Where to begin on such a wonderful day of watching whales in Blackfish Sound and Johnstone Strait? When we headed out this morning the wind was still a light NW wind and on leaving Alder Bay we hoisted our main sail and headed in the direction of Weynton Passage where almost immediately we sighted a humpback whale, the first of many that we saw today. The current was ebbing and we were soon in Blackfish Sound and viewing humpback whales, we were seeing them in all directions, near and far away! It was fantastic seeing some 8-9 individual whales, some far out into the Queen Charlotte Strait and others in Blackfish
Sound and Weynton Passage. While making our way down Blackfish Sound viewing humpback whales along the way we were keeping track of the whereabouts of the A23’s & A25’s who had been foraging in
the Robson Bight Ecological Reserve slowly making their way to the west and on them leaving the Reserve Boundary we were at Cracroft Point in Johnston Strait with our mainsail down and our staysail up. The strength of the NW wind had picked up and the stay sail maintained our sailing ability and also our vessel stability, giving us a comfortable ride. It was fabulous sailing and suddenly we were seeing the A23’s & A25’s, nearby in a resting line and then grouping together and making headway towards Cracroft Point in the choppy waters. The A23’s were in the lead with the A25’s behind, all of them foraging close along the shoreline just east of Cracroft Point on West Cracroft Island and with our hydrophone trailing we briefly heard some A-Clan calls. Suddenly, A60 appeared just off the bow of the boat, accelerating rapidly he was soon behind us, chasing salmon along with A61 & A85 who had been seen only moments earlier foraging behind us. Everyone was thrilled at seeing A60 as he raced on by and the powerful intent and energy that he displayed, it was breathtaking watching him in those moments. We carried on to the west as the orcas made their way west along the Hanson Island shoreline and getting ahead of them we made our way back into Weynton Passage and the Plumper Islands, viewing yet another humpback whale who suddenly surfaced and dived near the bow of the boat, surprising all of us and leaving a lasting impression with us, especially for those seated near the bow of the boat! Also seen today: harbour seals, a stellar sea-lion, dall’s porpoises, rhinoceros auklets, pigeon gullimots, black oyster catchers, ruddy turnstones, belted kingfishers, 3 great blue herons, california, herring and glaucous-winged gulls, bald eagles and an eaglet in the nest.