Our Pacific Coast is also home to Minke, Gray, and Humpback whales. While not as common and as 'showy' as our orcas, they are nevertheless just as impressive. These whales can be found most any time of the year- as contrasted by many of our orca pods who disappear mysteriously during the late fall and return in the early spring.
OTHER MARINE LIFE:
The Oak Bay are features two marine conservation areas, each home to large colonies of seals and sea birds. You can also encounter sea lions, dolphins and porpoises as well as many raptors such as ospreys and eagles ,throughout these Gulf Island waters.
We have two species of sea lions on our coasts: the brown coloured Stelars and the black California sea lions. The Stellar sea lions are by far the larger, weighing more than 1,000 kg (2000 + pounds) - more than twice the size of their southern cousins. These brown levithians, both male and female can be found here year around. Only male Californian sea lions however come north to our area to winter, leaving their female counterparts to look after their young back on the breeding grounds of the Baha Peninsula. A popular spot to view both species is at Race Rocks, just 45 minutes south of Victoria by boat.
The waters around Victoria are home to many varieties of whales and the success ratio of seeing them is extremely high (over 75%) during the summer months. Resident Killer Whales (Orcas) are among the more plentiful, numbering some 80 whales in three pods.
In addition there are substantial numbers of the more elusive 'transients' - a species of Killer Whales who difference is primarily that of language and diet. For example, Transients hunt only mammalian prey such as seals and sea lions - as opposed to salmon and other fish pursued by Resident Whales. Another major difference is that Transient Killer Whales by virtue of their land-based prey, can usually be seen near shorelines and hunting in smaller packs seldom exceeding four. Both Resident and Transient orcas are distinguished by their huge dorsal fins, some protruding as much as 2 meters (6 feet) above the water.
Whale Watching/Kayaking Package: If you want to make sure of seeing whales on your trip to the West Coast, we can arrange for for a whale watching tour whether from our base at Oak Bay Marina or from downtown Victoria. This whale watching option (featuring discounted prices) can be undertaken: after having completed your kayaking trip with us or on any other day which might be more convenient to you.
Our partner in whale watching is Sea King Adventures , a reputable company featuring owner-operator Ron Kingand wife Holly. Ron is probably the oldest and most experienced w.w.operator in Victoria. He not only has a good knowledge of whales but a genuine respect for contiued well-being. Ron is known to adhere rigidly to the whale watching guidleines set out to protect whales..
Sea King is based out of Victoria's Inner Harbour at Fishermans Wharf (close to Barb's Fish and Chips). Their vessel is a fast and comfortable "Bow Rider": a modern vessel with excellent seating for taking pictures. She seats 12 persons, and features all the latest in technology, leather seats, an on-board toilet (head) and most importantly, Sea King Adventures features a spotless safety record.
Whale Watching Prices If you reserve through us (and have taken either our kayaking or sailing trips of Oak Bay) we can offer you a good discount on their tours.
More environmentaly sensitive Sailing/Whale Watching Option: If you desire to whale-watch from a sailboat or just enjoy a "hands-on" sailing experience, then join us for a sail that might well turn out to be an addiction: I would be your Skipper and my 35' Beneteau sloop or our faster F27 trimaran would be your vessel. We only use sails on our whale watching excursions.
Oak Bay, and the two straits adjacent (Haro and Juan de Fuca) are reputed to be among the best sailing areas on the coast, featuring reliable winds as well as many lovely islands where one can visit and find pleasant anchorage. On our day tour we would have ample time to sail across Haro Strait to watch whales in the vicinity of Lime Kiln Park, an area most visited by whales.
Overnight Kayak Mothership Options: If you have the time and money, join us on a multi - day trip to unique wilderness destinations on the West Coast (Princess Louisa Inlet and Desolation Sound for example). Instad of camping, we would be using our sailboat as a comfortable base for touring and exploration. Please go to our sailing website for more information.