Humpback and minke whale watching!

Minke Whale: Ripple

Minke Whale: Ripple

3 herring gulls (juvenile and 2nd summer) and 1 hybrid glaucous -winged gulls

Today was an amazing day for viewing cetaceans despite the fog conditions that we encountered early on in our tour that later changed to drizzle. Our sights and sounds began while we were docked in Alder Bay this morning when we heard the distinct blow of a humpback whale nearby but due to the fog that stretched across the Strait we could not see it. Once underway we listened for blows and then

harbour seals

harbour seals

Humpback whale KC - dorsal fin

Humpback whale KC – dorsal fin

suddenly sighted a minke whale disappearing in the fog. The blow of a minke whale is considerably smaller than that of a humpback whale and this was not the sound that we had heard earlier while docked in Alder Bay. After

KC's - fluke on diving

KC’s – fluke on diving

several sightings of the minke whale Ripple (i’d later by Jared), observing as it foraged, and then two bald eagles chasing a gull that luckily escaped, we continued on our way. A small group of pacific white-sided dolphins were sighted and we watched as they foraged intently at the bow and around the boat. Two humpback whales had been reported near Weynton Island and heading in that direction, after some anxious moments and eager anticipation, we heard the blow of a humpback whale and there it was! It was KC (Kelp Creature) the 11 year old humpback whale who has been in the area frequently already this summer and has returned every year since its birth in 2002. We enjoyed some special viewing in quiet waters with KC and following slowly  we observed as he/she made its way through the inside passage of Weynton Island, viewing hauled out harbour seals as we went by. The fog remained heavy and with the current ebbing strongly in Weynton Passage we eventually lost track of KC but caught a brief glimpse of a minke whale in passing. Other sightings today included: dall’s porpoises, rhinoceros auklets, harlequin ducks,  cassins’ auklets, belted kingfishers, bald eagles, a great blue heron and pigeon guillemots.

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