Today’s tour has to be the best of the season so far with so much happening from beginning to end. Departing from Alder Bay we headed into Pearse Passage where passengers alerted us to the sighting of a Black-tailed deer walking along the beach of Cormorant Island, such a sighting is a rarity indeed! The blow of a Humpback Whale was sighted soon after out in the Queen Charlotte Strait and we headed in that direction, finding two Humpback Whales amidst a large group of Pacific White-sided Dolphins. The sightings were fantastic as we observed the antics of numerous dolphins mobbing the Humpback Whales as they came to the surface to breathe while other dolphins could be seen well off in the distance leaping clear of the water; the large group were spread well across the bottom end of the Queen Charlotte Strait and could be seen in every direction that we looked. Suddenly the dolphins were seen moving towards the east, porpoising rapidly and soon after there was a report of Orcas heading east from the Holford Islets. From the rapid departure of the dolphins and the sighting of the orcas with their erratic movement and long dives, it was obvious that they were Transient Orcas (marine mammal predators) and not Resident Orcas. There were four of them who were later identified as the T30’s and we were fortunate to get a good look at them as they traveled together, one large male, two females and a juvenile. It was exciting viewing: listening to their blows and waiting for them to resurface and we observed as they headed into Retreat Passage where at that point we left them. Heading for home passengers were again treated to the sighting of another Black-tailed Deer (buck) grazing on an island of the Pearse Islands. It was a fabulous ending to a brilliant day of viewing. Other sightings today included hauled out harbour seals, dall’s porpoises, rhinoceros auklets, oysters catchers and Bald Eagles.

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