A30 Matriline resting quietly and Humpback Whales ++ in the near vicinity

IMG_7575 IMG_7590 IMG_7593 IMG_7600 IMG_7606 IMG_7616 IMG_7635 IMG_7653 IMG_7671 IMG_7686 IMG_7709 IMG_7725 IMG_7756 IMG_7763 It was another fabulous day. Our tour began this morning as a mystery when Orcas had been sighted by a boat in the fog that soon after, reported losing them, somewhere off Donegal Head. And so began our quest to find them, stopping frequently to listen for blows in Weynton Passage and beyond, and while Humpback Whale blows were heard in the still white denseness of the fog, the elusive Orcas we could not initially find.  Instead, a small group of lively Dall’s Porpoises joined us riding at the bow of the boat as we travelled along, they were playful darting back and forth and were a pleasing distraction for all of us! Moving further out and into the Queen Charlotte Strait a boat heading towards us but well ahead of us reported seeing orcas and we began making our way towards Bold Head. A tall fin was soon sighted, it was A39 (A30’s Matriline) and shortly after a group of resting orcas were seen ahead of us, moving it seemed towards the west in the direction of which they were pointed. Another male orca (A38) was also sighted, he too was foraging like his brother A39.  The fog still remained and it was unbelievable to suddenly sight the resting line of A50 and A54 and their calves, surface after a long dive off our bow as we sat drifting with our engine off. They moved slowly and purposely back to the east at a slow pace against the ebbing current. At the time that they had turned, A38 and A39 we observed had also turned back. A tug towing two barges suddenly loomed out of the fog, passing close to the orcas who seemed unperturbed and kept to their same direction and pace. The fog slowly peeled back revealing portions of the Coast Range Mountains, while the Queen Charlotte Strait and Blackfish Sound in particular cleared greatly giving us the opportunity to look for Humpback Whales and to also observe the A30’s at a distance where A50 and A54 and their calves were seen making their way very slowly and quietly down the centre of Blackfish Sound in a resting line while A38 and A39 foraged independently a distance behind them. We stopped to watch gulls feeding on a herring ball and observed around us in the vicinity of Blackfish Sound some 5-6 Humpback Whales. Also seen: Harbour Seals, Rhinoceros Auklets, Common Murres, Red-necked Phalaropes, Bald Eagles & Belted Kingfishers.

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