Killer whale soup

August 30th, 2013 by Martin Vernon

Take the seas around Vancouver Island and scatter plenty of kelp beds throughout. Then add resident killer whale pods J, K and L with a few optional transient orcas, totalling 55 to 60 whales = killer whale soup!

This particular video hit the national TV news this summer:

Whale soup occurs periodically around the coasts of the Gulf Islands. Viewing all these killer whales together is an unforgettable experience.

On this occasion the orcas (killer whales) were in Active Pass by the Galiano Island Killer whale familyshore across from Miner’s Bay, Mayne Island. It was unusual since such numbers are rarely seen close to the shore but you have the opportunity to head out to where the killer whales are feeding and socialising. There’s no promise you’ll see them but success rates in the summer are over 90% and, anyway, you’ll see a great deal more and have a wonderful three hour trip. Your skipper will probably take you to see the seal lions and seals by the lighthouse on Race Rocks, and then introduce you to the environment in which you may see many different sea birds, porpoises, dolphins, harbour seals, humpback whales and possibly a gray whales as well the the killer whale pods (familes). These three pods of orcas conveniently reside in our waters during the summer tourist season!

You can choose from numerous Victoria whale-watching companies. We suggest you ask your B&B innkeeper for recommendations. Bear in mind that the whale viewings may be distant so it may be best to take one of the faster boats so that you have more time to spend with the killer whales. So the less expensive (and bumpier) zodiacs may not be the best choice. Many boats have a naturalist on board so the trip is full of interest and information.

We also suggest that you book when you are here rather than in advance: it would be a shame if you woke up that morning to fog or heavy winds. So discuss this with your hosts when you arrive. They can also check with the whale-watching companies about the best anticipated tours for you.

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