It was overcast and raining when we headed out this morning but shortly after departing from Alert Bay and crossing over to Alder Bay we sighted a minke whale mid strait heading in the direction of Pearse Passage. We lost track of it when two boats travelling from
the east went by it and while we did not see it surface again, Christie later reported seeing it travelling west past Alert Bay. The weather began clearing and by the time we arrived at Weynton Passage we could see Johnstone Strait was clear and the sky was blue. The current was ebbing, harbour seals were hauled out on the Stephenson Islands and we had just made our way through Lulu Island Pass into Blackfish Sound when suddenly a humpback whale sighting was reported just off Weynton Island. It was not long before we were in the area and sighting not one but two humpback whales when two whales surfaced together side by side. They were relaxed and moving very slowly to the east against the current, moving apart as we observed them when they surfaced in different directions but not far from one another. Taking long dives of some 10 minute intervals we suddenly realized that one of the humpback whales was cruising alongside our boat on the port side, just below the surface of the water, its right pectoral fin was clearly seen and its body, just below the water, a beautiful sight and a divine moment shared by everyone on board. It was breathtaking and super exciting to see! As we were leaving the area a humpback whale surfaced nearby and with its fluke being dark when compared to the other two we had already seen, everyone onboard realized that a third whale was also in the area. The three individuals that we sighted today have now been confirmed by Christie as being Guardian and Black Pearl who have both been in the area recently (see our previous blogs) and also Lucky. Lucky is a whale whose fluke has been damaged, raked by teeth marks likely caused by biggs (transient) orcas. It was a fabulous tour with sightings of small groups of dall’s porpoises feeding as we waited for the humpback whales to surface and other sightings today included a stellar sea lion, bald eagles, rhinoceros auklets, pigeon guillemots and white-winged scoters. We were on our way home and while everyone was partaking of their Devonshire tea, Phil, a passenger onboard suddenly pointed to a humpback whale that had surfaced just behind the stern of our boat, travelling to the west in the same direction that we were. Thank’s to Christie who identified the dorsal fin for us, we can confirm that it was Lucky who was the last whale we sighted heading west on our way home! It was a fabulous ending to a really exciting encounter with three humpback whales in calm protected waters.