April 28, 2014

The M/V Sea Lion goes to Canada!

What a great start to the 2014 whale watching season! The M/V Sea Lion headed out again today and caught up with some Transients (mammal-hunting killer whales) once again. Today was however, a little different than most days given we went about seventy miles round trip! The whales were located about fifteen miles west of Victoria, BC and Captain Mike and I decided to go for it.

After about an hour and a half we caught up with the T065A group of whales. There were two females whales, one newborn calf, and a sprouting male (maturing). Guests, Captain Mike, and I were elated, after spending so long in wait, to finally see these magnificent mammals. They seemed to be traveling along at a swift pace, using the incoming tide to ease their travels, when suddenly they seemed to slow to almost a stop and come into a tight circle. When we saw red in the water shortly after, and the male transient cartwheel out of the water, we knew what had happened! The whales had made a kill!

Transients spend about 90% of their time foraging for food, since so much of their effort is used in traveling, they need to have payoffs in the way of food. Transients are very skilled hunters, they have even been known to use boats to aid in their discreteness, surfacing and traveling close or behind boats to mask the sound of heir exhalations and movements. Perhaps when the T065A group located the harbor seal they eventually ended up consuming, they used the M/V Sea Lion to their advantage! Either way, we were all very happy to see such behavior and to know they were well fed! Just a simply gorgeous day on the water … on our way home we even got to watch California and Steller Sea Lions! I can’t wait to get back out there tomorrow!

 

Heather, Naturalist, M/V Sea Lion

San Juan Safaris