Sightings Report August 16

Humpbackskiller whales, and Pacific white-sided dolphins; oh my!

OK, that doesn’t have a great ring to it, but it’s what we saw today and that makes it awesome!

The morning started out with lots of fog, in lots of places, but we managed to find some awesome stuffOcean Magic punched through the fog outside Vancouver at 9am to find a large group of transient killer whales near Matia Island. They had to move slowly through the fog, and finding whales takes time, so AnthonyWilmaBrittany, and Tammy opted to extend the trip to give their Ultimate Day Tour passengers as much time with whales as possible!

Meanwhile, Ocean Magic II was also carefully moving through the fog at 9am. After a stop at an eerie Race Rocks, with mist drifting over sea lions (which Matt spied fighting over a salmon), ScottLindsayTom, and headed out in to the strait (and better visibility) in search of whales! We promptly found a humpback, and watched it dive a few times before speeding off in the direction of a report of transient killer whales. Less than two minutes later however Lindsay spotted a killer whale off our starboard side!

It was Granny! We quickly sighted Onyx as well, her traveling companion. Zodiac skippers Matt W., BoTorinRhonda, and Rush spent the rest of the afternoon following this group of J-pod up San Juan Island. The turned out to be the J16’s and J14’s, who we’ve been seeing recently.

On the later trips however, another animals joined there ranks. A Pacific white-sided dolphin! These guys are super rare in these waters (although we’ve seen them several times this season!) They are well known for travelling with other species, but it was still a huge treat to see Onyx swimming with a dolphin buddy at his side!

Dolphins also love to bow ride, and soon after the 12:15pm Ocean Magic II trip arrived on scene, the dolphin (yes, just one) started visiting boats one by one, investigating them, and bow riding! We were thrilled when it was our turn, even Scott leaned out the wheelhouse to snap a photo!

You know it’s good when the naturalists are taking photos.

Who knows what we’re in for tomorrow? Come and see!

By Jennifer Dickson