Northern Resident Orcas: A25’s/A23’s, A42’s, several Humpback Whales including a mother and her calf, Pacific White-sided Dolphins, Dall’s Porpoises, Harbour Seals, Bald Eagles, Rhinoceros Auklets, Pigeon Guillemots, Red-Necked Phalaropes, Belted Kingfishers, a Rufous Humming Bird and Gull species.
It was an amazing morning that we shared with our passengers including two families who have sailed with us on the S.V.Tuan several times in previous years. It was fabulous to see them all waiting on the dock for us in Alder Bay and for them to experience such a great day of viewing on board M.V. Seasmoke!
It was also a great morning for early sightings of orcas, beginning with a tall dorsal fin surfacing close to the shore at the Bauza Islets. Making his way into Beaver Cove we identified A60 in the lead followed by his sister A43, both were foraging and resting briefly. There were Pacific White-sided dolphins foraging nearby at Lewis Point and two more orcas who we later identified as A61 and A85 (A25’s). Although we listened on our hydrophone the orcas were mostly silent and we heard just a few calls when A69 and her calves caught up to A43 and A60.
We enjoyed superb viewing as the A23 Matriline began making their way north across Johnstone Strait in the direction of Weynton Passage with A61 and A85, following behind them.
The morning became even more active with sightings of three humpback whales feeding in circles in Weynton Passage, Dalls Porpoises ‘rooster tailing’ nearby and orcas travelling out through Weynton Passage! As we sat quietly with our boat engines off, a Rufus Humming Bird buzzed around us and on several occasions landed on passengers clothing, again and again, attracted by the bright colours of their suits and the children’s life jackets. It was a priceless and very rare moment seeing the tiny bird, hovering over the cool swirling waters with huge Humpback Whales nearby!
Our afternoon tour was extremely diverse and wonderful, the flooding current added greatly to the mix as at one point we had wonderful viewing of orcas on one side of the boat and humpback whales on the other. Slash and her calf were both very active with the calf breaching and Slash half breaching multiple times. It was an amazing experience with so much feeding activity in the current, seeing a rhinoceros auklet surface with herring in its beak did not go unnoticed as well as the dall’s porpoises darting back and forth!