FANTASTIC! How else to express in words describing the tour as it unfolded for us today, we could never in our wildest imagination have dreamed up so much magic and beauty in the hours that we were on the water. From beginning to end, writing fails to portray the scenic and cetacean wonderland of which we were all gifted today! Departing on tour this morning the sun was shining and the fog was mostly gone, it looked to be a beautiful day and so touring through the Stephenson Islands was a peaceful and reflective one as we feasted on fresh-baked muffins and hot beverages, awaiting our first cetacean sighting. As we travelled slowly east along the Hanson Island shoreline we suddenly caught sight of a humpback whale blow and could see that the whale was close in along the rocky shoreline. As it negotiated around a reef covered in kelp, we turned back to take a closer look and realized with amazement that it had begun to bubble net! It was wonderful to watch the whale set its net with bubbles appearing in a small and perfect ring and then lunge feed up through the bubble net, each and every time followed by it diving and fluking. It was extremely exciting to simply sit and observe in fascination while the bubble net feeding played out to perfection! Brilliant, marvellous and profoundly wonderful, all of us were thrilled to share in this very special viewing. The orcas came next and they too were wonderful to see, two families: the A30’s and then the A42’s who followed along behind the A30’s. It appeared that A38 and A50 and her calves went out through Blackney Passage in the ebbing current while A54 and her calves took the passage at the bottom of Little Hanson Island, with the A42’s following them. The viewing became all the more phenomenal when in Blackfish Sound with orcas travelling slowly west, that three humpback whales appeared altogether suddenly nearby, their blows and those of the orca’s punctuated the quietness of Blackfish Sound and stillness of the day. There was so much activity to look at and our heads were spinning as orcas were seen alongside humpback whales and dolphins darting about, salmon jumping out of the water and dall’s porpoises were also seen! Altogether today we counted 12 humpback whales, one of whom was seen at a distance waving and slapping its pectoral fin. The A-Clan vocalizations of the orcas were beautiful to listen to as we sat idle and drifting with our engine off, the lighting was silvery, pink with blue hues reflected upon the water. Also seen today: Stellar sea lions, harbour seals, rhinoceros auklets, common murres, fork-tailed storm petrels, red-necked phalaropes, belted kingfishers, bald eagles and gull species.
Today’s penned comments: “What great hosts. The trip exceeded our expectations. It was for sure a “sensory overload. Thank you so much” ~ Rick & Mary Jo, Oregon, USA
“Coming from tiny, gray Belgium, we got blown away on this trip full of amazing sights and loads of wildlife. We will never forget this. Also amazing scones!” ~ Jean & Late, Belgium
“Thank you for sharing with us the beauty among this world with your passion and your respectful attitude. Today has been a day we will long remember. It was simply SPECTACULAR! Thanks to you and nature for bringing us out and safely back to shore. Grook!” ~ James & Laeti, Canada and Switzerland
“Fantastic day on the water, seen more orcas and whales than we could have hoped for. A very nice atmosphere on the boat with delicious scones and tea. Thanks a lot!” ~ Martin & Janet, Netherlands
“Awesome! Wouldn’t have expected to see so many orcas and humpback whales. Great day and great hosts. Simply great! ” ~ Monica & Bianca, Switzerland