It was a beautiful and blustery trip today. We had some excellent viewing of hauled out Pacific Harbour Seals and Bald Eagles (juvenile and adult) all soaring high above, we counted ten or more of them, all the while to the tune of Black Oystercatchers who were calling out loudly from the rocks nearby. We caught sight of a few large blows down in Blackfish Sound and happy to have found some Humpback Whales, we did not expect what we saw next! As we drew nearer we could make out the splashes of some very excited Pacific White-Sided Dolphins, always fun to be with they did not disappoint us today. It seemed that they were congregating around the one, no two, Humpback Whale blows that we at first saw! It turned out to be a mother and her young calf, swimming very slowly. The dolphins however wanted to play, and play they did!
The mother Humpback let out many loud trumpeting sounds as she blew (out her two blowholes), seemingly irritated by her small and (distant) annoying dolphin relatives (all of them collectively called are called cetaceans). The dolphins were jumping and flipping and swimming all around the mother and calf and coming all around the boat as well. It was quite the sight and we had an excellent time just taking it all in. We put the hydrophone in the water and the chirps and squeals of the high pitched dolphins could be heard. The Humpbacks did not take a dive, it is possible that the calf was breast feeding as we observed, the mother under the water and the calf coming to the surface often to breathe. The youngin seemed to almost enjoy the dolphins as it rolled around and popped its small rostrum above the water. Perhaps the dolphins were welcoming the new whale to these waters…we will never really know the full extent of these interspecies relationships. Perhaps the dolphins weren’t entirely pesky and were offering some sort of assistance to the mother and her calf, perhaps they were simply enjoying and observing out of interest, like we ourselves were, the beauty and wonder of the mother and her calf.
As well as the mother and her calf there were some three to four other humpback whales also in the area today. It was a truly beautiful experience to watch this interaction between the whales and dolphins and then, through wild wind and turbid waters we made our way safely home, all of us smiling!
Today’s penned comments:
“Thanks for a wonderful return visit”
Darnell & Kevin Knauss, “class of 1988” , California
“I wish I could wake up to those scones every morning! Thanks for an awesome journey! Will be back”
Siera Hammill, Ontario
“Spectacular trip – over too soon. Great fun. Thank you”
John , Colorado