© Five Star Whale Watching/ Katie Smith. Image — A adult Bigg’s Orca breaching near Otter Point
Bigg’s Orca, sea lions and Harbour Seals
We began our morning trip by leaving the Victoria Harbour and heading southwest towards Race Rocks Ecological Reserve.
We continued on past Race Rocks west towards Sooke area and near Otter Point we encountered a massive gathering of Bigg’s Orca! The animals are also know as Transient Orca and are the ecotype of orca that are strictly feed on marine mammals such as seals, sea lions and other whales. This gathering included several families, the T2Cs, T34s, T37, T37As, T37Bs and T109s we some of the orca that were identified here using their unique saddle patches, scarring and dorsal fins. These animals were doing a lot of socializing and the juveniles of the group were very playful allowing us to be able to see a lot of surface activity, tail lobbing, pectoral fin slapping and even some breaching!
After our time with this big group of whales we began our way back to the harbour and stopped in at Race Rocks Ecological Reserve to see some of the other marine life of the area. Here we were able to see Stellar Sea Lions, California Sea Lions and Harbour Seals, all prey items for the Bigg’s Orca that we had just seen earlier.
Being able to see such a large Bigg’s Orca group, especially with how active these animals were made for an amazing morning trip on the Salish Sea.