Breaching Humpback Whales and breaching Orcas!

IMG_0718 IMG_0720 IMG_0722 IMG_0735 IMG_0742 IMG_0743 IMG_0756 IMG_0763 IMG_0772 IMG_0775 IMG_0781 IMG_0813 IMG_0818 IMG_0859We enjoyed yet another beautiful day on the water and despite the heavy fog, we had bountiful sightings of both Humpback Whales and Orcas. While Orcas (A30’s and I15’s) were reported being off  Blackney Passage earlier in the morning and prior to our leaving the dock, there were no more updates to go on when we headed down Johnstone Strait. Just past Weynton Passage in Johnstone Strait when we stopped to deploy our hydrophone to listen for possible orca vocalizations and blows we could hear the unmistakeable blow of a Humpback Whale nearby. We carried on to the east and suddenly a Humpback Whale surfaced nearby and while we stopped to watch, another Humpback Whale surfaced nearby and then another! Where to look, it was incredible, with one whale lunge feeding, the others surfacing and diving! Common Murres were everywhere which was so good to see, the male parents calling their young, sounding like penguins, their calls were all part of our morning tour and while our visibility in the fog was almost zero, it was still absolutely wonderful watching the giant Cetaceans feeding tirelessly in the flooding current spilling out of Weynton Passage, the Common Murres and Gulls alongside feeding on herring balls. When Orca blows were reported near Parsons Light in Blackfish Sound we began making our way through Weynton Passage and once in Blackfish Sound, we were suddenly surrounded by three more Humpback Whales bringing our count to at least six but likely more. Because of the fog, we will never be sure but one thing we experienced was the amazing breaching behaviour of one of the Humpback Whales of which fortunately some of our passengers were able to photograph, it breached at least four times!  As fantastic as it was, we carried on and eventually encountered some of the I15’s and the A30’s as they made their way west, more so along the Swanson Island shoreline. The fog stayed, and even while we watched, the orcas would appear and disappear into the fog, some of our visuals were incredible and for some lucky passengers onboard, they also captured a beautiful breaching Orca! Alas, not us, looking in another direction we missed the photo opportunity, but the vocalizations were stunningly beautiful, A-Clan A30’s and G-Clan I15’s, it was fabulous to simply listen and enjoy the moment. Also seen: Harbour Seals, Stellar Sea Lions, Pacific White-sided Dolphins darting back and forth along with some Dall’s Porpoises, Rhinoceros Auklets, Fork-tailed Storm-Petrels, Red-necked Phalaropes, Pelagic Cormorants, Belted Kingfishers, Herring, Mew and Glaucous-winged Gulls.

One thought on “Breaching Humpback Whales and breaching Orcas!

  1. Great day on the water, the fog just made finding the whales all the more exciting. At one point there must have been at least seven Orcas completely surrounding the boat. The fresh muffins, scones and jam and cream with tea were a perfect compliment to a most enjoyable day. Highly recommend our experienced and hospitable hosts. Intend to come up earlier next year and take the trip again. Fantastic!!!!!

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