Resident orcas: A30’s, A23’s & A25’s ~ fabulous viewing

After yesterday’s gale that kept us off the water, today the sea was beautiful and calm in contrast and it was exciting news to learn early in the tour that the A30’s who had arrived into Johnstone Strait earlier this morning, spending time at the rubbing beaches and foraging off the estuary inside the Robson Bight Ecological Reserve were seen travelling towards us as  we approached the Sophia’s (Splash Rocks), coming back to the west, the A23’s and A25’s with them!  As they came towards us it was breathtaking to watch and delightful viewing, seeing the playful antics of the young calves (of A50 and A54)  interacting with each other with multiple spy-hopping and tail lobbing.  We observed A38 in the lead with A39 a distance behind, both were foraging ahead of all the others and they carried on crossing Blackney Passage before making their way along the Hanson Island shoreline, the A23’s and A25’s splitting from A50, A54 and calves, following behind A38 & A39 with A72 and at one point could be seen porpoising along at high-speed to catch up. Meanwhile A50, A54 and calves excluding A72 began crossing to the Vancouver Island shore where we eventually caught up to them and watched as they foraged intently, lunging while they fished,  resting at times with some dalls porpoises swimming amongst them.  A-Clan calls were heard via the hydrophone, some distant coming from across the Strait and loud beautiful calls nearby with echolocation, all of it superb, exciting  and music to our ears. Orcas could be seen further west off the Bauza Islets and as far as Beaver Cove and soon A73, A38 and A39 again came into view, as well the A23’s and A25’s, all of them having crossed over the Strait to rejoin A50, A54 and their off-spring. On our return back into dock at Alert Bay a small group of Pacific white-sided dolphins were sighted heading to the east close to the Government Dock. All of us (passengers and crew) enjoyed an incredible day of viewing Northern Resident orcas in Johnstone Strait, it was absolutely fantastic!

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