Today was a fabulous day for viewing marine mammals despite the rain. With an early report of orcas traveling to the west off Donegal Head this morning we traveled in that direction and although we knew that orcas were ahead of us when rounding Donegal Head we could not see them because the visibility was so poor. Suddenly two orcas were sighted and were quickly identified as the Matriline A30 traveling with her oldest surviving son A38 and they were traveling surprisingly back to the east! We enjoyed some beautiful visuals of the two orcas prior to seeing three more orcas: A39 (the younger son of A30), I46 and his sister I68 from the I31 Matriline. Following them close along the shoreline came A30’s two daughters: A50 and A54 with their calves. Having our hydrophone deployed we heard only a couple of G-Clan calls and some ecolocation, the A30’s were silent. The viewing was superb and extremely interesting especially viewing the dynamics of the three groupings of orcas with A30 and A38 well in the lead. The current was flooding and as passengers observed the orcas making their way towards Weynton Passage, Stellar Sea Lions were also sighted and then a surprise sighting of a Humpback Whale when it surfaced suddenly nearby in the current. With so much activity to watch, the last group of orcas were seen vanishing into Johnstone Strait and were soon obscured from sight by the rain. Passengers continued to watch as the Humpback Whale foraged in the current while a second one was then sighted and both of these were seen moving together toward Malcolm Island. As if it could not get any better it did with the sudden sighting of a large Minke Whale feeding nearby and surfacing beside the boat as it foraged surprising everyone when it did so! Other sightings today included: Dalls Porpoises, Harbour Seals, Rhinoceros Auklets, Common Murres, Bald Eagles including two fledged eaglets, Mew and Herring Gulls. It was a brilliant day enjoyed by all.

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