The Ocean Magic II with our veteran skipper Scott left Victoria and headed east across the Victoria waterfront. We searched the water off Victoria and, on to Hein Bank. Here we observed a Minke Whale, this you whale appeared sleepy as it rose for breaths over and over in a small area. We saw many bait balls with gulls and diving birds working them for all they were worth. Scotty then took us over to Salmon Bank, here we caught up with a Mother Minke and her young calf. They moved threw the water with ease as the feed. This was another spectacular adventure with Prince of Whales.
Most of the images on the blog are shot with a 400 mm telephoto lens. Because of our restrictions around wildlife (100+ meters), we use powerful lenses to better share orca activity that passengers see on their trips. Keep in mind this also heavily compresses space between objects. We also crop images for best blog viewing.
It doesn’t matter which way we travel, we will always find some of the great west coast wildlife that frequents this area. The 12.15pm Ocean Magic with Capt Gord and his crew of Naturalists, Liz and Dan on board, headed the vessel south and east where we were able to enjoy the scenery. Calm waters and a sky full of billowy clouds set the tone for this trip. The Tall Ships of the S.A.L.T organization, the ‘Pacific Grace’ and ‘ Pacific Swift ‘ were out with their sails aloft. Sea birds and gulls gathered over bait balls near Trail Island and at Hein Bank we found an elusive Minke Whale that did what Minke whales do best, disappear after two to three breaths at the surface and then change directions. We watched this animal for a while and then went to Whale Rock to observe sea lions and Harbour seals. Two intrepid kayakers were enjoying the turbulent waters near the rocks. It was another great wildlife trip with ‘Prince of whales ‘.
Todays Ocean Magic Wildlife Adventure was set against sunny skies, our Skipper Scotty took us East in our search for whales. Our fist encounter was with Harbour Porpoise. These elusive shy animals were working the water in small groups, gently rolling at the surface as they took their breaths. We kept our easterly heading and soon we were at Hein Bank. We saw many different species of birds, Common Muirs, Cormorants Gulls, Rhinoceros Auklets and a Pacific Loon. As we watched the birds feeding we also took in the sight of Minke Whales. These fast swimming baleen whales would pop up where the birds were feeding. Mika, Liz and Dan filled our passengers with information on theses gentle giants and answered all their questions. We also saw a Minke with a youngster, very nice to see as the pair would surface in unison. Our way back took us past many small islands covered in Harbour Seals, then past Victoria’s picturesque waterfront. Yet another wonderful Wildlife Adventure with Prince Of Whales!
Clint “Orcawizard”, Marie “Orca-Magic
With exceptional visibility, sunshine and blue skies, the Ocean Magic left the harbour and headed south east toward Hein Bank. Capt Gord , and crew members, Mika, Liz and Brandon made this a special trip for our guests on board, sharing a wealth of knowledge of the marine life to be found in these rich, cold waters. We were able to find a Minke whale, a Baleen whale, off San Juan Island busy foraging below the surface for schooling fish. Bird life was plentiful and could be seen above the surface where bait balls gathered. Gulls, Common Murres, and Rhinoceros Auklets congregated in large numbers. A pair of White-winged Scoters and three Black Oystercatchers added more bird views near Chatham and Discovery Islands. A visit to Whale rock provided good looks at lounging Harbour Seals and swimming Steller Sea Lions. Mt.Baker, in Washington State, rose majestically on the horizon. A good dose of sunshine and wildlife viewing is what Prince of Whales provided today and we weren’t disappointed.
Capt. Scott slipped the Ocean Magic out of Victoria’s inner harbor and out into a spectacular afternoon. The sun was shining and the waters calm, our search took us east past Trial Island and on to Hein Bank. Here Capt. Scott put us in excellent position to view Minke Whales. These gentle giants were feeding in the shallow water, breaking the surface for a quick breath. The water was alive with sea birds, picking off the abundant supply of feed. Mika and Liz filled our passengers with information and answered many questions on our marine adventure. Our trip then took us to Whale Rock where we saw Stellar Sea Lions, Harbor Seals, Bald Eagles, Cormorants and Rhinoceros Auklets. The water was alive with wildlife and our crew made sure we took it all in, a truly great afternoon on the water with Prince of Whales!