© Five Star Whale Watching/Katie Smith. Image — A Humpback whale surfaces with a clear view of its two blowholes, dorsal fin and dorsal ridge; seen today off the coast of Sooke.
Humpbacks, Bigg’s Orcas and an Otter
This morning we headed south into Juan de Fuca Strait. We ended up out west, off the coast of Sooke, and searched for animals.
We were excited to spot Humpback whales in this area. We saw them tail-fluking; a behaviour where the animal will curve its body and raise its tail above the water before a deep dive. Humpbacks are baleen whales and use two blowholes to breathe (see above image). Toothed whales have only one blowhole.
While watching the humpbacks, we then also spotted Bigg’s orcas surfacing nearby! Biggs orcas feed on marine mammals like Harbour seals, porpoise and Sea Lions. We saw them surfacing in unison and moving west.
We were fortunate to encounter two species of whales in such close vicinity! As we turned east towards Victoria, we stopped at Race Rocks Ecological Reserve. We even found a sea otter in a kelp forest. These marine mammals do not have blubber, but do have the densest fur of any animal.
We had a fantastic day witnessing so many whales in the same area and seeing such Salish Sea diversity.
To view more images from today’s trip, click on the link below: