The morning looked to be clearing of fog early however en route to Alder Bay we encountered heavy fog. We initially headed east down Johnstone Strait but diverted through the passage at Weynton Island lured by sunshine and the scenic beauty of the Plumper Islands where hauled out Harbour Seals were clearly visible as were Stellar Sea Lions swimming in the water as we made our way into Blackfish Sound which was partially obscured by fog. Drifting back into fog briefly at the bottom end we entered Johnstone Strait through Blackney Passage and suddenly we were back into brilliant sunshine in time to see the blows of orcas as they made their way west of the western boundary of the Robson Bight Ecological Reserve on Vancouver Island. As we drew closer, with a light se wind blowing and our mainsail hoisted we cut the engine and sailed quietly along. The orcas were traveling close along the shoreline, they were identified as the A30 matriline (11 orcas in total), the A23 matriline were with them and we observed A60 and A85 traveling parallel to them at a distance of 300-400 metres. They were all traveling to the west, at times some orcas were seen turning back briefly as though to forage before continuing on. The A30’s were split into two groups, A38 was traveling with A54 and her calves, they were ahead of A30, A39 and A50 and her calves. It was at Blinkhorn that they slowed to a stall and could be seen resting briefly on the surface of the water and with the flood current behind them, they turned back to the east. As we made our way back to Alder Bay a group of 12-15 Pacific White-sided Dolphins came charging along, passing us by briefly at the bow of the boat delighting everyone onboard and again as we neared Alert Bay, they came charging out of the Bay and beyond, it was fascinating to watch as they sped along! Other sightings included: dalls porpoises, rhinoceros auklets, common murres, herring, glaucous- winged and mew gulls, a common loon and a double-crested cormorant.

This final photo was taken from Alert Bay this evening.

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