Orcas (A25’s/ A23’s), Humpback whales, Pacific White-sided dolphins, Harbour seals, Stellar sea lions, Dall’s porpoises, Gull species, Bald Eagles, Rhinoceros and Cassin’s Auklets, Common Murres and Belted Kingfishers.
It was another hide and seek tour today as fog drifted in and out, at times limiting our ability to only a few hundred meters. Although it is challenging finding whales in fog, it can be even trickier keeping them in our sights. In this misty grey environment Orcas appear to stand out even more so against the grey backdrop and since fog acts as some kind of sound barrier, their blows sound even louder.
Shutting down the engine and drifting in silence is often the best way to experience the whales in these kind of conditions. Hearing them release their breath in sync with other family members is truly a moving experience.
Another marine mammal which fog brings out the best is the dolphins that spend the spring and fall months in this region. They to have beautiful colourations that are emphasized by the fog. At least 30 dolphins porpoised their way towards us and joining them was a single male orca with a large nearly 6 foot dorsal fin. The shenanigans we observe between dolphin and orca are entertaining, despite the annoyance expressed by our resident killer whales.
There was an abundance of food in the area, given away by the hoards of birds that energetically and rowdily fed on the numerous bait balls that had formed. Breaching Humpbacks were seen from a distance and many jaws were seen appearing from the depths of the sea catching our attention, as they trap and lunge fed.
Our tour ended with sunshine. Like an unveiling, the cloth of fog was removed from the coastal mountains and stunning peaks were now jutting up towards the blue sky. The sun warmed us and the experiences of the day stirred our souls.
Seasmoke Whale Watching photo’s have been taken by Dave Jones using a telephoto lens and have been cropped.