Humpback Whales, a Minke Whale, bow-riding Dall’s Porpoises and River Otters


Life is good! It was another fabulous day of viewing pristine waters abundant in marine life made up of all shapes and sizes, from tiny red-necked phalaropes dancing daintily on the water surface, to the huge and awesome humpback whales. Even before beginning our tour some embarking passengers staying at the Alder Bay Resort were excited at seeing and listening to minke whales last evening and again early this morning and so the stage was set, would we or could we top their record from the shoreline? Happily we did so as we were not too far on our travels when an energetic group of dall’s porpoises feeding in the current suddenly came alongside and rode at the bow of the boat, darting black and forth, their streamlined, yet somewhat chunky black and white bodies were delightful to watch. Scanning and scanning for a humpback whale blow or two and hearing of a report of two easting off Lizard Point it took us completely by surprise to see one off our bow a few hundred meters away and then suddenly parallel while another surfaced nearby further behind. The humpback whales were taking long dives and we were left anticipating where and when they would surface. There were at least three or possibly four humpback whales sighted, working in wide circles all in different directions, it was hard keeping track of them. As the birds (rhinoceros auklets and bald eagles) began congregating in large numbers and with the eagles fishing directly over a bait ball on the surface of the water, it made for some incredible viewing of the eagles flying in and grasping at the herring with their talons and flying off to feed themselves on the fly, or young in their nests. It was super precision timing in their touching down and taking off in barely a second between. Meanwhile, the humpback whales began surfacing as in foraging mode and they were focussed on feeding. Dall’s porpoises were seen swimming alongside one humpback whale while small groups were seen frequently throughout the tour. Red-necked Phalaropes and Common Murres were bird species seen today for the first time by us this summer, their appearance again marked an increase of food coming into the area for so many bird and marine mammal species to feed on. Nearing Alder Bay on our return, a minke whale was sighted which was fabulous to see and just as we were departing the dock and heading for Alert Bay, two river otters were seen playing on the dock! Also seen: harbour seals, rhinoceros auklets, herring, mew and glaucous-winged gulls, pigeon guillemots and belted kingfishers.

Testimonial of the day by Jan and Ellen: ‘Life is good’, so Ellen’s hat say’s but today I lived the good life and went whale watching aboard Tuan with Seasmoke Whale Watching. One hour out of Alert Bay we sighted 3 humpback whales, lots of porpoises and enjoyed an informative commentary from Maureen. ‘Life is good’ is an understatement when enjoying the personalized tour with Maureen and Dave. The warm Devonshire Cream Tea was a bonus!IMG_4599 IMG_4604 IMG_4622 IMG_4667 IMG_4747 IMG_4754

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