© Five Star Whale Watching/Andrew Lees. Image — A Humpback Whale with head and tubercles visible, takes a breath while lunge-feeding southwest of Victoria this evening.
Humpbacks and Wildlife
We began our journey southwest of Victoria this evening, heading into Juan de Fuca Strait. We travelled to an ocean bank known as Constance Bank. This is where we encountered our first whale!
The animal was a juvenile Humpback Whale. It was not fully grown yet, but these whales can reach maximum lengths between 49-60 feet. We were able to watch its large body and dorsal fin break the surface. The animal raised its entire tail out of the water before taking deep dives; we had some amazing views of its patterned flukes! The whale was likely foraging, as upwelling currents often concentrate prey around shallow ocean banks.
We headed farther west to search for more wildlife. We came across another Humpback Whale near Race Rocks Ecological Reserve, and this time, the animal was a fully grown adult. This animal was lunge-feeding and surfacing often with its head above the water. Humpbacks use their expandable throats to gulp prey-filled water before filtering out the water with their baleen. We were thrilled to see even more tail-fluking from this individual.
Before returning home, we made a stop at Race Rocks Ecological Reserve. On our way there, we came across a third Humpback Whale while seeing two more exhale against the beautiful West Coast scenery. At the Ecological reserve, we encountered a Bald Eagle as well as a newborn Harbour seal and its mother. This seal was likely a newborn, as pupping season is beginning. We had a fantastic day aboard today, and were able to witness an incredible diversity of wildlife!
To view more images from today’s trip, click on the link below: