For the second Ocean Magic tour of the day at 12:15, we headed west past Race Rocks with reports of resident orcas and humpbacks. Very quickly we came across the resident orcas. It was J-Pod and they were spread out across the entire Strait of Juan De Fuca. Every side of the boat had orcas and the crowd on board was treated to a great view from wherever they were located on ship. J-Pod was in a relaxed travelling mode and sat on the surface rolling over one another with spyhops, semi-breaches and numerous tail lobs all included. We did not even have to search for the Humpback whales as while we were still with the Orcas, the Humpbacks appeared. We waited for the whales in our vincity to move on before we headed over to see the Humpbacks. Humpback whales spend the winter in Hawaii, where they have their calves. They migrate in the spring to Alaska where they spend the summer feeding on krill. The Humpbacks we found was a mother and calf, taking a rest during their long journey. Come fall, they will likely stop by the area again when they migrate back to Hawaii. On our way back to the harbour we stopped by Race Rocks where we saw northern elephant seals, numerous birds and seals, and a sea otter! River Otters are much more commonly seen along the coast. They live in both rivers, lakes and the ocean. Sea otters are usually found in more remote coastal areas where they feed on sea urchins from the ocean floor. The weather was beautiful to spend some time on the water and the whales topped it off to be a phenomenal experience.
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.