With gorgeous skies and an incoming tide, the Ocean Magic II took her passengers and crew west out of Victoria Harbour towards Race Rocks. We joined some other boats, slowly motoring through this amazing ecological site. All four species of pinniped that frequent our waters can be seen here, but today we only had three of them. Harbour Seals, Stellar Sea Lions and one lone Californian Sea Lion. Northern Elephant Seals are the other pinniped that can often be seen on these exposed rocks. Race Rocks was named for the way the tide races through the gaps between the rocky islands. These islands also house many species of sea bird. The Pigeon Guillemot is a favourite, as it can often be seen with a mouthful of food. They can fit several fish into their beak at once! Once we had seen the bounty of Race Rocks, we headed south to catch up to a mother humpback and her calf. The two have just arrived from the warm waters of Hawaii and are on their way further north. The mother has not had a good meal in several months now, and will continue to starve until they reach the krill rich waters of Alaska. The calf, however, has been provided with generous amounts of his mothers milk. The two seemed to be practicing a few of the techniques needed to be a whale, such as blowing underwater bubbles – needed for bubble net feeding, and fluking – raising the tail out of the water before a deep dive. It was a surreal experience to see these two swimming so close to one another, and the vast size difference between them. We had a smother ride heading home than we did coming out, and all were pleased with the great west coast experience they had had out on the water.
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.