As we cruised in Johnstone Strait this morning the wind was blowing from the SE and a cool chill was in the air yet the sun was shinning so brightly it made our visibility difficult with shimmering light being reflected off the choppy sea. A large blow was sighted in the distance, it was that of a Humpback Whale while parallel across the Strait and emerging from the western boundary of the Robson Bight Ecological Reserve were the Orcas, the A30 Matriline, a family of 10 orcas. As they approached along the Vancouver Island shoreline the two sisters A50 and A54 and their seven off-spring, Dall’s Porpoises were seen among them “rooster tailing” with spouts of water splashing out behind them. Other orcas could also be seen approaching and with our main-sail hoisted and engine off we began sailing quietly along; all on board observing with anticipation and great excitement the orcas as they foraged steadily nearby. It was exhilarating, especially listening to their A-Clan vocalizations and ecolocations via our trailing hydrophone. With orcas foraging on either side of the boat, moving back and forth in all directions as is often the case as they forage and chase salmon it was a fabulous experience for everyone. As we sailed the wind lessened and it was wonderful feeling the warm sun upon our backs. The orcas began angling over towards Blackney Passage where the flood tide had gained momentum and a Humpback Whale was sighted nearby feeding as well. It was a very special experience and encounter with a very special family of orcas. Other sightings included: Harbour Seals, Dall’s Porpoises, Rhinoceros Auklets, Common Murres, Surf Scoters, Bald Eagles, A Great Blue Heron, Mew and Herring Gulls.

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