Tears of Joy ~ Humpback Whales, Orcas and a Sea Otter!

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Our sightings:
Orcas (A25’s/A23’s), six Humpback Whales, one Sea Otter, Dall’s Porpoises, Harbour Seals, Bald Eagles, Red-Necked Phalaropes, Rhinoceros Auklets, Pigeon Guillemots, Marbled Murrelets, Belted Kingfishers and Gull species.

What an amazing day, a calm sea with clear visibility everywhere we looked. We caught sight of our first Humpback Whale which was Argonaut and sightings of Ojos Blancos and Guardian followed. It was very exciting because as we were waiting for a humpback whale to surface, we suddenly spotted a Sea Otter swimming on its back then rolling and diving, then up it would come again and again as it swam along. The Humpback Whale Slash and her new calf were also observed, they were headed towards Weynton Passage, following behind the other three whales we had already seen, for they were now all travelling back into Weynton Passage. The whales were all taking long dives and Slash and her calf were a beautiful pair to watch, the calf keeping close to its mother’s side.

Orcas were reported travelling into the east end of the Robson Bight (Michael Bigg) Ecological Reserve and we headed in their direction, viewing a Humpback Whale while passing through Blackney Passage. At the time of our arrival the orcas were spread out well inside the Reserve boundary, foraging close to the Tsitika River Estuary. We sat drifting with our engine off, watching and waiting and were fortunate when they swam past the western Boundary of the Reserve. They were the A23’s/ A25’s and as we sat idle and drifting we observed while an adult male orca foraged parallel to the rest of the orcas who foraged close along the Vancouver Island shoreline. We could hear echolocation via our hydrophone as A61 foraged closer and what a wonderful sight it was to see him.

It was an emotional sighting for some on board the boat today, especially for Pamela who has waited so long to see orcas in the wild. Keeping to her promise to not ever visit an aquarium again that held orcas after she had watched two orcas held in captivity as a child some 20 years ago. Bravo A61, swimming wild and free, he gave to all of us, a heartfelt and magnificent viewing and tears of joy as well!

Please note ~ the photo’s are taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

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