Ocean Magic Adventure May 7

Captain Gord slipped the Ocean Magic from Victoria’s inner harbour and headed us west past Race Rocks and out past Sooke to Otter Point. Here we caught up with T124C a Transient Orca. We watched this solo Killer Whale as it would surface in typical random Transient Orca fashion. The weather closed in on us, but with our large main covered deck we all could still take in this majestic animal. Our trip then took us back to Race Rocks Ecological reserve, where the Light House towers over the Steller and California Sea lions, Elephant and Harbour Seals. Mika, Liz and Dan filled our passengers with information and answered the many questions. As our skipper gently brought the Ocean Magic back to the dock our passengers were all smiles after another great trip with Prince of Whales!
Clint “Orcawizard” , Marie “Orca-Magic”

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Ocean Magic Marine Wildlife Adventure April 22 12:15

Capt. Scott slipped the Ocean Magic out of Victoria’s inner harbor and out into a spectacular afternoon. The sun was shining and the waters calm, our search took us east past Trial Island and on to Hein Bank. Here Capt. Scott put us in excellent position to view Minke Whales. These gentle giants were feeding in the shallow water, breaking the surface for a quick breath. The water was alive with sea birds, picking off the abundant supply of feed. Mika and Liz filled our passengers with information and answered many questions on our marine adventure. Our trip then took us to Whale Rock where we saw Stellar Sea Lions, Harbor Seals, Bald Eagles, Cormorants and Rhinoceros Auklets. The water was alive with wildlife and our crew made sure we took it all in, a truly great afternoon on the water with Prince of Whales!
Clint “Orcawizard”

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Zodiac Wildlife Adventure April 18 2011

Our guests from England, Oklahoma, Ottawa and Victoria were given a glimpse into the best that the west coast has to offer on this sunny afternoon in April. The 2pm zodiac with skipper Mark ‘Mallard ‘at the controls headed us due south east to where Transient Orca were reported. The ocean was flat calm, and the sunshine bathed this picturesque coastal region so we could view the Olympic mountains and the Canadian and USA islands. When conditions are right and the sun shines, all is perfect for spotting wildlife. Our keen eyed skipper soon located the marine mammal eating Killer Whales, ‘Orca ‘ off the south end of Hein Bank. This group consisted of 8-9 whales, the T49’s and the T75’s. They were very active and foraging for their main prey item, the Harbour Seal, which is an abundant species in these waters. There appeared to be two very young baby Orca within this group, as they were still quite peach coloured where it should be white patches on their bodies. We watched these stealth hunters, mothers with their babies, churning the water while chasing their prey. It was an awesome encounter and soon we saw the clean up gulls,

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Ocean Magic Adventure April 2 2011

The Ocean Magic set out at 12:15 with lots of eager passengers in search of killer whales. As there have been transient (meat eating) killer whales sighted in the area over the past few days, we were certain we’d find more today however we were one of only a handful of whale watching boats out there so we were pretty much on our own to find them out in that vast ocean of ours. With captain Anthony at the helm along with whale “manifester” Mallard (who made a guest appearance), naturalist Liz and Biologist Mika, along with bloggers Orca Wizard and Orca Magic, we headed east through thick clouds into open sun as we went north in Haro Strait. Along our travels passengers were delighted to see a variety of other wild life such as harbour seals, California Sealions, a pair of bald eagles and other sea birds. Just after an hour into our travels as we were nearing Active Pass, we heard that Jpod, our resident killer whale pod had been sighted just minutes from us! So we did a u turn and only minutes later found Jpod members spread apart traveling south west in Swanson Channel just South of Pender Island.

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Zodiac Wildlife Adventure, 1pm Zodiac, March 28th

Our weather continues misty and overcast, hardly Spring like, however, warmer and sunnier days are on their way! Even when the skies threaten rain, we head out in one of our yellow Zodiacs in search of wildlife. There is always something interesting to find. With Skipper Mark at the controls of the 1pm zodiac, and a full boat load of guests from New Zealand, Britain, Calgary and Edmonton, we headed south from the harbour in search or Orca. Although some had been seen from shore earlier in the day we were unable to locate this group, so headed north up Haro Strait in search of Transient Killer Whales that had been reported. We came upon these ‘ WILD’ stealth hunters, marine mammal hunters, traveling fast, in the choppy water, toward Active Pass. Two or three females were porpoising and creating lots of white water. We observed that a tiny orca was among the group as well as a young juvenile.Young orca are always a big hit with our guests. Two tall dorsal fins foraging off by themselves indicated that the males were busy chasing their favourite food, Harbour Seals. All too soon, these magnificent animals headed into Active Pass under the watchful eye of three Steller Sea Lions that were lounging in shallow water at Helen Point.

