What a beautiful day it was with a bright blue sky reflecting back off the water and the sun shining for most of the tour. With clear visibility we were fortunate to sight a Minke Whale shortly after leaving the dock and it was a great start to the tour. Traveling in Blackfish Sound we encountered numerous Stellar Sea Lions swimming along and Bald Eagles high up on the tree tops, several of whom were drying off their wings. Our encounter with the Orcas was a fabulous one and proved to be very exciting for everyone on board. The A30’s were making their way slowly to the west, they were all spread out across Johnstone Strait with A50, A54 and their off-spring of seven young ones between them foraging along the Hanson Island shoreline with their brothers A38 & A39 and mother A30 the Matriline, closer to the Vancouver Island shore. We stayed initially on the Hanson Island shore observing the young mothers and their off-spring as they foraged intently and passengers enjoyed some breath-taking moments as they swam near the bow of the boat as we sat drifting in the current. With the hydrophone deployed their A-Clan vocals were wonderful to listen to along with their ecolocation. Resting, foraging, tail slapping, spy-hopping and playful interactions between the younger orcas was behaviour all observed today and even when the hydrophone was not deployed, vocals could be heard above the water. As the orcas foraged at Blinkhorn it was a great surprise to suddenly see A38 foraging towards our boat as it sat idle and drifting and then surface underneath the bow enabling us all to view him from above and below the water. The viewing was superb and made for a wonderful and lasting image for everyone to take away with them. Later, as we sat watching, the orcas suddenly made their turn back to the east and it was A38 who was the last to pass on by as he made his way back down towards Blinkhorn and beyond, swimming very quickly with long dives in an effort to catch up with the rest of his family. Other sightings included: Stellar Sea Lions, Harbour Seals, Dall’s Porpoises, Rhinoceros Auklets, Common Murres and one was sighted with a herring in its bill, Red-necked Phalaropes, Surf Scoters, Pelagic and Brandt’s Cormorants, Western and Horned Grebes, Bald Eagles, Mew and Herring Gulls.

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