We had almost no visibility when we headed out into the mysterious fog this morning and while we had heard of a report of orcas earlier in the morning, when it is foggy, it is altogether a very different experience to find and see them.
Once we were in the area we listened for their blows and on hearing them we put down the hydrophone (underwater microphone) and were thrilled to immediately hear their beautiful A-Clan calls. As we were listening intently, a group of 4-6 Dall’s Porpoise’s passed us nearby. It was incredible hearing their “smaller” blows, as compared to the larger orca blows that we had become accustomed to hearing.
The orcas were the A5’s, the same group that were in the area yesterday. They were all spread out and foraging in the fog and we could see their fins rising magnificently and then disappear into the void, making our viewing wondrous but also eerie, hearing them around us, yet not seeing them!
As the fog began lifting we were thrilled to suddenly see a humpback whale with an orca foraging beyond it, gifting us with a beautiful image and backdrop! We were watching as the humpback whale disappeared on a dive when all of a sudden the ocean exploded and out of the water the humpback came with a huge mid-air breach!
We were all stunned! To see a humpback whale breaching is truly a fantastic sight to witness and with the presence of orcas also in our surroundings, it was a humbling and unforgettable experience.
On our way home we slowly drifted with the current in the Pearse Islands viewing bald eagles and harbour seals while exploring the underwater world in which vast bull kelp forests flourished.
It was another unbelievable trip in which everyone was so appreciative of.
Northern Resident Orca’s (A5’s), Humpback Whales, Dall’s Porpoise, Harbour Seals, Stellar Sea Lions, Bald Eagles and their nests, Red-Necked Phalaropes, Belted Kingfishers and Gull species.
~ Photo credits: Kate Hackett and AJ – Andrew Jennings
Please note, these photos were taken with a telephoto lens and cropped