What a beautiful day it turned out to be with a NW wind blowing that enabled us to hoist our mainsail once we were out in the Queen Charlotte Strait. Early in the tour the blow of a humpback whale was sighted and as we drew closer we observed that it was taking long dives and feeding near to Stubbs Island where a large group of rhinoceros auklets had gathered. We were cruising out into the Queen Charlotte Strait when two orcas were reported moving east towards the White Cliff Islands and then a puzzling discovery was made. The large male orca was identified as being A39 and the smaller orca was A30 matriline, the mother of A39. Both orcas appeared to be foraging, A30 was a distance behind A39 and she was taking long dives with only one breathe between the dives. What was perplexing to us and the other boats watching was that the rest of the family, nine other orcas: A30’s oldest living son (A38) and her two daughters (A50 and A54 ) each with three calves of their own, were not with them. We scanned and scanned for long periods of time but were unable to sight them and believed that they might have gone closer to the BC mainland inlets or further NW. Traveling back we encountered herring ball activity with gulls and eagles feeding intensely at the surface of the water where rhinoceros auklets were also feeding. Other sightings included: dalls porpoises, stellar sea lions, harbour seals, rhinoceros auklets, herring, california and mew gulls, red-necked phalaropes, pelagic cormorants, white-winged scoters, cassin’s auklets, and bald eagles ++ including two large eaglets in a nest.

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