What a special and wonderful day for viewing close to home with orcas not so far from both Alder Bay and Alert Bay, Humpback and Minke Whales as well! We headed out this morning having heard that orcas had been reported traveling east from Donegal Head and so we proceeded in that direction viewing briefly a Humpback Whale that had surfaced a distance behind us when suddenly another Humpback Whale breached parallel but still a distance away. We carried on to view the orcas and encountered them, the I15’s traveling west close to shore at Mitchell Bay on Malcolm Island. They were traveling spread out in their Matriline groups and were very relaxed, some resting, foraging, breaching and spy-hopping behaviour was observed. When it looked like they would carry on west in Cormorant Channel they subtlety changed direction and continued to do so with the lead matriarch passing through Pearse Channel and the rest of them following. Again some movement to the west, stalling briefly before the lead group turned back to the east allowing for the final group to catch up. Meanwhile the A24’s who had taken the inner route around the Pearse Islands close to the shoreline also entered back into the Strait following behind the I15’s. The viewing was superb and the vocals were especially nice to listen to via the hydrophone when the I15’s re-entered back into the Strait. A Minke Whale had been sighted feeding and was among the orcas when they entered into Pearse Channel. A backward glance showed yet another sighting of a Humpback Whale breaching twice in the distance. Carrying on towards Weynton Passage a Minke Whale was sighted and then later as we headed for home another Minke Whale was sighted in Pearse Passage and was likely the same one that we had sighted earlier when with the orcas. Although it rained on and off during the tour, the sightings today were some of the very best of the season and the insulated rubber thermo suits were much appreciated by our guests. Other sightings today included: Dalls’ Porpoises, Harbour Seals, Rhinoceros Auklets, Common Murres, Belted Kingfishers, Bald Eagles and one eaglet in its nest, Mew and Herring Gulls.

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