What a great day we had today, beginning with heavy fog that began clearing as we travelled along the Swanson Island Shoreline in Blackfish Sound, this was after a beautiful interlude of viewing a small group of dall’s porpoises feeding and numerous hauled out harbour seals and bald eagles++, many of them sitting in treetops and on rocky outcrops drying out their feathered wings! We observed a humpback whale near to Flower Island and travelled on towards Blackney Passage where Biggs Transient Orcas had been reported and while we saw them in the distance, when approaching Blackney Passage they had disappeared, however the orcas that we saw in Johnstone Strait turned out to be Biggs Transients after all! They were a small group of five orcas, the T46B’s and included a calf born in 2013, T46B4. The I15’s and A42’s on the Vancouver Island shoreline had travelled to the far west crossing we believe over to Weynton Passage, meanwhile we saw a humpback whale surface on the Vancouver Island shoreline across from Blackney Passage and then one surfaced suddenly at Cracroft Point! Unbelievable was the activity in Johnstone Strait today! The humpback whale was actively feeding in the flooding current in Blackney Passage just as a Tug boat and barge passed through. We carried on towards Weynton Passage and encountered incoming resident orcas A5’s (A23’s and A25 matrilines) travelling to the east in Johnstone Strait accompanied by the I15’s and the rest of the A5’s, the A42’s. What an incredible day it has been! Also seen: black turnstones, black oyster catchers, rhinoceros auklets, common murres.
Today’s penned comments: “Waking up, lots of fog out there. It was already impressive to see the islands covered in clouds. The whales took their time, but made us happy at the end of the sailing trip. Incredible experience! All with lovely food. Thank you for a wonderful day!” Andrea and Charlotte ~ Germany
“This was truly awesome. Beautiful this morning with the fog creeping around the islands – looked so primordial and eden-like. We saw many eagles by the islands and harbour seals. Then we saw the orcas, lots of orcas. A few even came up for a look-see, even mama, babies and a big male. We also saw Humpback whales. A trip to remember. The muffins and cones with jam and whip cream were quite delicious, as well as the chocolate, coffee and tea to warm up. Mike and Maureen are knowledgable and gracious hosts. You can tell they really love the orcas, whales and marine life here. It is quite refreshing to see folks who truly respect and love the environment they live in. Thank you for such a wonderful experience.”
~ Mike McMullan and Ginger Van Divier ~ Arizona, USA
“Thank you for your fresh muffins, English scones, hot chocolate and a heart full of hope. The orcas were pretty awesome too!” Corinne and Todd ~ White Rock, BC