© Five Star Whale Watching/Andrew Lees. Image — A juvenile gray whale surfacing to exhale just south of Race Rocks today.
Grey Whale in the Salish Sea
We had the first trip of our season today. It was a private charted with a group of out-of-town sea cadets, most of whom had never been out on the Salish Sea before.
We headed southwest after leaving the harbour and encountered a juvenile gray whale just south of Race Rocks Ecological Reserve. This individual had likely migrated northwards from its birth ground off Mexico. Gray whales are known to do the longest migrations of any marine mammal, covering between 16,000 km-25000 km round-trip depending on how far they go. They often migrate along the western shores of Vancouver Island during spring to go to their feeding grounds in Alaska.
However, a small, genetically-distinct sub-population of these whales stays in the inshore waters around Washington and British Columbia to feed throughout the summer.
We also saw many harbour seals, Northern elephant seals, and California and Steller sea lions during our trip today.
We were delighted to show the cadets the biodiversity of the Salish Sea.
To view more images from this trip, click on the following link.