It was another fabulous and sunny day for viewing marine mammals and especially orcas in Johnstone Strait and we began our sightings early this morning while crossing over to the Alder Bay Resort from Alert Bay when we were fortunate to sight a very large Minke Whale traveling east. Soon after leaving Alder Bay and well ahead of serving our fresh baked muffins, orcas were sighted in the distance and they were well spread across the Strait, some were nearing Lewis Point on the VI shore while others were westing past the Stephenson Islands and we gradually made our way towards those islands stopping along the way to view a few unidentified orcas who were foraging, and also to listen to their wonderful vocalizations via the hydrophone. The groups that we were closest to we identified as the I15’s (so too were the orcas that we had first encountered) and they were all observed traveling in their matriline groups. Some had traveled as far west as the Pearse Islands (I16’s) before turning back at 9:56 a.m. all of them almost simultaneously which was fascinating to watch. The orcas took their time, drifting in the flood current, some nosing part way into Weynton Passage (I16’s) and the others (I27’s, I4’s and I65’s) drifting into a back-eddie along the Plumper Island shoreline, all of them were resting, a few tail slaps and spyhops were observed and then they began moving, again in their matrilineal groups, following all of the other pods and moving east in Johnstone Strait along the Hanson Island shore. The backdrop was remarkable as so many blows could be seen of other orcas in the distance, the pace of all of them in the Strait today was unhurried and relaxed and it was a very beautiful sight to witness with superb viewings. Other sightings today included: Stellar Sea Lions, Dalls’ Porpoises, Harbour Seals, Rhinoceros Auklets, Common Murres, Pigeon Guillemots, Bald Eagles and one eaglet in its nest, Mew and Herring Gulls.

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