Saturday, September 8, 2012

Discovery Islands Whale Watching



Two Orcas "Killer Whales" in water near Campbell River Vancouver Island Canada
Mother and young Orcas hunting together

Did you know that "Killer Whales" are actually not whales at all but part of the Dolphin family?  We didn't, until we went whale watching out of Campbell River and our guide enlightened us. The ocean's top predator is actually a Killer Dolphin!  Imagine, Flipper with fangs...well, teeth actually. 

We were thrilled to see the Orcas in action.  Tides that flow around the Discovery Islands meet and create an upwelling of nutrient rich ocean water that draws the fish to feed.  The Orcas know this and they work the "tidal line" feasting.  At one point a large male swam directly under our boat, popping up on the other side, his breath spraying a plume into the air, his fin a good 6 feet in height! 


The big male is in the upper left corner, the other Orca is a smaller female

Our 6 hour trip was filled with spectacular scenery, sightings of birds, Stellar Sea Lions, Dall's Porpoise and, to top it off, every once in awhile one of these beautiful Lion's Mane Jellyfish would float by.  


Lion's Mane Jellyfish just below surface of water
You can see why these beauties are called Lion's Mane Jellyfish


One of our favorite shots of the day


Stellar Sea Lion Swimming, Discovery Islands, British Columbia
This Stellar Sea Lion is smiling because he had just devoured en entire Salmon


Discovery Island Scenery from water, British Columbia
The Discovery Islands