It was a wonderful day for viewing cetaceans in our local waters. Beginning this morning with rain falling gently and a rainbow that followed clearing the sky, we were soon within range of seeing large blows in the distance. This turned out to be four individual Humpback Whales foraging near to Bold Head. The viewing was exciting as everywhere one looked a whale would surface and dive. One of the Humpback Whales was identified as Slash (due to the absence of a dorsal fin and three very noticeable slashes on the upper body). On leaving the area a Minke Whale was sighted and having viewed 12 Stellar Sea Lions hauled out earlier on in the tour, more were sighted swimming in the water. In the afternoon, the orcas who had been further east in the morning had returned rapidly to the west: the A30’s, A5’s and the A24’s. Our first sighting was along the Vancouver Island shoreline west of Kaikash. The pods were spread out, travelling west at a steady rate, foraging as they went. Some pods were also on the Hanson Island side of the Strait just as they had been yesterday afternoon. The A24’s and A23’s foraged near to the Bauza Islets while the A30’s crossed back towards Vancouver Island and with the A8’s and A25’s they stalled west of Blinkhorn waiting for the others to catch up. It was wonderful viewing with multiple spyhopping, tail and pectoral slapping, breaching, porpoising and resting behaviour all being observed. When all of the orcas were close together, they began proceeding rapidly to the east. Heading for home the lighting was beautiful and looking back down Johnstone Strait to the east a Rainbow could be seen. Other species also seen today were: Dall’s Porpoises, Harbor Seals, Bald Eagles and an Eaglet in its nest, Rhinoceros Aucklets, Common Murre, Red-necked Phalaropes, Pigeon Guillemots, Herring, Glaucous-winged, Mew and California Gulls.

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