It was surprising to awaken to a beautiful clear morning in Alert Bay and discover later on, fog descending mid-way as we were crossing over to Alder Bay. At the dock in Alder Bay we enjoyed some wonderful viewing of a mother river otter and her two kits as they played along the dock and boardwalk. With their heads peeping out from behind a plank, and them looking at us as though they thought we could not see them, it was a comical moment for us before they went about their business, playing along the boardwalk. We travelled out through Pearse Passage into Cormorant Channel where we had our first sighting of a humpback whale foraging through what remained of a herring ball, the fog had cleared off and the visibility was good at the time of our viewing. As we neared Donegal Head the fog had closed in again and we cut the engine to listen for blows and possible vocalizations. As we listened, we could hear both orca and humpback whale blows and also G-Clan orca vocalizations via our hydrophone. Stopping frequently to listen and working together with other boats of the whale watching community we caught up to a large group of orcas who were well spread out and foraging in the flood current in the Queen Charlotte Strait passing a second humpback whale along the way. The fog had cleared and the viewing was fantastic, as were the A & G-Clan vocalizations that we listened to while drifting in the current. There was mixing of family groups with orcas being spread far across, foraging back and forth with A30, A8, A25 & I15 matrilines, and possibly A23’s were among them as well and as we observed, two more humpback whales were sighted travelling east close along the Malcolm Island shoreline, parallel to where we were viewing from. It was especially exciting having A30, A38 and A39 forage nearby and the A8’s foraging at the stern of the boat having chased salmon alongside the hull, the vocals at that time were phenomenal! It was exciting today to see once again the familiar flight and sight of the sooty shearwaters making their way from their Alaskan feeding grounds, passing through on their migration to Islands in the Pacific Ocean off New Zealand, Australia, Chile & the Falklands where they will breed and feed. Making our way back home, two more humpback whales were sighted! Also seen: harbour seals, stellar sea lions, rhinoceros auklets, common murres, red-necked phalaropes, glaucous-winged gulls & bald eagles & marbled murrelets.

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