A Victoria woman captured the very moment a pod of orcas swam along the shoreline near Clover Point on Wednesday night (Aug. 11).
Jillian Westby was walking along Dallas Road around 8:30 p.m., when she noticed an orca swimming about 50 metres from shore.
"I felt excited and just wanted to capture the moment with the calm water, the sunset and the whales. It was picture perfect,” says Westby.
To her surprise, she counted more than seven orcas swimming close together.
"I have seen orcas, humpbacks, and porpoises before, but I have never seen orcas so up close, and I have never seen that many at one time,” she tells Glacier Media.
The pod put on a show for about 10 minutes, dazzling onlookers. At one point, the whales came five metres from shore.
In her video, Westby says "they're right there" and whispers as the orcas surface.
"Seeing the whales so close is a great reminder how sensitive the ocean ecosystem is and a reminder to keep our distance when on the water,” she adds.
Westby says she spent a summer working at the Mayne Island Conservancy and worked on mapping habitats important to fish and whales.
It was a sight Westby considers herself lucky to have seen.