Capt. Jeff headed the 3.30pm Ocean Magic vessel out of the harbour with the intent to head east and north to locate the Biggs’s Transient Orca that had been located near Active Pass. It wasn’t long into the journey when our crew of Mika, Casey and Jenn announced that a new report had been radioed in of different orca heading from the west. We changed course to encounter the Southern Resident Pod, J Pod, traveling in’ resting formation ‘ along the waterfront, past Albert head. Although the skies were cloudy, the conditions on the water were excellent. The excitement on board was palpable as our special guests watched this group of 26 whales move slowly past Victoria. These are the fish eating orca that have a preference for Chinook Salmon, the largest of the salmon species to be found in these cold waters. We watched them make their way toward Seabird lighthouse, passing Trail Island with Granny, J 2 leading the way. She is the oldest animal, in this pod, approximately 102 yrs of age. One female orca delighted us with several ‘spy-hop ‘ behaviours .On our return, we took a quick tour of Race Rocks Ecological Reserve, where Elephant, and Harbour Seals, California and Steller Sea Lion ,Pelagic Cormorant, Bald Eagle and Common Murre could be seen. We were all smiles as we disembarked at the dock. It was an exciting trip once again, and the crew shared their stories of the abundant wildlife to be found in this area.
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.