Humpback whales and Orcas in the fog!


Today’s sightings: Orcas, Humpback whales, Dall’s porpoises, Harbour Seals, Bald Eagles and two Eaglets, Great Blue Herons, Black Turnstones, Black Oystercatchers, Belted Kingfishers, Common Murres, Rhinoceros Auklets and Red-necked Phalaropes.

Conditions were challenging on the water today as thick fog had formed overnight and was in our company for most of our tour. It had a dense feel about it as well as a slight hint of orange to its colour. Like a fancy cocktail, our fog was now mixed with another substance, smog. The fires that have been burning for the past few weeks, throughout the interior of BC, has caused so much smoke. This smoke has finally made it to Vancouver Island. Although the sun was out in full rays, this fog acted like a barrier, denying us the heat kindly offered.

We had beautiful encounters with three Humpback Whales and two were identified as Squiggles and Guardian. The best part about watching Humpbacks fluke rise up from the sea, is the rate in which it occurs, as though in slow motion. This gives our guests time to take a photograph to capture a memory ‘on film’ and we get a moment to view their unique patterns on the underside of the tail using binoculars. This tells us not only which whale we are observing, we can then look up the historical record and find out information about the individual. It is wonderful to find out whether the whale is female or male, perhaps it was seen with a first calf last year so we get an idea of the age, and we may even have notes about sightings of this particular whale elsewhere, so we know it’s migration route.

Our viewing of Orcas today was superb, the A5’s and I15’s were among those seen while resting, travelling and socializing activity was observed. How great a day it was indeed!

Seasmoke Whale Watching photo’s have been taken with a telephoto lens and cropped

Splendid moments of viewing Orcas on a superb sea!

IMG_5466IMG_5493IMG_5506IMG_5511IMG_5531IMG_5546IMG_5548IMG_5549August 5,

Today’s sightings: Orca, Humpback whales, Dalls porpoises, Harbour Seals, Bald Eagles, Rhinoceros Auklets, Red-necked Phalaropes, Black Turnstones, Black Oystercatchers, Great Blue Herons, Common Murres and Gull species.

It was a busy day in Alert Bay as people from all over the province arrived on our island to take part in the now famous – Alert Bay 360; a kayak race around Cormorant Island. It is an annual event where professional kayakers will enter as well as those that simply want to join in, just for the fun of it. You can literally win the best prize just by participating, no matter where you come in the race.

Speaking of winning prizes, our guests on each tour today won the prize of seeing Orcas and some were even lucky enough to see both an Orca and a Humpback whale breech as well as a Humpback whale tail lobbing. How stunning it is to witness an eight ton black and white whale leap clear out of the water, and crash back down causing a chaotic splash.

We have been viewing the A5’s, I15’s and A30’s for the last few days so we are becoming familiar with their movements around the region. Where the salmon go the Orcas will follow as it is salmon (mostly Spring salmon) that is the favourite item on the resident killer whale diet. Both salmon and the whales make good use of currents and back eddies formed by massive amounts of water moving steadily along the coast. No matter what the wind is the doing, the stronger force is always from the sea

Despite the limited visibility with fog on our morning tour our experienced skipper was able to find the orcas and share the spectacle with our keen and interested visitors as well for the afternoon and evening tours that followed. Our visitors marvelled while listening to the vocalizations of the Orca and were in awe at the size and broadness of the Humpback whale flukes that literally filled a good portion of the horizon as these gentle animals prepared for a deep dive.

These were all splendid moments on a superb sea, and for visitors on the last tour of the day, they were fortunate to witness an amazing spectacle of orcas in passing. Their last vivid moments of seeing orcas was of a glassy calm sea and a fabulous sunset with fog in the distance! Mesmerizing and spectacular, those images as a memory will last a long while in their minds!

Seasmoke Whale Watching photo’s have been taken with a telephoto lens and have been cropped.