Our world is a wonderful one here on the North Island, especially when we continue to be spoiled by warm sunny days with fabulous cetacean sightings throughout the area. Nearing Alder Bay this morning we were excited to see a minke whale feeding quietly close to the shoreline and after departing from Alder Bay we were fortunate to still see the whale nearby, but little did we know that an hour later the minke whale would be fleeing for its life from four Biggs Transient orcas as they cruised near the Pearse Islands. Fortunately, the orcas did not pursue the whale and we saw it again on our way home in Pearse Passage where we observed it to be feeding quietly. The day was a beautiful one and the lighting was perfect for seeing far into the distance and we could see the blows of several humpback whales across a vast area meanwhile, resident orcas had been reported out in George Passage (near the Foster Islands) and we headed in their direction. It was the same two matrilines, the A30’s and A42’s who have been around for the last several days/weeks, together still, enjoying time resting and socializing in the ebbing current. It was fabulous to see them in this manner, they were relaxed, curious and playful. We drifted with our engine off and it seemed as they too were content with their day and enjoyed our presence as much as we enjoyed theirs. Quietly watching, all of us were mesmerized by their beauty and effortless ‘fluid movement’ through the water and were spell-bound listening to them blowing bubbles above the water, it was such a treat and the viewing was superb! On our way home we enjoyed seeing a humpback whale feeding in Cormorant Channel and the minke whale in Pearse Passage. Also seen today: stellar sea lions, harbour seals, dall’s porpoises, common murres, cassin’s auklets, marbled murrelets, great blue herons, belted kingfishers, bald eagles, harlequin ducks, red-necked phalaropes, double-crested cormorants and gull species.
Today’s penned comments: “Spectacular outing! Being a wildlife biologist I know it is hard to see animals in all of their magnificence but we did today thanks to our wonderful captain and guide.” ~ Pat, Alberta
“It was way more than I expected and you guys are wonderful hosts, thank you so much for the trip, I will never forget. I do water colour painting and I know I will have some great reference photo’s. Thanks again.” ~ Brenda
“Thank you for this great trip! It was awesome! Whales, eagles, sunny weather, tea, muffins….could not be better!” ~ Julie & Thorsten, Germany
“What a great experience! What a great day to see the orcas and all other whales. Thank you so much! ” ~Ursula & Patrick, Austria
“This was a great trip. Great boat, calm, not too many people. Good explanation by Maureen. Good skippering by Dave. Thank you very much” ~Nick & Stephan, Belgium