Orcas, Humpback whales, A Minke whale, Dall’s porpoise, Stellar sea lions, Harbour seals, Bald Eagles, Rhinoceros Auklets, Gull species, Common Ravens, Black Oystercatchers and Common Murres.
We have named our tour today as the Humpback Whale Festival! Although we had a beautiful sighting of Orcas during the first part of our tour today, it was literally the Humpbacks that stole the show.
Due to the numbers of Humpback whales in the area, making the most of the food that has become readily available in the latter part of summer and early fall, even when we are transiting towards a reported sighting Orca, it is the Humpbacks that we consistently see along the way.
We observed some entertaining behaviour today as an individual Humpback whale rolled about while feeding on a bait ball that sailed by just beneath the surface. During a twenty minute time span, the same whale leapt clear out of the water, maintaining the Humpbacks reputation as being one of the most acrobatic whales in the world. Pectoral slaps were also seen and our guests managed to count over twenty tail slaps delivered by another individual.
Salmon was on the menu for a number of animals today, including a Bald Eagle whom we saw tearing away at the flesh of a freshly caught fish. A large group of Sea Lions were on the hunt and a small pod of Porpoises foraged purposely for salmon that were eagerly and traditionally making their way towards the rivers to spawn.
Even after all of this action, our tour was not yet done. The final sighting of a large marine mammal was of a Minke Whale. It was as though this smaller, less acrobatic and fairly solitary whale wanted the last word. This sleek, fast moving and somewhat shy whale surfaced as we were heading back to base.
As the days continue getting shorter and the nights are cooling down significantly, the wildlife seems to be gaining in numbers as the food remains abundant. It makes one wonder what on earth will we experience tomorrow and how lucky we are that we get to journey again in this ocean paradise.
Seasmoke Whale Watching photo’s have been taken by Dave Jones using a telephoto lens and some photo’s have been cropped.