I went whale watching with my dad on Thursday the 21st. We went with a company called Eagle Wing. You could tell that they truly love their job, and these whales. They were keen to answer any and all questions you had and were really informative. There are 3 groups or “pods” of Southern Resident orcas aka “killer whales” that live around our island. There is J-pod who is here pretty much all year-long, and then K and L pod who sometimes go all the way down to California during the winter. In all three pods there are about 80 whales. They are pretty much like one family and once a year they all have a huge reunion which would be so amazing to see! There are also the Northern Resident orcas, but I don’t know much about them. They hangout at the Northern end of Vancouver Island, and they do not communicate with the Southern Residents.
The Residents aren’t to be confused with the Transient orcas. Which are more true to the name “killer whale”. Transient orcas and Resident orcas look pretty much identical. The main difference between them is what they eat. The resident orcas only eat salmon, where as the transient actually hunt mammals like harbour seals and sea lions. When we went out we saw two younger residence whales “playing” with a harbour porpoise. Which is really not normal for them. They ended up killing in and then swimming away. Our guide was so surprised. He said that he has never seen that before and has no idea why they did it. They had no interest in eating it, as soon as it died they swam away. It was very strange. Another reason why I love these whales is that they are such an intelligent animal. They have a huge family values, a sense of culture or community and developed language. The males never leave their mothers, and quite often die shortly after she does. When a new whale is born they all take turns helping it get to the top of the water to breathe while the mother recovers. We got to see a new born orcas. They have a red or orange tint to them when they are young because their skin is thinner. They also have an amazing memory and understand things that we would never have expected. They also teach the young orcas how to hunt, develop language and about the social gatherings.
On Friday the 22nd my friends and I did this thing called the pickle boat pub crawl. It’s where get a group of 4 people and you can take our harbour ferry’s around town to a bunch of different pubs and you get a free appetizer at each place. The ticket itself is $15 or $20 depending on which day you go. It was so much fun! I can’t even remember the last time I laughed that hard. The pub crawl has 11 different places that you can go to. Some of them you would probably never end up going to either because you’ve never heard of them before, or they are normally way to expensive. I will say one thing though, most of the appetizers are not vegetarian friendly. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is in Victoria over the summer.
On thursday the 28th my work had a staff party on one of Eagle Wings new boats. It was pretty cool. This boat was amazing. It had nice comfortable leather seats inside, sound system, TV’s, two bathrooms and an outdoor space on the bow of the boat. Funny story, someone who was in the bathroom before me broke the door handle and I was locked in the bathroom for 15 minutes. Luckily my friend noticed that I had been gone for a while and found me. I though that I was just being stupid and couldn’t figure out how to open the door, but then the guy who worked there said that the handle was missing and it wasn’t my fault, haha…. The J-pod orcas were not to far from downtown so we cruised out to see them for a bit and then just cruised around the harbour for a while. As much as I want to leave Victoria, I have to admit that this truly is one of the most beautiful and magical places I’ve ever been. The amount of raw beauty, nature and wild life we have here is amazing. I have so much respect for the earth and the magical things that mother nature can create. I am so grateful to have grown up here and be able to return to such a beautiful place.
Eagle Wing Whale Watching: https://www.eaglewingtours.com/ Pickle Boat Pub Crawl: http://www.victoriaharbourferry.com/tours-services/pickle-pub-crawls