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Ocean Magic Adventure March 19, 2011

It was a gorgeous afternoon when Capt. Anthony and crew members, Mika and Dan headed the Ocean Magic out of the harbour and turned west. After only 20 mins of travel, we were pleasantly surprised to encounter a foraging Gray Whale just off the Victoria waterfront. We watched this large Baleen Whale take 2-3 breaths at the surface and then lift its ‘ Flukes ‘ to indicate it was heading down for a deep dive. We watched with interest for a while and then received word that Orca had been seen at the north end of Haro Strait. We left the Gray whale and headed east and then north under blue skies. The calm water made for a comfortable ride so our guests were able to catch sight of a few Steller Sea lions and Dall’s Porpoise chasing after fish. We found the picturesque scenery stunning on route. Our black and white friends, the ORCA, were soon encountered. These were some of the members of J Pod, the fish eating killer whales that frequent these waters. They were observed to be traveling very slowly, in a resting formation, heading toward Boundary Pass. On two occasions we saw ‘spy-hop’

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Winter Wildlife Adventure Feb 13

There’s nothing like seeing wild marine mammals in our cold, but nutrient rich waters. Victoria sees an abundance of variety of wildlife when ever the Prince of Whales Zodiacs head out of the harbour, at this time of year. Sunday, was no exception, when Skipper Mark took us west of the harbour to ‘Albert Head ‘ ,where we had reports of inbound Orca. It wasn’t long before our knowledgeable skipper was able to identify who these Killer Whales were. It was apparent that this group consisted of mothers and their young, the family sub group, J17’s, members of our Southern Resident clan, JPod. This group have three youngsters, that were busy chasing fish and generally having a good time together. J 27, and J 34 , two males were seen as well as the J 22 family group. We left them doing what these wild animals like to do best, forage for fish in unpredictable patterns. We headed toward the Chain Islets at Oak Bay Flats, and saw several Harbour Seals, Harlequin Ducks, a pair of Bald Eagles and even a small fishing boat flying an oversized Canadian Flag. Upon our return to the harbour two young Long-tailed Ducks were seen.

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Winter Wildlife Adventure Tour Jan 3

And what an exquisite day to start 2011 off with. Our three hour wildlife adventure took us just south of Victoria. The weather gave us great conditions with flat calm water and plenty of sunshine. It even felt relatively warm simply because there was no wind for a change.! Our skipper ‘Rush’ headed us south of the harbour in search of Orca. A report had just come in to say Orca had been sighted off the westcoast at Sooke much earlier and they were inbound. Great excitement was anticipated by our international visitors, from Hawaii, Germany and Brazil. It wasn’t long before we could see the black dorsal fins rising from the surface in the distance with their misty exhalations, ‘blows’. It seemed there were whales spread right across the Strait of Juan de Fuca. As far as the eye could see in these ideal conditions, there were whales. They were busy foraging, chasing after Salmon, and changing direction all the time. One never knew where they would pop up. J2, ‘Granny ‘ the oldest female of the Southern Resident clan of fish eating Orca, and J8, ‘Spieden’, were traveling together and churning the water as they porpoised after fish.

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Zodiac Wildlife Adventure Nov 7 12

Today, Sunday was one of those afternoons when everything magical occurred. With a rather stormy set of clouds above, our 12 noon yellow Zodiac left the harbour. The calm sea however, gave incredible visibility for spotting wildlife. Our seasoned and knowledgeable skipper ‘Mark’, headed south where he had seen some misty blows on the horizon. 5 miles south of Victoria we caught up with three Humpback whales, a mother and her calf and a new whale to this area that appeared to have a fairly fresh tear in its Fluke. We watched these incredibly, graceful whales foraging in these productive waters. Ten years ago there were no humpbacks seen in these inland waters, so it is wonderful to see them return year after year. Our skipper then took us deeper into the south west looking for Orca, Transient killer whales. We found a family of River Otters rushing up a rocky bank and Harbour Seals resting along the shores of the picturesque rugged coastline of Vancouver Island. A stop at Race Rocks Ecological Reserve gave us great looks at a Brown Pelican, a rarity for this area. Steller Sea Lions, and three Elephant Seals were also seen. Just as we were leaving our keen-eyed Skipper saw more misty blows south of Race Rocks.

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Ocean Magic Adventure Nov 3 12:15

The Ocean Magic set sail out of the Victoria Harbour at 12.15pm with Capt. Anna at the helm. Scott and Dan were are Naturalists for the afternoon and they shared their knowledge with our guests. Several visitors from The USA and Europe were on board to enjoy the magic of the wildlife here on the coast. Sunshine was the order of the day and we had whales… the really big ones! Humpback whales were seen south and west of Victoria. We observed two initially taking deep dives and lifting their Flukes high so we could see the unique colouration on the underside before they dove. Off in the distance three more were observed traveling together. A mother and her calf and a familiar 4 year old called ‘Split-fin’. Another two Humpback Whales showed up not far off Race Rocks Ecological Reserve. It was amazing to see these behemoths foraging for small schooling fish below the surface. To complete our wildlife adventure, we took in the sights and sounds of the Harbour Seals, and Steller Sea Lions all lounging on favourite rocks at Race Rocks Lighthouse. There were plenty of sea birds on the surface of the water including small Bonaparte’s Gull on their migration.

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