Sightings today: Orca, Humpback whales, Harbour seals, Stellar Sea Lion, Bald Eagles, Common Murres, Red Necked Phalaropes, Black Oystercatchers, Belted Kingfishers, Gull species and Rhinoceros Auklets
It was a mystery boat tour this morning as we started our journey in thick fog with limited visibility. Using the navigational instruments and caution, we made our way towards an area that opens up towards the expansive Queen Charlotte Strait then shut down the engines to drift silently. Humpback whale blows soon echoed eerily across the Strait, now our next task was to locate them. From the sounds of their blows it seemed as though they were traveling and on the move. This made it a little more difficult to track them. Without success we slowly moved on in search of an area free from fog. As we steadily cruised through the damp cool foggy air, on a mirrored sea, we came upon a patch of clear horizon. Suddenly our guests excitedly called out ‘blow’ and pointed in the direction of an obvious disturbance on the calm sea. As a curved black dorsal fin pierced up through the water, we knew we had Orca’s. How exciting to find this marine mammal treasure in fog and be first on the scene.
As we watched the whales travel in their devoted family groups we lowered our hydrophone to listen. Enchanting sounds filled our quiet surroundings and we couldn’t help but wonder what they were actually saying to each other. We spent an hour and a half captivated by their presence and when it was time to move on, it felt good to be the ones leaving the whales, rather than the whales leaving us. It is crucial that we enjoy these whales without interfering with what they need to do to thrive and survive.
As the fog lifted further we were able to enjoy a few Humpback whales encounters as they traveled and foraged in an area not far from the Orca’s. The birds were out in full force including over 100 Rhinoceros Auklets that searched for food, diving below the water to catch a beak-sized slivery fish. A single Stellar Sea Lion was sighted and the Bald Eagles charmed the entire area with their staunch and powerful presence.
Mother Nature challenged and gifted us today with fog to limit our vision and whales who shared their home. We are forever grateful to have the opportunity to observe such creatures, now it is our responsibility to do what we can to give back.
Seasmoke Whale Watching photo’s have been cropped and taken with a telephoto lens.