It is ‘ Humpback Whale ‘ time, in our waters off Victoria. These marine mammals are physically huge, 40-50 tonnes and 40-50 feet in length. They are mighty spectacular in every way. Capt Jeff headed the 12.15 Ocean Magic II vessel out of the harbour and west toward Race Rocks Ecological Reserve. As we travelled we observed many sea birds and gulls on the surface, including an active Bait-ball. Migrating Heermann’s and Bonaparte’s Gulls were evident. We could see several Humpback Whales in the tide line. A mother and calf were our first encounter with these huge whales. Several others gave us good looks at their flukes/tails as they dove below the surface for small schooling fish. Some were familiar and some were new whales to this area. 14 years ago we never saw any Humpback Whales, but now each year, new and old return to the safety of these waters. It is fantastic to see females bringing their 8-9 month old calves with them. We must have seen 7 Humpbacks in total south and west of the Lighthouse. A visit to this area gave our international guests good looks at noisy Steller and California Sea Lions, as well as lazy Elephant and Harbour Seals on the rocks. It was a grey afternoon but conditions were flat calm, so the interesting marine life was very visible. Our guests, especially from Germany, England and Eastern Canada were thrilled with their wildlife trip this afternoon as we disembarked.
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.