Sightings Summary February 13-18

I had to pinch myself a few times this week, because it could literally pass as April. Red Fish Blue Fish is open again, and the harbour has begun buzzing. Hotels are even selling out midweek! It’s crazy!

Here is what has happened over the last week:

*DISCLAIMER: READ THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPH AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION IF YOU DO NOT LIKE THE THOUGHT OF A SEAL EATING AN OCTOPUS!

On Friday, skipper Mark Malleson and his passengers set out in search of our friends, the marine mammals of the Salish Sea! The sun shone, and the sea was smooth. The whales decided not to attend the party that day, however, but our passengers did have a very interesting encounterwith a seal near Race Rocks Ecological Reserve.From far away, they could tell that the seal was trying to eat something of significant size. As Mark and his group got a bit closer, they discovered that the prey was an octopus! This wasn’t any meager octopus either – Mark estimates that it was about 80 lbs., and the deceased creature was almost larger than the seal’s entire body. Mark and his intrigued group of passengers watched the seal attempt to gulp down each tentacle, as he tried to pull the pieces apart with his teeth. Unfortunately, the skin was too tough. Because of this, the seal needed to figure out a new tactic, which involved trying to eat the octopus whole. Sadly, this eating technique did not work out in his favour. After devouring his meal, the seal began choking on the octopus, and chunks of meat began to fly out of his mouth. After a rather large struggle, he managed to gobble down his tasty treat! One passenger said that he then lay there at the surface, and bobbed around with an exceptionally satisfied expression on his face. Never a dull moment out there…

Valentine’s Day was phenomenal on the water, and the whales were even being a tad romantic with each other. Matt and Mark set out a few hours apart, and both had the pleasure of hanging out with K and L Pods in the Sheringham Point/Sooke area of South Western Vancouver Island. The animals were spread out over 5 miles or so, foraging, playing and spending time with their loved ones on the day of St. Valentine! I wasn’t out on the water on that particular day, but I ran into a passenger downtown later on in the evening who showed me an incredible video of the whales breaching that afternoon. With the sun and calm seas as an incredible asset, this was most definitely a Valentine’s Day for everyone to remember.

The last few days have been filled with sunshine, goofy sea lions, Dall’s Porpoise, and even a few Pacific White Sided Dolphins. Spring is clearly on its way, which means that the season “blast off” is right around the corner, and we couldn’t be more excited!!

If you feel that next week is a good time to come out with us, you are in luck. During “Be a Tourist in Your own Home Town”, running from February 26th to March 7th, we will be offering whale watching on our zodiacs for $50.00 + GST per person. Boats will operate on the hour each hour from 10:00am to 2:00pm. If you have not participated in this event before, visitwww.attractionsvictoria.com/be-a-tourist/to learn more. For $12.50, you receive a VIP playbook granting you access to fantastic deals through Victoria. This is a great way to get out and explore Victoria with your family and friends. If you would like to join us whale watching, please remember to make a reservation as we are expecting to sell out. You can do so by calling us toll free at 1.888.383.4884.

By Claire Butterfield