Extraordinary Humpback Whale watching and also Orcas!

IMG_9374 IMG_9378 IMG_9381 IMG_9385 IMG_9388 IMG_9448 IMG_9449 IMG_9454 IMG_9455 IMG_9466 IMG_9472 IMG_9479 IMG_9498 IMG_9501 It was an amazing day for viewing Cetaceans but in which direction should we take? Orcas were reported down in Johnstone Strait with conflicting reports and sightings, there was a Commercial Fishing opening as well as fog in Johnstone Strait. We decided to take the less travelled route, with less boat traffic and fog and found ourselves suddenly alone amongst numerous Humpback whales, at least 7-8 as we transited through Weynton Passage and out into the Queen Charlotte Strait. It was amazing to see the whales so spread out feeding in all directions, some were lunge feeding through herring balls, others could be seen breaching off in the distance off Bold Head and also off Donegal Head; we also listened to some interesting Humpback Whale vocals via our hydrophone. It was while we were observing some lunge feeding Humpback Whales that Orcas were reported coming in off Lizard Point and then off Fife Sound,  meanwhile a Humpback Whale surfaced suddenly very near our boat and began to hang vertically with its mouth open and gaping and then closing it, repeating the process two more times as we watched with amazement, it was exceptional viewing! Over the side of the boat we could look down at the huge body lying vertically in the water, its left pectoral fin visible as we looked and then in a moment, it dived,  surfacing again it continued to feed but not in the manner that we had been so fortunate to witness. We continued further out into the Queen Charlotte Strait travelling north and suddenly sighted orcas travelling east and due south. They were well spread out some 8 plus individuals, one large male was sighted closer to Malcolm Island and we believe they were the A34’s (10 orcas). It was exciting to see them and listen to their vocalizations via the hydrophone which were beautiful A-Clan calls! As we watched, they suddenly turned back, travelling further out in the Strait towards the Penfold Islands. Also seen today: Dall’s Porpoises, Stellar Sea Lions, Harbour Seals, Black Oyster Catchers, Bald Eagles, Fork-tailed Storm-Petrels, a Peregrine Falcon (photo zoomed and cropped) , Common Murres, Rhinoceros Auklets, Red-necked Phalaropes and Gulls ++

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