It was an action packed day of viewing throughout the day beginning with the sighting of a humpback whale in Johnstone Strait, it was taking long dives and travelling west close along the Pearse Islands shoreline early in the tour. Bigg’s (Transient) orcas were reported also travelling to the west going by the “Cliff” and we encountered them abeam Blackney Pass, they had been identified as T18, T19’s ( (T19, T19B, T19C) and T46’s (T46 and her off-spring: T46D, T46E, T46F – her new calf is approximately two weeks old). It is interesting to note that T46 is an older matriarch at 48 years of age with a new calf. We observed them as they made their way west in Johnstone Strait passing by the Stephenson Islands they continued onto the west while we turned back. Having briefly viewed another humpback whale in Weynton Passage, we made our way into Blackfish Sound sighting two more humpback whales and entering Blackney Passage we were just in time for the arrival of the A5’s (A23’s and A25’s) as they headed quickly to the west. We listened to their wonderful A-Clan calls via our hydrophone and had a very special viewing of A60 as he suddenly surfaced off the bow of our boat as we sat idle and drifting and everyone was amazed by his size as he passed on by, viewing him under water as he dived below the surface; it was an incredible encounter and the highlight of the day for everyone. As the A5’s made their way west along the Hanson Island shore, A38 (of the A30 matriline) also made his way west, more towards Hanson Island while A39 travelling with A84 was closer to the Vancouver Island shore and the rest of the A30’s were very close along the VI shoreline, all were moving west. And then in a moment, all of them turned back, as the A30’s headed east in the lead we observed as the A5’s also made their way back, the A25’s: A61 with A85 following behind were the first to pass by and then the A23’s with A60 among them in a travelling line of four orcas it was wonderful to watch them grouped as such. As we parted company and headed for home, cruising among islands we viewed the scenic beauty and a variety of seabirds bringing to an end a remarkable day filled with ever changing vivid and breathtaking images and fulfilling for many, a wish to see orcas swimming alive and free in the wild. Other sightings today included: dall’s porpoises, stellar sea lions, harbour seals, rhinoceros auklets, common murre, red-necked phalaropes, california, mew and glaucous-winged gulls, bald eagles, belted kingfishers, harlequin ducks, black turnstones, and pigeon guillemots.

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