SAIL WITH THE WHALES – WILDLIFE UPDATE July 22, 2011
It was a beautiful day with barely a breathe of wind when we headed out and with a report of orcas traveling west from the “Cliff” we decided to travel through Weynton Passage and down Blackfish Sound observing harbour seals and bald eagles and their nests along the way. A small group of dall’s porpoises surprised everyone riding at the bow briefly and just prior to our entering Johnstone Strait we encountered a humpback whale in passing. The orcas were: A12 foraging alongside A37 while A46 foraged closer to the Vancouver Island shore and as we were observing them a large group of pacific white-sided dolphins suddenly appeared from the east, they were soon seen mobbing the orcas who promptly disappeared taking long dives.
It was interesting to observe as the orcas foraged intensely, turning back to the east they finally traveled out through Blackney Passage into Blackfish Sound moving quickly with the ebb current, they were grouped with A12 in the middle between the two brothers, it was a beautiful sight to see! As we watched, a humpback whale was sighted and soon another smaller group of dolphins surrounded it, mobbing it as it surfaced and dived, it was trumpeting and was exciting to see. We headed up Blackfish Sound watching as the orcas moved further west and cruised close to the White Cliff Islands where we were fortunate to see a minke whale foraging. It was a fabulous day to be on the water, the sightings were superb! Other sightings included: stellar sea lions, rhinoceros auklets, pigeon guillemots, common murres, red-necked phalaropes, an eaglet in the nest.