Victoria’s inner harbour had a few extra visitors on Thursday afternoon.
For the first time in decades orca whales were spotted in the water near float planes, a ferry and water taxis zipping by.
WATCH: Viewer video of whales in Victoria Harbour
Heather Lefevbre is in town from Quesnel for a firefighters conference with her husband Jeff and saw the four whales from her water taxi.
“Just as we came into the harbour all these people were pointing, and we went to drop people off and all of a sudden there were four whales to our left,” said Lefebvre. “They went in front of our boat and to the other side.”
WATCH: Orca calf spotted in Cowichan Bay
The water taxi driver turned off the engine and the group on board watched the killer whales poke their heads out of the water. The driver told the passengers it was the first time orcas had been in the inner harbour since 1969. The Victoria Harbour Authority isn’t so sure it dates that far back, but did day it has been decades since a sighting.
“I was amazed, I was just thinking wow they are right there. But we are in a little boat,” said Lefebvre. “It was pretty exciting to be in the middle of it all.”
When news spread of the orcas, people flocked to the water’s edge. One of those lucky enough to get a glimpse was Bob Nitto visiting from Seneca, South Carolina.
“I think we saw three or four, one really large one and a few smaller ones,” said Nitto. “I have never seen this before, them coming this far into the harbour.”