It had rained heavy overnight and was drizzling when we headed out this morning with heavy cloud cover in sight and mist lying low over the water. Crossing Weynton Passage small groups of dall’s porpoises, hauled out harbour seals and a black- tailed deer grazing on a rocky outcrop on a small island were seen however entering Blackfish Sound the visibility deteriorated considerably.
East of Flower Island the mist suddenly began to clear and with the engine off and the boat drifting we listened for blows. While the sounds of bird calls from Swanson Island were beautiful to listen to it was a blow that we were all intent on hearing and there it was, loud and distinct coming from the direction of Bold Head. Heading back up the Sound we were soon in sight of a humpback whale disappearing from sight while it dived, moving east in Blackfish Sound. When it surfaced again we watched as it suddenly changed direction and crossing over, it made its way directly towards our boat. As it approached the engine was cut and spellbound we all watched as it sped by directly under the bow of the boat, watching it under the water, the pectoral fins were clearly visible. It all happened so quickly, our reaction could only have been one of awe and amazement and then, so quickly it surfaced, enabling us to clearly view its two blow holes. It was an amazing spectacle and an unbelievable sighting, and one not easily forgotten; the image filling our minds and our memory banks for a long while yet! As it turned out, there was a second humpback whale that surfaced close-by and soon after both of them were observed travelling together briefly before they separated again to feed. The humpback whales were identified as Black Pearl and Twister and it was Black Pearl with whom we were gifted the close encounter this morning. Even though the day was grey, the water was calm and quiet during our viewing and the lighting quite magnificent. Small fish +++ were viewed jumping all along the Swanson Island shoreline in the vicinity of where the whales were feeding and rhinoceros auklets were sighted flying in, in increasing numbers to also feed on the tiny fish. It was one of those fabulous day ‘s that left all of us on board, passengers and crew, smiling!