GVHA’s dock crew recently celebrated the end of a successful summer season with a whale watching tour with Eagle Wing Tours. We joined them for a half day on the water, led by Eagle Wing captain and naturalist Dale Mitchell. In the span of only a few hours, we traveled toward the West Shore, then south, and back to Victoria again, viewing humpback whales, seals, sea lions and a variety of birds.
Before we got on the water, we all geared up with tour-provided jackets, pants, gloves and toques. The Eagle Wing Serengeti is a fast boat (running at 32 knots) and though it was still the end of summer, the wind chill during the journey made all the gear necessary.
As we pulled away from Fisherman’s Wharf, it was fun to see Victoria and the harbour-front from the water. That day, the sky was still thick with smoke from recent wildfires, so we had a unique, hazy snapshot of the city, particularly rounding the bend opposite Ogden Point, for a cruise passengers’ view of Victoria.
We had four different whale sightings during our half day. Humpback whales can hold their breath for more than 30 minutes underwater, and when they come back to the surface, their full length is often visible. Once they’re on the surface, they build momentum to submerge again, which is why they kick their tails up to create a splash before diving back down.