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Thar she blows: fluke beluga sighting in Sansum Narrows!

You may have watched news reports last October of the rare visit of a beluga whale to Puget Sound, Wash.

Well, there is an interesting local angle to that story.

A chronology of reported sightings of the beluga was released this weekend during a presentation by Dr. Stephanie Norman of World Vets at a conference on local whale research in the San Juan Islands.

Turns out the first report of the beluga occurred on September 26 in Sansum Narrows — on the east side of Stoney Hill, one of the Six Mountains of North Cowichan.

“Surfaced and blew four times near us,” the report read. It added that the beluga was headed southeast past Cowichan Bay towards the southern tip of Salt Spring Island.

Where the beluga is today nobody knows, but researchers believe it came from the Beaufort Sea, Arctic waters shared by Alaska and Canada.

Another beluga was observed off San Diego, Calif., in June 2020. It later washed up dead on the Baja coast of Mexico.

Photo credit: World Vets (

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— Larry Pynn, Jan. 16, 2022


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