The magic of Gonger the Humpback Whale!

IMG_4262 IMG_4245 IMG_4233 IMG_4232 IMG_4228 IMG_4324 IMG_4315 IMG_4313What a special and beautiful day it was, and such a contrast to the fog of yesterday with sunny sparkling skies and sea with wind and whales besides!  The NW wind was blowing when we headed out this morning and with our main-sail hoisted we headed towards Weynton Passage with the intention of carrying on out into Blackfish Sound. A blow of a humpback whale was seen twice before it fluked and disappeared, we waited for it to surface but it never did and we carried on passing through a passage of the Plumper Islands and out into Blackfish Sound where we picked up on the blow of another humpback whale while two more were reported being down in Blackney Passage.

It was such a special viewing that we shared watching Conger and sailing all the while, so much so that we decided to simply stay and enjoy the combination of the wind, the waves and the whale! Another humpback whale appeared, it passed on nearby Conger and carried on further east in the Sound. We were just about to leave the area when the whale suddenly surprised us, making its way towards us Conger stopped and with it lying very still just under the water, we could clearly make out its large left pectoral fin. We were also able to see some distinctive knobs (aka tubercles), about the size of a golf ball (each knob is a hair follicle with a single coarse hair 1-3 cm long growing out of it’s centre), we also noticed some barnacles, as well as algae/kelp growth on the tips of the fluke which makes it an easy whale to identify, as well as its distinctive dorsal fin. We had to pause and wonder, was Gonger looking back at us with curiosity, and at the large white sail on which we sailed? We passed another humpback prior to cruising through the islands on our way home; the beauty was breathtaking with bald eagles soaring, bull kelp sparkling and hauled out harbour seals unperturbed by our passing. Also seen: Dall’s porpoise, stellar sea lions, common murres, rhinoceros auklets, black turnstones, belted kingfishers and gull species.

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Today’s penned comments: “We had a great time on board and we’ve seen a lot of beautiful things. We enjoyed it very much!” Greetz from Holland

I’ve always wanted to experience the islands in this area, today fulfilled my desire. Wonderful experience just resting with Conga the Humpback Whale!

“Thank you for this unique experience! This was a real adventure. Thank you for sharing your passion and love of this landscape and all the living beings in it. Seeing Conga so close up was special. We loved also the food. Big, big thanks!” Karin & Barbe, Germany

“We loved it! One of the highlights of our BC trip”. Dave and Molly, Seattle, USA

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