© Five Star Whale Watching/Andrew Lees. Image — A Humpback Whale calf towards the end of a breach, seen this afternoon near Race Rocks Ecological Reserve.
Mother and Calf Humpback
We had a thrilling trip this afternoon experiencing the Salish Sea. We headed into the wind and waves, travelling southwest. While in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, west of Race Rocks Ecological Reserve, we spotted animals!
We determined this was a mother and calf Humpback Whale. These whales are one of the largest baleen whales, measuring 45-60 feet in length. They have migrated to the Salish Sea in order to feed. The young calf may feed independently at 6 months old but will continue to nurse until about one year old.
We watched the large female and her juvenile surface together and were able to see their tall blows (exhalations) as they broke the surface. About halfway through watching these gentle giants, the calf displayed a magnificent breach! This was a spectacular sight for all on board.
Thoroughly exhilarated, we headed east but decided to make one more stop before heading home. We checked out Race Rocks Ecological Reserve and saw two adult Bald Eagles as well as some Harbour seals resting on the rocks.
We had an exciting day seeing these gentle giants as well as other Salish Sea species.