For the past few days both the resident and transient orcas have been out of our range, following their food and exploring other areas. We have been lucky however, that humpback whales have begun moving through the area. Today we headed all the way across the strait of Juan de Fuca, until we were nearly at the base of the Olympic mountains. Not that we could see the mountains… We were also densely enveloped in a blanket of marine fog! Fortunately our captain had the coordinates for the mother and calf humpback and we soon met up with a boat out of Port Townsend, and another local boat out of Victoria. The fog lent an eery quality to our encounter with these majestic creatures. They were travelling in a typical pattern of two to three regular breaths and then a deep dive. With the fog as thick as it was though, it was difficult to see them from an appropriate distance, so we began to head over to Race Rocks to see the seals and sea lions hauled out in the sun. While on route, we received some rather exciting news! A large pod of approximately 50 orcas had been spotted heading in past Sooke! Off we went! It turned out to be L Pod moving at a very fast pace. They were porpoising through the waves on an incoming tide. It was great to see them all moving together past the west coast mountains. We did not end up having time to stop at Race Rocks, but no one really minded… the orcas were back!
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.