Where to begin on such a day of changing weather conditions and a magnificent mix of marine mammals! It looked as though rain would fall when we headed out and yet passing through Weynton Passage, while there was no rain, the fog loomed ahead of us and soon we had disappeared into it but not before viewing two eaglets in a nest, numerous hauled out harbour seals and seabirds, and then dall’s porpoises who quickly made their way over to us and were soon riding off our bow as we made our way towards Bold Head. What joy to have them travelling alongside, watching as they darted back and forth with their exuberant energy and then as suddenly, they turned back to feed and we carried on our way. The fog began to lift as the White Cliff Islands came into our view and with it a humpback whale and her calf! Now identified by Jackie as being Ripple BCX1063 with her new calf, seen for the first time this summer! How beautiful they were to watch and how slowly they moved to the west, the calf did not fluke while it’s mother did and it was mesmerizing to watch the gentle giant and her calf in the calm serene waters of the day. We were spellbound and while another humpback whale was seen and heard not so far away, we all suddenly became wildly distracted when the tall dorsal fins of orcas could be glimpsed on the edge of the fog, as though behind a veil, unbelievably so, we were all ecstatic!!! How exciting and fabulous for us all to see orcas and as the fog lifted further, there they were, the I15’s and the A42’s, so quiet not a peep was heard on our hydrophone as they rested quietly, swimming against the flooding current and at times, going with it, making their way slowly in Blackfish Sound. We observed tail and pectoral slapping, resting lines of them in their family groups, mothers and their calves, foraging, spyhopping and a breach! Before departing the orcas we heard the odd call and nothing more, the orcas were silent as they travelled east. Breathtaking, beautiful and astonishing! Also seen today: hauled out harbour seals, rhinoceros auklets, common murres, red-necked phalaropes, black turnstones, bald eagles, black oystercatchers, a great blue heron, glaucous-winged and herring gulls. Today’s penned comments: Weather was dubious to start (socked in and rainy) but optimism prevailed and won the day. It seemed that the extraordinary experience of having a pod of playful dall’s porpoises was going to be ‘IT’. But yeaha humpback was spotted and in the distant mist, Maureen announced she’d seen orcas. Then the show began!! Smiles all round and full tummies. I’m from Devon and I can tell you those scones were smashing. Thanks for everything. Catherine Goulet ~ Nanaimo (now).
Seals, eagles and muffins, whales, orcas and scones, what an unbelievable ‘menu’ for our 2nd day in Canada! Thank you for the wonderful trip to Paradise! Jessica and Emmanual ~ Switzerland.