Magical & ghostly whale watching ~ Orcas: A30’s & A36’s

Wow! What a wonderful day of viewing Orcas in Blackfish Sound and while the viewing was shrouded with fog, it was exceptional. Leaving the dock this morning the fog looked to be clearing as we made our way towards the Stephenson Islands, passing a small group of Pacifc White-sided Dolphins en route. As we neared the Plumper Islands the fog thickened and our visibility decreased but still allowed for us to look for orcas. Crossing towards the Swanson Island shoreline and just as the island was coming into view, through the fog a passenger suddenly pointed to some large black fins looming before us and there they were! A50 and A54 and their calves were suddenly at the bow of our boat, A46 (from the A36’s) was also swimming with them. In the moments that followed, all of us enjoyed some fabulous viewing as the orcas foraged for salmon alongside of and around the bow of the boat as it drifted in the current with the engine off. Their air bubbles could be seen emerging from below, as well as large fish scales floating in the water, likely that of spring salmon they had just caught at close range below the boat. We were also given a rare glimpse of seeing them swimming under the water, their bodies sleek, streamlined and effortless it seemed as they swam by, all of us excited and waiting for the moment of their surfacing. It was a truly remarkable experience, all of this happening while we listened to their beautiful A-Clan calls coming from all directions around us! As the orcas continued to forage we followed at a distance, keeping them within our sight as the fog still remained dense. We enjoyed watching numerous playful interactions between the younger calves with tail slapping, spy-hopping and jostling behaviour at the surface seen; it was delightful viewing and kept us all keenly observant. Also seen today, passing by us two humpback whales in close proximity to the Orcas, Dall’s porpoises, Harbour Seals, a Stellar Sea-lion, Bald Eagles, Oyster Catchers, Belted Kingfishers, Common Murres, Rhinoceros Auklets, Herring and California Gulls.

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