Words cannot describe the unbelievable close interaction and encounters we were so fortunate to experience today. It was an amazing day for viewing the A5 Pods of Orcas, especially the A8 matriline! While we were making our way towards Weynton Passage in the fog this morning it was reported that Orcas were approaching the Wastell Islets. Turning back, it seemed only short minutes before passengers onboard were pointing to splashes they could see along the Vancouver Island shoreline. Identified as Dalls Porpoises, everyone relaxed, only to become intensely excited when the first tall dorsal fin of an Orca came into view! Soon there were more fins and suddenly before we knew it they were all around us, at the bow of the boat briefly, before passing on. It was astonishing, seeing them so suddenly, looming out of the dense fog, swimming nearby, foraging alongside the hull of the boat and also frolicking, playfully it seemed; the interaction beginning as quickly as it ended, leaving images alive and dynamic inside each of our minds. Everyone was thrilled and we carried on, following at a distance, keeping them in sight ahead in the fog that lingered around us. We found ourselves inside Beaver Cove in a swirl of fog with A66 foraging back and forth beside us and suddenly they turned, heading back towards the entrance of the Cove and then it happened, orcas before us, orcas behind us, where to look? Dalls Porpoises were also porpoising about and the energy they possessed was infectious. Suddenly people on the starboard side of the boat laughed out loud, incredibly an orca had come alongside the hull and stationing itself there momentarily, it proceeded to blow bubbles, the water-spout of which, wet those (passengers) looking down at the orca, it then swam purposely under the boat to the other-side. Meanwhile, at the starboard stern, another orca proceeded to lie, upside down and float, literally just under the surface of the water. Moments only, but lasting forever, or so it seemed. Curious and comical, it was most definitely a playful encounter of which the orcas appeared to partake in with gusto and without any fear. Our boat, with the engine off and drifting was surrounded by playful and trusting friends who came for ‘a look-see’ just as we were looking at them. A-Clan calls and echolocation had also been heard and the A23’s and A25’s were also seen. While the A23 and A25 pods had not ventured as far into Beaver Cove, they were the first to commence travelling back to the east in Johnstone Strait. Leaving the area we made our way through the Plumper Islands and while the fog was heavy, we listened for blows of Humpback Whales. We heard their blows, possibly two of them but could not see them, just a glimpse of a fluke as one disappeared from sight in the fog. And then, there they were, the same two, or two more? We will never know but two beautiful humpback whales appeared out of the clearing fog and mesmerizing us with their synchronized swimming, they orchestrated their dive sequence before us. It added much to the tour, a Grande finale on a scale of greatness and an ending we could not have imagined happening. Also seen: Harbour Seals, a Stellar Sea Lion, Rhinoceros Auklets, Belted Kingfishers, Common Murres, Red-necked Phalaropes, Pigeon Guillemots, Bald Eagles, Herring, Glaucous, Mew and California Gulls.