While the orcas were well east in Johnstone Strait when we headed out this morning, passengers onboard enjoyed an extraordinary day of viewing other species. Shortly after departing from Alder Bay this morning a minke whale was sighted nearby along with a small group of pacific white-sided dolphins, both species were intent on feeding while we watched. We continued on and while fog surrounded us on both sides, in Johnstone Strait itself it was initially clear and at Weynton Island two humpback whales suddenly appeared side by side and disappeared for several minutes and when they reappeared we could see that it was a mother humpback and her calf. Although the mother seldom fluked, luckily at one time we glimpsed the fluke and were able to identify her as Chunky with her new calf. We turned back and cruising through the Plumper Islands we made our way into Blackfish Sound where a small group of dall’s porpoises joined us riding at the bow of the boat riding along, darting back and forth for quite some time. Again we turned back and nearing Weynton Passage we sighted some 70 + Stellar Sea Lions (hauled out and some swimming in the water) and then crossing Weynton Passage another humpback whale was sighted. As we drew near we could see that it was lunge feeding and with our engine cut and our boat drifting we were all treated to some amazing lunge feeding with spectacular viewing! Never before have we ourselves witnessed such a close encounter with the whale appearing to work krill towards the hull of our boat and commence to lunge feed right beside us. It was an astonishing and marvellous sight! To sit and watch, all the while listening to the roar of stellar sea lions in the distance and the cry of gulls feeding on a herring ball close by, it was an utterly remarkable close encounter. Other sightings today included: harbour seals, rhinoceros auklets, common murre, red-necked phalaropes, california, mew and glaucous-winged gulls, bald eagles and a newly fledged eaglet, belted kingfishers, harlequin ducks and pigeon guillemots.

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