What a remarkable and very exciting day of action packed viewing that continued throughout the tour, as well, gorgeous warm weather. Before departing on tour this morning there were reports of orcas close-by, both Resident and Transient groups and so we and our passengers were excited. As it turned out both groups of orcas had turned back, the Transients from the vicinity of the Pearse Islands, and the Residents travelling east in Johnstone Strait away from the Stephenson Islands (the A30’s, A36’s & A12’s) where the Transients (marine mammal hunters) were observed hunting in Weynton Passage around the Stephenson Islands where numerous Harbour Seals were hauled out. Watching the Transient Orcas moving quickly, taking long dives and surfacing some distance away, weaving their way stealthily amongst the kelp forests around the islands and reefs made for some intense viewing and while we did not see any splashing, we are sure that a seal had been taken when all 5 orcas (three females and two calves) came together at the surface after a long dive and gulls could be seen feeding above them. Next seen were some 90+ Stellar Sea Lions hauled out and many others were seen swimming in the water throughout the area, shortly after a Humpback Whale was sighted, Freckles as it is locally known. As we stopped to watch, three more were seen nearby and one was observed tail slapping numerous times. Seabirds could be seen everywhere; the Sooty Shearwaters were coming into land in large numbers wherever herring balls were being worked on by the Auklets and Murres. At this point some Resident orcas were foraging, moving to the west in Blackfish Sound, the groups that had earlier been reported in Johnstone Strait so it was quite a treat that before heading for home, passengers also had some wonderful viewing of A12 and the A36 brothers. A12 was observed foraging with A32 and A37 was the orca that surfaced near to the boat after a long dive surprising all on board. It was back at the Pearse Reefs that another Humpback Whale was sighted feeding on a herring ball bringing the total Humpback Whale count to five and just as we were nearing Alder Bay on our return, a large Minke Whale was sighted nearby. What more could we ask for! Also seen today were: Bald Eagles, Red-necked Phalaropes, Rhinoceros Auklets, Common Murres, Belted Kingfishers, Blue Herons, California, Mew, Glaucous-winged & Herring Gulls.

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