© Five Star Whale Watching/Andrew Lees. Image — A 40 tonne Humpback whale breaching out of the water during our trip today.
What an extraordinary day today! We encountered multiple breaching and lunge-feeding Humpback whales. Between Constance Bank and Race Rocks Ecological Reserve, we saw at least 6-7 individuals.
We headed southwest and stopped to see a large flock of seabirds on the surface of the water. Their behaviour indicated that there was a bait ball — a tightly concentrated school of forage fish — under the surface of the water. Soon we noticed a Humpback whale swimming towards the flock of birds and watched the action unfold. After going for a deeper dive just before approaching the bait ball, the Humpback lunged right in the middle of the flock of birds with an open mouth and swallowed the whole bait ball! It was very impressive. Our guests even saw its baleen hanging off the upper jaw.
Next, we traveled slightly southeast and encountered more Humpbacks. We even saw one breach out of the water. Seeing a 40 tonne animal jump out of the water with so much force is absolutely mind-blowing. Our guests could not be any happier. We kept spotting tall, bushy blows throughout our trip. Another whale was also cartwheeling with its massive, muscular tail fluke.
After spending time watching multiple surface-active gentle giants, we headed to Race Rocks Ecological Reserve to show our guests more wonders of the Salish Sea. There we saw many different types of pinnipeds. We saw both California and Steller sea lions, Harbour seals, and even Northern elephant seals. The sea lions were also very active today. There was one that leaped out of the water.
It was a wonderful day today.
To view more images from our trip today, click on the following link.