What an extraordinary day it was, the sights and sounds were unbelievable and breathtaking! Leaving this morning our tour took us out through Weynton Passage and the scenic Island waterways of the Plumper Islands into the top end of Blackfish Sound where the fins and blows of orcas could be seen spread out across to Swanson Island. We made our way, part way across and with our main sail hoisted we cut the engine and sailed quietly along with our hydrophone trailing and listened to the wonderful G-Clan calls initially from the I15’s but mostly A-Clan calls from the A30’s and A8’s. The I15’s were travelling along the Swanson shoreline and further out off Bold Head, seemingly in the lead while the A30’s, although they were also well spread out, they too were foraging but more into the centre of Blackfish Sound with the flood current moving some of them across towards Donegal Head and then out into the Queen Charlotte Strait. On our arrival, the orcas had been taking long dives and it was not long before we realized the reason why when several pacific white-sided dolphins were seen surfacing and swimming in their midst, they were playful especially with the A50 and A54 calves, A72 in particular. We enjoyed observing the A50’s and A54’s foraging nearby and listening to their loud vocalizations and ecolocation as they foraged back and forth and then watched in amazement as the A8’s commenced foraging alongside the hull of the boat, circling back and forth of their own accord as they had done so yesterday, and several passengers watched in astonishment as two very large salmon swam by, followed by an orca who was chasing them. We continued listening to their calls even as they all moved further north and it was wonderful to sit in the sunshine on such a beautiful day listening to their calls, their blows and also the blows of numerous humpback whales who could be seen near and far away in all directions! Leaving the orcas we turned our attention towards the humpback whales and enjoyed viewing them as they worked back and forth, it was easy to lose count as they were circling around in the flood current, there were some 7 ++ whales sighted. Tail lobbing was seen a distance away but one whale breached twice very close to the boat which was exciting to see, as was some active lunge feeding with two whales in the midst of a herring ball. The sooty shearwaters were again sighted in large numbers, gathering further out in the Queen Charlotte Strait where other birds were also feeding on herring balls. Other sightings included: harbour seals, rhinoceros auklets, common murre, red-necked phalaropes, stellar sea lions, glaucous-winged gulls, bald eagles and pelagic cormorants.

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