It was a beautiful viewing of the A12’s that we were privileged to observe while out on tour today. When we first encountered the orcas they were foraging steadily, west towards Blinkhorn on the VI shore, A12 and A33 were in the lead. The A34’s followed, they too were foraging, A55 was in the lead and it was such a treat viewing this family group at the time that we did. They passed on by and while we were drifting in the current with the engine off listening to their wonderful A-Clan calls, the family suddenly turned and approached nearby. It was a very relaxed and special viewing with multiple spyhopping, resting on the surface, pectoral slapping and playful interactions between all members. Their calls still being heard via the hydrophone, passengers observed as they grouped together forming a resting line and then began to move very slowly towards Weynton Passage, changing direction to drift with the ebb current through one of the passages of the Plumper Islands (Lulu Island Passage). Stellar sea lions were everywhere in the water swimming and playing and amongst the chaos of them all, the A34’s were seen passing gracefully through the same narrow waterway (of which dozens of Stellar Sea Lions were also navigating their way through) and eventually into the Queen Charlotte Strait. Scotch mist persisted and hung for awhile like a curtain of rain obscuring much of the Plumper Islands and the Coast Mountains could not be seen. And yet it was beautiful, the gentle magic of the rain forest unfolded, passengers listened to the calls of birds on the islands and watched the antics of the stellar sea lions, 35+ hauled out and at least double this number swimming in every direction, many in playful interaction with each other. Other sightings today: harbour seals hauled out, rhinoceros auklets, bald eagles, red-necked phalaropes, black turnstones, a great blue heron and california gulls.

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