Heading out this morning there were numerous humpback whales being reported in the area and we travelled first in the direction of them. How beautiful it was cruising through the Plumper Islands en route, observing bald eagles and some of their nests that are now empty of their fledged young! Blackfish Sound looked inviting and the blows of some four humpback whales could be seen, two of which were feeding close to the Plumper Islands shoreline working their way in circles near where a large herring ball had once been with a myriad of watchful sea birds sitting and resting nearby. The current had just turned to flood and more and more auklets and murres began arriving on scene to feed. Orcas were reported travelling to the west at Naka Creek in Johnstone Strait and we headed east in Blackfish Sound, passing stellar sea lions, dalls porpoises (who rode briefly at the bow of our boat as we travelled along), as well, two small groups of pacific white-sided dolphins. Entering Johnstone Strait we were soon in sight of seeing orcas, they were well spread out and had travelled west, passing quickly through the Robson Bight Ecological Park and we encountered them just past the western boundary of the reserve. They continued moving quickly, favouring the Vancouver Island shoreline, some moving centre Strait, travelling and foraging as they went, the A30’s: A50/ A54 with their young calves were swimming closer to the VI shoreline, with A38 more mid Strait yet foraging parallel to his family and it was wonderful listening to A-Clan vocalizations via our hydrophone when we first encountered the orcas coming out of the reserve. There were a number of orcas in the Strait today and well spread out with even more following behind the A30’s and I15’s, likely A5’s who have been in close range as well. Also seen and not yet mentioned: harbour seals, fork-tailed storm petrels, belted kingfishers, red-necked phalaropes and gull species.
Today’s penned comments: “Beautiful weather, nice people, great service; good scones! And the whales and orca’s are amazing! Swimming around the boat and a nice explanation to go with it. Great! Greetings from Holland” ~ Marten& Marianne, Collin, Sheila and Zoe
“Thank you for a wonderful tour. Lots of local knowledge and so nice to have a proper Devonshire tea!” ~ Kalinya & Tony, Australia
“Hard to find words that describe the moment when we could clearly see the first whale fin. Maureen had prepared us with information that helped us understand what we saw. Best high tea in the new world! Thanks Maureen & Dave” ~Joyce, BC
“What a beautiful land we live in and this visit to this part of BC has been so great! Today’s trip to see whales was so magnificent – humpbacks, orcas, porpoises, pacific white-sided dolphins! Wow, wow, wow. And the scenery of islands, rocks and birds completed a perfect trip, not to mention the muffins and scones – loved them! ~ Nina, Ontario
“It is great to be able to sit and see, hear and feel the sound/seascape of Johnstone Strait and Blackfish Sound today. The humpbacks were wonderful to hear and see, the orca though they were foraging quite quickly were special to see. Thank you Maureen and David. My four school mates I have not seen for over 30 years and they had a wonderful time on your Seasmoke Tours. As I sit writing I am listening to them laugh and sing. Blessings and love” ~ Rob, BC
“I didn’t want to come on the trip because I get motion sickness. However, if Robin had told me from the first that there would be delicious muffins and scones on boards I would have signed on immediately. The scenery was beautiful and the weather perfect. Thank you! ~ Lisa, Ontario