It was a very special day and although it began to drizzle, a scotch mist increasing by late morning, it was a happy day and everyone so enjoyed being outside in the cosy insulated jacket and pants provided; there were no complaints and no going inside because everyone wanted to stay out on deck to see and feel the elements including the rain! We arrived in Blackney Passage ahead of the orcas’s entering Johnstone Strait and while we could see them advancing off Licka Point as they made their way into Blakney Passage, we could also see a humpback whale near the light at Cracroft Point. We opted to cut our engine, deploy our hydrophone and sit and drift in the ebbing current off Blackney Passage to watch the humpback whale and to also enjoy the approach of orcas while listening to their beautiful A-Clan calls. Slowly but steadily against the current they came and beautifully so, we watched their advance and passing in awe of their grace and beauty, the A42’s and with them, A46. Close they came while we drifted listening to their calls, and yet in a moment they were gone, having passed us. They stalled near Cracroft Point where we watched them linger a short time, some foraging and resting behaviour was observed and then as we watched they began making their way across the Strait towards Vancouver Island and the Ecological Reserve. We turned up into Blackfish Sound and nearing Double Bay and the Plumper Islands we saw our second humpback whale and suddenly two more, bringing our count to four. One of the whales looked juvenile in size and thin but we were not unfortunately able to obtain a photo of the fluke. It was fabulous to see them all and while the rain continued (looking back we could see that most of Blackfish Sound was obscured in heavy drizzle and mist), we all felt so lucky seeing and hearing all that we had. Also seen: stellar sea lions, dall’s porpoises, bald eagles, rhinoceros auklets, herring and glaucous-winged gulls.
Today’s penned comments: The West Coast turned into a ‘Wet Coast’ but we had the greatest sightings: porpoises first, sea lions and then a whole group of orcas came! We saw them coming behind us, passing by in their elegant up and down movements accompanied by their calling sounds which we heard through the speakers. Most moving! We could see them for quite a long time. The rain got stronger but with the great muffins and hot beverages we hung in and got rewarded with the sightings of humpback whales which we could clearly see in the sea smoke. It was a trip to remember, with a lovely hostess who taught us a lot on the way. It was worth every rain drop! Thank you so much! Susan Lambert ~ Switzerland.
We arrived on Vancouver Island last Sunday. We did many whale watching trips starting from the villages of the North Island. This was the very best trip of all and it was different from others particularly for the type of the boat that allows better observation. Seeing killer whales was a great dream for Carlo so we really want to thank you. Hope to see you and orcas again in the future! Carlo and Sara ~ Italy