Sightings Summary Jan 7th-15th

We’ve got quite a lot to report this week so I’m just gonna dive right in!

While last week’s sightings were dominated by humpbacks, this week it was all about the killer whales! And not the transients, whom we normally spend more time looking for in the winter months, but our resident orca!

On Thursday January 8th, Skipper Mark Mallesontook out an almost full zodiac of bundled up passengers out on the water, in search of wildlife. They went for a long trip East of Port Angeles where they caught up with K and L pod! That’s most of thesouthern residents!

Conditions were flat calm around the whales, with a little breeze picking up across the strait to keep things interesting.

Inspired by this uncharacteristic sighting, we managed to get another trip out on Sunday, January 11th. We had high hopes for this one as the K’s and L’s were still thought to be in the area, and J’s were reported north of Victoria, heading south a few days before!

Wouldn’t you know it, Mark found a Super Pod! All the southern residents, including the newest member J50! More info on her here! And check out our baby photo from that encounter on Facebook here!

It was another calm day on the water (although it was churning with whales!) and only a misty rain made for a magical encounter.

Our most recent trip was on Wednesday, January 14th, with more stunning conditions: sunny skies and calm water. Unfortunately on super pod day, Mark observed that the whales were heading out, towards the open ocean, and so were no longer in our area when Wednesday’s trip went out.

Passengers were in for a real treat however, when at Race Rocks, not only did they spot the residentseals and sea lions, they were also fortunate enough to see a sea otter! These incredibly (and freaking adorable) rare mammals have been making more frequent appearances in recent years, with one even living off of Sooke in the summer. No word on whether this is the same animal or a newcomer to the area, but either way we’re thrilled!

Sea otters always put a smile on everyone’s face!

Humpbacks last week, resident killer whales and sea otters this week, who knows what next week with throw at us! Better get out here!

By Jennifer Dickson