We were one of the first boats to leave the harbour in search of whales on our 9 AM trip on a misty Tuesday morning. We found them milling along the coast of San Juan Island. The resident orcas have been along the west coast of Vancouver Island but returned recently – and with a new arrival! J Pod came back into the area with a brand new calf, born to J37, an 11 year old female. We were lucky enough to find J Pod, but they were split into two groups and the group with the calf was up near Vancouver. We watched the large 21 year old male Blackberry, J27, and one of his siblings who he can often be seen with. The orcas along San Juan were milling lazily, possibly hunting salmon. We left the whales after a while and stopped by Trial Islands on our way back to Victoria Harbour. Here we saw harbour seals, or ‘rock sausages’ as the crew have nicknamed them. The Olympic Mountains were making a showing above the fog, which made for a great backdrop for our re-entry into the harbour, and the end to a successful trip.
Most of the images on the blog are shot with a 400 mm & 600 mm telephoto lenses. Because of our restrictions around wildlife (100+ meters), we use powerful lenses to better share orca activity that passengers see on their trips. Keep in mind this also heavily compresses space between objects. We also crop images for best blog viewing.