© Five Star Whale Watching/Katie Smith. Image — Ventral side of the tail fluke of the Humpback whale that we saw this morning.
We had a fantastic day on the water today and were glad to show the wonders of the Salish Sea to all our passengers.
We headed out into the Strait of Juan de Fuca for both our trips today. In the morning, after scanning for some time, we spotted a tall blow in the distance. It was from a Humpback whale! This whale had recently come to the Salish Sea after travelling northward from its breeding grounds in Hawaii or Mexico. The whale breathed out a couple of times before hunching its back, bringing its tail fluke out of the water, and going for a deeper dive. We got to see its tail’s underside(pictured above) and were able to teach our passengers exactly how to distinguish between individual humpback whales.
As we headed out for our afternoon trip, we encountered another humpback whale. This individual was a different one than our morning trip and we know that from the black and white pattern on the underside of its tail fluke. This humpback had also come to the Salish Sea solely in search of food. Humpback whales are baleen whales and feed on krill and schooling forage fish, such as: herring, pilchard, etc. After watching the humpback for a bit, we moved on to look for more animals. Lucky for us, as we traveled along a tide line, we found other animals that were in the area to take advantage of the productive waters of the Salish Sea. This time, it was a super pod of Harbour porpoise. We were very fortunate to see their triangular dorsal fins peeping through the waters around us.
We also got to show our passengers some of the animals that call Race Rocks Ecological Reserve home for both of our trips. There we found Steller and California sea lions, Northern elephant seals, harbour seals, glaucous-winged gulls, rhinocerous auklets, pigeon guillemots, and even our beloved Ollie, the sea otter.
To view more images from our trips today, click on the following links.