Capt Dave and members of the Prince of Whales naturalist crew took the 12.15 Ocean Magic out of the busy harbour and turned west in search of Orca. We navigated past the Dragon Boat Festival races that were happening within the harbour. We travelled past the rugged shoreline of Vancouver Island, to Metchosin where were found Superpod coming in. Many of the whales, members of L, K and J Pod that make up the Southern Resident, salmon eating Orca, were close in shore, while others were spread out over two miles traveling slowly eastward. We saw behaviours of tail-lobing, breaching, spy-hopping, backward swimming and porpoising. J 8, ‘Spieden’, born in 1933 was one of the first female whales to be spotted, and L 87, ‘Onyx’ , a male, was close by. These two are always seen traveling together. We also saw the two new baby Orca that have been born this year, traveling very close to their mothers. A trip to Race Rocks Lighthouse gave us great looks at Harbour seals, California and Steller Sea Lions. In perfect conditions once again, our guests were thrilled to see so much westcoast wildlife.
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. Keep in mind this also heavily compresses space between objects. We also crop images for best blog viewing.