October 11, 2021

Humpback Whales Preparing for Migration

Haleigh | M/V Sea Lion | October 11, 2021 | 12:00 pm

 

Humpback whales have been sighted almost every day somewhere in the Salish Sea this fall. As we made our way south today, we were scanning for the large blows out in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Continuing in a southwest direction, we were hoping to follow up on some reported Humpbacks. Sure enough, we made it far enough to see the blows in the distance, just southeast of Victoria, BC. Multiple blows caught our passengers' eyes and lasted in the crisp fall air. 

 

Humpbacks are migrating through the waters here, feeding more in preparation for their eventual migration westward to the breeding grounds off of Maui. The humpbacks we watched today were taking ~5 minute dive times and surfacing all over our boat. We started watching them on our Port, but shifted to the starboard when they surfaced again on the other side. As each took their eventual deeper dive, we marveled at the white patch marks on one of the flukes and the entirely whited-out fluke of the second individual. The blue, sunny skies and fluking Humpbacks is something we don’t take for granted here in the Salish Sea since Humpbacks were whaled, or hunted, out of the area in the 1900’s. Their presence is a strong reminder that the actions we have on the water can either be detrimental to an ecosystem, or favorable when we work in conjunction with organisms in nature.