Sightings Report July 19-25

What a week of wild weather! Wind to start, rain the finish, and whales in between.

This week started out with some crazy wind that caused the cancellation of a few afternoon trips, as well as several Harbour Air flights. We soaked a few boatloads of passengers, but no one was worse for wear, just rocking some trendy “sea spray” hair! Later in the week brought much needed rain to the island, which we are thrilled about! And of course we don’t cancel trips due to rain, cause the whales don’t dare; they are already wet!

The residents continued to make regular appearances in some of their favourite spots, and often we had humpbacks nearby enough to make many trips in to multi-species excursions!

This week we also had the unique experience of our Vancouver boat seeing different whales than our Victoria boats. Ocean Magic comes down from Vancouver every day on the Ultimate Day Tour, and several day this week, the J2’s (Granny’s matriline) as well as sub-group of K-pod were spotted hanging out very close to Vancouver. Meanwhile, the two other groups of K-pod were being watched by boats closer to Victoria or the San Juan Islands.

It’s always fun when we get to see as many different individual whales as possible. We were also thrilled this week to see many brand new seal pups on the rocks! This event is something that we expect to bring transients in to the area, and wouldn’t you know it, this week we had transients for the first time in about a month!

Today we had a beautiful 12:15 trip on Ocean Magic II when we encountered the T30’s off of Sidney Island. Often transients are all business, because they are passive hunters and find their food by silently listening for it. So a typical transient encounter generally doesn’t involve much socializing or shenanigans

We were fortunate enough today however to encounter the T30’s RIGHT as they killed a harbour seal. It was Naturalist Justin’s first time seeing a transient kill from start to finish, and he was pretty excited! The whales spent about 15 min circling the same area, feeding, which involved porpoising, head stands, and tail slapping. What an encounter!

But don’t take my word for it. You better get out here.

By Jennifer Dickson