was a foggy afternoon as the Ocean Magic II vessel slipped its moorings and headed out of the harbour. Capt Scott, Casey, Jen and Claire had heard that there were some Orca heading east from Race Rocks lighthouse. It was all eyes on the water trying to see through the fog, looking for tall dorsal fins. The fog created some great atmosphere, while the fog horns bellowed out their warning sounds. It wasn’t long before we saw the faint shapes of whales emerging. It was all rather ethereal. They would appear in the gaps between the fog patches. They travelled slowly along the shoreline and then disappeared into the fog that shrouded the entrance to the harbour. The Transients were identified as the T 10 family group, a mother and her two adult sons and they continued further into the harbour past Pelican Island, looking for lunch no doubt. These are the Apex predators of the oceans, and harbour seals, sea lions and porpoise are on their menu in these waters. We eventually left them once they headed back out of the harbour. A quick trip to Race Rocks Ecological Reserve gave us misty looks of the marine mammals jostling among themselves.

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