Tour on September 2nd, 2014
This has been published late as internet was down in Alert Bay most of last evening.
Today’s tour was an unbelievable one in which all of our passengers arrived with smiles even though the rain looked threatening behind us and soon caught us up and yet with heavy insulated coats and trousers on, everyone stayed outside on deck, even in the rain, transfixed by the wonderful sequence of events unfolding around us! The orcas were swimming ahead of us, making their way in the last of the flooding current and moving steadily east along the Vancouver Island shoreline. We were able to clearly identify the A25’s as well the A23’s when we had a good look at A60 as he foraged but with several small fins close in along the VI shoreline, it is possible that the A43’s were also there as the numbers added up to be more than the A23’s and A25’s. Because of wet and dim weather conditions during much of our time with the orcas, we could easily have missed seeing A66 if he was off foraging (A43’s). What was really wonderful was seeing pacific white-sided dolphins in the mix with dall’s porpoises and both species interacting playfully with the younger orcas and charging back and forth! At one point we were surprised when an orca, we think that it was A85, came close chasing salmon towards the hull of our boat and surfaced near while the boat was drifting in neutral. Turning back to the west we could see a brightness in the sky, the rain had ceased and the day grew more inviting and inspiring by the minute! Just as we were nearing Weynton Passage in Johnstone Strait a large group of dall’s porpoises, 20++ arrived spontaneously and were soon riding off the bow of our boat, they travelled along, darting back and forth with their exuberant energy, it was absolutely phenomenal and the highlight of the day for some of us! Humpback whale watching was fantastic today with a count of 9, all were in the vicinity of Weynton Passage. We observed breaching, tail lobbing ++ and lunge feeding through a herring ball, a mother and her calf and three whales surfacing together at one point! The beauty of the changing light as we looked out through Weynton Passage towards the mainland where two humpback whales were seen breaching at a distance was breathtaking! Also seen today: harbour seals, rhinoceros auklets, common murres, fork-tailed storm petrels, red-necked phalaropes, bald eagles, great blue herons and gull species.
Today’s penned comments: “Great trip!! Saw everything, even in the pouring rain. Muffins and scones delicious. Maureen is extremely knowledgeable on marine life!! ” ~ Janet & Mike, Texas, USA
“Best day in BC!! Orcas, dolphins, porpoises, seals and humpbacks plus tea, muffins and scones to keep us fuelled up. Thank you Dave & Maureen” ~ Tracy, Texas, USA
“It was amazing, we have never seen this before!” ~ Christine, Simone & Gunter, Germany
“Lots of wildlife! Very enjoyable! Loved it! Scones and muffins were great too.”~ Marieke, The Netherlands
“What an amazing experience! So beautiful. Thank you so much! ” ~ Sarah, Canada