We got off to a good start this morning when soon after leaving the dock in Alder Bay a black bear was sighted foraging along a beach searching under boulders for food, it was a great sighting for those who had never seen a bear in the wild before. Continuing on we came upon two humpback whales, a mother and her calf who were lunge feeding close along the shoreline near to Lewis Point. It may have been Chunky and her calf but as the mother did not fluke we were unable to accurately identify the whales. The viewing was absolutely spell bounding and as passengers and crew watched the two whales working the shoreline, small shiny fish could be seen jumping at the surface of the water. It was interesting watching not only the mother lunge feed but also observing the calf doing so alongside of its mother. We continued on, travelling east in Johnstone Strait where we encountered orcas (I15’s) moving towards us from the Sophia Islets, they were well spread out and via our hydrophone we were able to listen to some G-Clan calls of the I15 matriline. Some blows could be seen across on the Vancouver Island shoreline but most of the orcas continued close to and along Cracroft Island side. We enjoyed observing as a juvenile stopped to forage around the Baron Reefs near Cracroft Point while the rest of the family were parallel along the shoreline. There were numerous pacific white-sided dolphins swimming among the orcas who in turn were at times taking long dives as though attempting to get away from the playful antics of the dolphins. We observed a mature bald eagle sitting on a log that it shared with a crow, both of whom were looking down at the orcas below them. We also observed the I27’s swimming near Cracroft Point and along Hanson Island shoreline, at one point I77 crossed by our vessel coming alongside then moving further out to forage and it was a wonderful opportunity to see him in such a manner and for many it was the highlight of the tour. Nearing the top end of Hanson Island several orcas could be seen resting, some were drifting out with the ebb current and were well into Weynton Passage and it was here that we left them as we headed for home. As we were nearing Alder Bay it was a final treat to see once again two humpback whales, a mother and her calf, passing by close to the shore, this time they were making their way slowly east and towards a gathering of auklets and gulls who were feeding on a herring ball; they were likely the same mother and calf that we had seen earlier on in our tour. It was a day of brilliant viewing and awe-inspiring beauty leaving all of us more appreciative of the natural world in which we live in. Other sightings today included: dall’s porpoises, harbour seals, rhinoceros auklets, common murre, red-necked phalaropes, california, mew and glaucous-winged gulls, bald eagles, black turnstones and fork-tailed storm-petrals.

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