Another day of fog, heavy in places, good visibility in others with orcas and pacific white-sided dolphins in the midst of it all! We headed east down Johnstone Strait this morning under cover of heavy fog making our way towards the orcas who were reported traveling west along the Vancouver Island shoreline. It was just west of Kaikash when we had our first sighting of a large male orca dorsal fin, and then glimpsed other smaller orcas swimming together and parallel to the large male we identified as A38, with his sister A50 and her two youngest calves, among them were also several Pacific White-sided Dolphins. Because of the dense fog we were not able to view at this point the rest of the A30 matriline (11 orcas in total) so when A50 and calves turned back to the east, we also turned and watched as they foraged back and forth before continuing on, making their way across Johnstone Strait towards Cracroft Point. Prior to their arriving at Cracroft Point passengers enjoyed some very special and privileged viewing with A50’s calves when several times they surprised us all by suddenly appearing and swimming alongside the hull of the boat together as though chasing after salmon. Seeing them alongside, swimming upside down and sideways underneath the water was a breathtaking and beautiful sight and one not easily forgotten by our passengers. As we neared Cracroft Point and Blackney Passage the fog suddenly cleared to reveal sunshine and numerous orcas and dolphins and as we watched we could see them in every direction, all of the A30’s were sighted as well as A46; with his brother A37 (A36’s) and A12 a distance away, some of the orcas were observed resting, most of them were foraging in the flood current with the younger calves interacting playfully with each other. While the viewing was superb, it was wonderful being able to also listen to their A-Clan calls as they foraged off Blackney Passage. Other sightings included: dalls porpoises, a harbour seal, rhinoceros auklets, common murres+++, red-necked phalaropes, pelagic cormorants, herring, california and mew gulls.
Sunset with photo’s of a Great Blue Heron from ‘the deck’ in Alert Bay.