marvellous minke and humpback whales

Minke Whale: Bolt

Minke Whale: Bolt

Humpback Whale: Conger surrounded by rhinoceros auklets

Humpback Whale: Conger surrounded by rhinoceros auklets

What a fabulous tour with much to enjoy on the calm blue waters of the archipelago today. Shortly after leaving the dock at Alder Bay this morning a minke whale was sighted and we watched as it foraged nearby,

Conger

Conger

Touring the waterways

Touring the waterways

it was later identified by Christie as Bolt,  one of several resident minke whales in the area each summer. Crossing Weynton Passage via the Stephenson Islands, it was interesting

scenic waterway

scenic waterway

scenic snapshots

scenic snapshots

viewing numerous species with bald eagles in the treetops, hauled out harbour seals (mothers and their pups), pigeon guillemots, rhinoceros auklets, oyster catchers on the rocks, dalls

Humpback Whale:

Humpback Whale: Lefty

porpoises and also for the first time this summer, small flocks of red-necked phalaropes which were exciting to see. Bald eagles could be seen at several locations, they were feeding low, hovering over herring balls and at one point we watched as an eagle flew to its nest, its talons loaded with herring for its’ two eaglet’s in the nest. While a humpback whale blow was seen down by Weynton Island we headed across to where another humpback blow had also been sighted out towards the White Cliff Islands. Here, large numbers of rhinoceros auklets had gathered on the water and when the humpback whale surfaced close by, another whale could be seen showing a white fluke before disappearing on a dive. Meanwhile the humpback whale that continued to forage nearby, taking short dives with a few breaths between dives was identified as Conger, the other whale with the white fluke we believe to have been Guardian. A photo sent by Nicole (passenger on board) has now confirmed the whale as being Guardian. With our mainsail up and a light wind blowing, it was nice and quiet the time that we spent with the whale Conger, watching as it made its way in a circular motion foraging a specific area of the Queen Charlotte Strait.  It  was such a glorious day, the scenery around us literally sparkled, bathed in sunshine. Making our way back through the island waterways of the Plumper Islands belted kingfishers could be seen darting back and forth and hovering just inches over the water to fish. On the edge of Weynton Passage, a stellar sea lion was sighted swimming close to the rocky shoreline and once again the unmistakable blow of yet another humpback whale was sighted ahead of us, this one was later confirmed by Christie as Lefty. It was an amazing day of viewing, made even more so by our surroundings of pristine scenery viewed in all directions and stretching from the ocean to the skies of blue!

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