Sightings Report September 9

September 9, 2014

Today we had whales to the south, and whales to the north. This divided up the whale watching industry, with the Vancouver boats and Americans stay north, and the Victoria fleet going south. Both north and south though, the whales were the same: humpbacks!

Between late August and early October is the best time to see humpbacks, and today they did not disappoint. There were two animals reported near Spieden Island (the same ones we got a glimpse of yesterday!) and a solitary fellow in the Juan de Fuca Strait.

Our Vancouver boat, Ocean Magic, crewed by Anthony, Brittany, and Wilma, visited the pair of humpbacks on the Whales & Gardens Tour, while our Victoria departures went to check out Split Fluke (aka BCX1068) hanging out by himself in Juan de Fuca.

Mark, Rush and Torin were our zodiac skippers today, and Ocean Magic II was crewed by Captain Scott, First Mate me, and Naturalists Tom and Rowan. We all visited Split Fluke and then branched out to try our luck elsewhere. Cause if you don’t go looking for things, you don’t find them!

Among the things we found: Harry the sea otter (in his favourite spot), Dall’s porpoise (riding our wake!), harbour porpoise (popping up unexpectedly as we sat quietly with our engines off, waiting for Split Fluke to resurface, AND in Active Pass), harbour seals (everywhere), California sea lions (at Race Rocks), and Steller sea lions (also at Race Rocks).

Conditions were nothing short of spectacular with glassy calm water and energizing sunshine. There was a little swell later on as the huge flood tide came in, but all in all the ocean was tranquil and forgiving today, which makes spotting humpbacks from a distance a breeze.

Ocean Magic II is out at 12:15pm tomorrow and the first zodiac is off the dock at 9am. And don’t forget about Whales & Gardens, which wrap up on the 21st of September!

By Jennifer Dickson