What a gorgeous afternoon here on the west coast as Capt. Gord headed the 3.30pm Ocean Magic II vessel, toward the west, where we had reports of a single Transient male Orca T 31. He was found traveling slowly east so we watched him take a few breaths at the surface and then disappear for a while. His behaviour indicated that he was in resting mode… we left him in search of three Humpback Whales seen earlier on the 12.15pm trip in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. We found them traveling slowly, taking several breaths at the surface and then disappearing for several minutes. They would raise their huge flukes( tails) so that we could see the individual markings, like thumb prints, on the ventral side of their tale as they dove deeply. These incredibly large, marine mammals exhale with a loud whoosh and the mist created that hangs in the air, can reach 15-18ft high. Always an amazing sight to see these animals when 12 yrs ago there we none that visited this area. A quick visit to Race Rocks lighthouse gave our guests great views of posturing and noisy Stellar and California Sea lions. A Great Blue Heron was seen on a kelp bed as we returned to the harbour. Our Naturalists Liz and Dan shared a wealth of knowledge with our guests. Another spectacular trip on the first day of Fall.
Most of the images on the blog are shot with a 400 mm telephoto lens. 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.