Early this morning the sky was clear and it looked to be a beautiful day but by 7:30 a.m. fog had begun drifting in and by the time we left on tour Johnstone Strait was blanketed heavily in fog. While we traveled along the Vancouver Island shoreline the sunlight was bright, burning off quickly the fog cover and just in time as a large male orca fin suddenly appeared and other orcas were also sighted; A46 passed on by and soon the A34’s were identified, finally A12 was sighted traveling alongside A37. The orcas were well spread out, some were foraging, we observed the A34 calves interacting with each other, they were playful, spy-hopping and tail slapping. Listening on the hydrophone we could hear both A-Clan and G-Clan vocalizations, the latter belonging to the I15’s who were traveling west along the Hanson Island shore. While the A36 brothers, A12 and the A34’s continued westing and foraging off Beaver Cove we headed across the Strait towards Hanson Island to view the I15’s as they rested and drifted towards Weynton Passage, some of the I15’s had traveled as far west as the Stephenson Islands and the south east side of the Pearse Islands. It was near Stubbs Island that a humpback whale was sighted and we enjoyed watching as it surfaced and dived and while doing so, it was fabulous to also watch as the orcas made their way through Weynton Passage and into the top end of Blackfish Sound, the A34’s were the last group through. As we turned back, 12-15 stellar sea lions were sighted swimming and as we watched they grouped together and appeared to be relaxing and resting in a small bay. Other sightings included: harbour seals, rhinoceros auklets, pigeon guillemots, common murres, herring, california and mew gulls, red-necked phalaropes and bald eagles.

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