Sightings Summary Nov 15th-24th

November 25, 2014

Wow, this year just won’t quit!

Even as the quantity of our trips slows down for the season, the quality remains top notch. We’ve seenwhales on every trip we’ve taken out in November! That’s just bonkers.

A little summary of the last week for you:

Weekends tend to be our most popular time, and on the 15th and 16th, we sent out two trips per day! Mark took both on Saturday, and split the driving with skipper Rush on Sunday. They found whales both days; there are still a few humpback stragglers out there!

On Saturday the 15th, there were a couple of humpbacks hanging out near Albert Head, about a 5 minute drive outside the harbour! They were a little further out on Sunday, more towards the Strait of Juan de Fuca, south of Race Rocks. However this extra travel time was rewarded with even more whales. Rush and Mark spotted over 7 animals!That’s a supremely successful humpback day for any time of year!

On Monday Nov 17th we had more whales then passengers! Unfortunately we didn’t meet our minimum number to send out a trip, but we had reports of resident killer whales in Haro Strait! Armed with these reports we made sure to send a trip the next day.

Tuesday the 18th we found ourselves on the water, surrounded by resident killer whales AND humpbacks! Doesn’t get much better than that.

Highlight of the week for me however was on Saturday Nov 22nd. Nine Prince of Whales employees made their way over to Vancouver for the 22nd annual BC Marine Mammal Symposium. This is a yearly trek for us (number three for me), where we spend the day learning about all the new research being done on marine mammals in BC. (Search for #BCMMS22 on Twitter to see some highlights)

Talks ranged from sea lion metabolics, to morphological differences between pilot and fin whales, to orca drone surveys, and everything in between. I also participated in a panel discussion on whale watching with PWWA Executive Director Michael Harris, Island Adventures Captain Michael Colahan, and Wild Whales Vancouver Naturalist Gary Sutton, which was a great success.

It was a fantastic event (as usual) and an amazing learning opportunity that is incredibly valuable for anyone interested in the ocean, and science. Plus who could pass up the opportunity to see an intact blue whale skeleton, like the one above the Beaty Biodiversity Museum (next door to where the symposium was held)? A must see.

If you prefer to see living whales and wildlife, be sure to join us on our next tour! Wednesday looks like it will be rainy but warm, Thursday looks likely to be confirmed as we already have a few bookings, but windy, and Friday will be sunny but cold.

Our resident orca are chilling in Puget Sound right now, as they often do in the winter, but they’ve got to move out sometime, give us a call and make a booking to make sure you’re on the water when they do.

By Jennifer Dickson