Even before we left the dock with our passengers from Alert Bay this morning two minke whales were sighted, travelling very slowly they were observed making their way east in front of Alert Bay. A fast moving boat not seeing the whales as they approached heading west (or so it seemed), and the whales dived and on their next surfacing were observed to be far across and close to Vancouver Island. We kept them in our sight as we ourselves crossed over to Alder Bay and once we had docked there, we sat and watched as the two whales parted company, one travelled off-shore several hundred metres while the other stayed in close to the Vancouver Island shoreline. As we waited for more passengers to board, we were occupied while watching a river otter on the dock, unperturbed by our presence, it took its time before leaping back into the water. It was fabulous observing the minke whales and smelling the pungent breathe of one, long after it disappeared beneath the water. The viewing of them was superb! Thanks to Christie, we believe one of the minke whales was Bolt and the other was likely Eclipse or Ripple, exciting news as neither Eclipse or Ripple have been sighted in our area as yet this season. The visual beauty out on the water today I can only describe as being ‘heaven on earth’, it was truly beautiful and breathtaking, each and everywhere one looked! The Coast Range Mountains today on the BC Mainland were splendid, their mountain peaks peered out at us in a beckoning fashion, the rest staying hidden beneath a blanket of fog. Suddenly the blow of a humpback whale appeared well ahead of us, the fluke following as the whale commenced to dive. It was exciting and exceptional to see the large whale moving about in the fast flowing ebbing current in Weynton Passage and then to suddenly see a second humpback whale surface simultaneously nearby the other! We have identified the first whale we saw as being White Eyes, a whale that we have seen several times so far this season, the second humpback whale was a surprise sighting and was Argonaut, the first sighting of this whale this summer! Thanks to Christie and Jackie www.mersociety.org for letting us know this exciting news. Words cannot describe the sheer magnificence of these large baleen whales on such a glorious day and to see as well dall’s porpoises feeding intently; a mother and calf nearby as we drifted in the current, was a special sight for us all to see! The island waterways glistened in vibrant colours from rocky outcrops covered in kelp to high treetops upon which bald eagles rested, the kelp forests appeared to be on fire today, the imagery of them stretching upwards from depths below to lie upon the water was fascinating. Other species also seen today included: a mink, a stellar sea lion, rhinoceros auklets, common murres, belted kingfishers, white-winged scoters, pigeon guillemots, harbour seals and gull species.
Some penned comments from our tour: What a wonderful experience! From minkes, humpbacks, sea lions, seals and eagles! So much to see and so much learned! Thanks Maureen and Dave, its been a great day. Liz & Mike ~ Ontario
Thank you for such a fun trip. I don’t know how you managed such nice weather for us! Kathy and Henry ~Alberta
The most amazing day! Thank you so much for the incredible experience and all we learned from you. Jim and Valerie ~ BC