Sightings Report September 17

Residents in the morning and humpbacks in the afternoon. Sounds like September to me! The rain didn’t stop us today, and despite the grey skies conditions were beautiful on the water. Flat as could be, and completely still, not a breath of wind. It was surreal.

Mark was first out on the zodiacs and went bombing out west to catch up with the resident killer whales as they headed out towards to pacific. They’ve been in and out quite a bit recently, so hopefully they return soon!

Not all the residents left however, there were some near VancouverOcean Magic picked up a few members of J-pod, most notably Granny’s family! Her grandkids were enjoying excellent fishing. They were spotted near several fishing boats, and the salmon were jumping all around! Captain Anthony, First Mate Brittany and Naturalist Wilma were the first boat on scene, which is always exciting.

The morning zodiacs also joined the residents to the west while they were still in range, but Matt seemed to be enjoying the sky more than the sea today. I think he read the report last night and is trying for some more direct quotes! You earned it with these ones Matty “Amazing cloud formations over Sooke this morning. Solid thin arcing wisps that looked like they’d been shot out of water cannons.” Cool stuff! Torin also had a morning zodiac trip and managed to catch up with the residents and have a quick look at a humpback!

Ocean Magic II was out at 12:15pm with Captain Jeff, First Mate Casey, and Naturalists Rowan and me. We went to check out a humpback south west of Race Rocks. On the next trip we found a different humpback just south of Victoria! These animals were doing dives of varying lengths, keeping us on our toes. There were TONS of birds in the area as well, telling us these guys were probably feeding!

As we waited for the humpback to reappear, we spied a harbour porpoise and calf! Only in conditions like today would you be able to see such a small harbour porpoise so clearly. It was really special.

Going west also puts us near Race Rocks, which is always a treat, and particularly nice after a rain, as it cuts the smell down significantly! Plus today we saw all four pinniped species! Harbour seals, California sea lions, Steller sea lions, and at least 8 Northern elephant seals piled high on the rocks!

A strong day from start to finish. Want to brave the rain with us tomorrow?

By Jennifer Dickson