September 20, 2019

Whale Soup South of Sooke

Orcas near Sooke, BC

Olivia | September 20th, 2019 | M/V Kestrel | 11:00am

We love our Adventure Trip on M/V Kestrel! The great thing about it? High speeds which means further distances in our time frame! We started the trip by heading south through the San Juan Channel to see some Steller’s Sea Lions bellowing their burping noises all the way across the water and swimming about in the currents around Whale Rocks. From there, Captain Gabe informed us of some black and white whales very far away past Victoria and Race Rocks. Despite the long distance to get there, our passengers all agreed it was worth it. Off we went!

Along the route, not only did we see heaps of Harbor Porpoises and a few Harbor Seals swimming around, but we found a Humpback Whale just south of Victoria! With shorter dive times, we were able to briefly stop and watch it fluke twice before carrying on to our original point of reference. The best part? We passed three more Humpbacks as we were driving along!

All the way over by Sooke, we finally found our favorite Bigg’s Killer Whales. This Transient Orca family is a crew favorite because of the two large (and still growing) males that travel with their mum and grandma- the T18/T19’s! They were separate when we came on scene (with another Humpback not far behind them) and eventually moved closer together to join up as one big family. We were able to get amazing views of these large dorsal fins, making it absolutely magical.

As we were peeling away from them, we noticed heaps of spouts off in the distance everywhere, and upon further inspection realized they were all K Pod Southern Resident Killer Whales! Despite being so far away, they started breaching making us able to not only see exhales with our bare eyes, but also black bodies and lobtails! Due to federal laws we are not able to view them in Canadian waters, but as we traveled home, they swam into US waters. We did not have time to view them, and thought best to let them do their thing, but happening to see them far in the distance all spread out was an incredible moment in itself.

We had a long haul back home, finding yet another Humpback Whale south of Discovery Island and reaching the dock having a 4-hour trip. Despite the length and distance we covered over the water, I have personally never seen so many Humpback Whales in one trip. Not only that, but it’s not always possible to see both Killer Whales and Humpback Whales in our time frame. NOT ONLY THAT, we were able to see BOTH ecotypes of Killer Whales and tons of Humpbacks… I would say today was a success.