From the moment we leave the dock and begin our tour each day we never know what lies ahead and what our viewings will show and yet, it never ceases to amaze, there is always something to see and to be excited at seeing! Today’s tour was no exception, it was incredible the number of sightings of birds and marine mammals all within a relatively small area and space of time. Seeing the Sooty Searwaters in flight in large numbers peaked our interest, to think that they are on their way migrating south to their remote nesting islands off New Zealand, Australia and South America! And then, high in the sky a ribbon of migrating geese could be seen who were later confirmed as White-fronted Geese. Stellar Sea Lions hauled out in large numbers were sighted followed by a Humpback Whale who, in the distance could be seen doing headstands and slapping its tail on the surface of the water with force a multiple of times, even as we neared the area! Stellar Sea Lions were also in the water nearby watching the display curiously just as we were and as we were departing we were fortunate to see it breach, its entire body being projected fully out of the water with speed and force as only a Humpback Whale can do. This Humpback Whale was identified as one that we have seen frequently this summer and is locally known as Freckles. Everywhere we looked in the distance Humpback Whales could be sighted and during the tour we had good sightings of at least six individual whales, while two others were reported further to the west and another in Johnstone Strait bringing the count to at least nine, possibly ten in the area today. Just as we began making our way homeward, two Transient Orcas (marine mammal feeders) were reported travelling in Blackfish Sound and luckily for us, we were nearby. The orcas were glimpsed a few times in the distance but were lost from sight when a small cruise ship headed quickly east in the Sound. With our vessel in neutral we waited for the orcas to surface and when they did they could be easily identified as T20 a large male transient orca travelling with his mother T21. It was wonderful to see these orcas nearby, to see their size and form and the speed at which they travel as within a few short minutes they were already a fair distance away. It was brilliant viewing and totally unexpected, just as the sightings of Transient Orcas always are. Also seen were today were: Harbour Seals, Bald Eagles, Red-necked Phalaropes, Rhinoceros Auklets, Common Murres, Belted Kingfishers, California, Mew, Glaucous-winged & Herring Gulls.

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