Humpback whales, Orcas (A23’s/A25’s), a Minke whale, Stellar sea lions, Harbour seals, Pacific White-sided dolphins, Dalls porpoises, Black-tailed deer, Bald Eagles, Red-necked Phalaropes, Rhinoceros Auklets, Gull species, Belted Kingfishers, Great Blue Heron, Cormorants and Common Murres.
Today we had a tour where the wildlife literally came to us. Having departed Alder Bay in glorious sunshine, blue skies and calm seas, we headed in an easterly direction and soon switched off our engines to drift in welcomed silence. It is hard for many people these days to actually switch off their gadgets and be surrounded by the purity of nature with few distractions. Patience certainly pays off when it comes to wildlife viewing. It was the synchronized breaths we heard first before seeing the dorsal fin of an Orca slice cleanly and effortlessly through the calm ocean.
A pod of orcas, somewhat spread out passed us by, giving our guests the glorious thrill of seeing whales in the wild. At one stage we recognised the smaller cetacean, realising that dolphins had joined the party. Together Orcas and Pacific White-sided dolphins slowed down and milled about our boat. After spending a few more magical moments with these black and white beauties, we noticed that they were showing signs of settling in for an afternoon nap. How mesmerizing it was to see the co-operative and beautiful resting line formed by this family of resident Orca.
We moved on to find our beloved Humpbacks, and caught them in the midst of feasting, the one thing they do best, particularly at this time of year. Trap feeding and lunge feeding was observed as vulnerable bait balls drifted in and out of the massive jaws of our larger whale specie.
We continued to show our guests the best this place has to offer which included not only seals, birds and sea lions, but the smaller critters under the sea. The water was so clear we were able to point out the sea stars and urchins and follow with our eyes the stipes of bull kelp as they descended deeply in to the sea.
A Minke whale briefly showed itself as we were heading for home, giving our tour a ten out of ten for having seen such a variety of species, all in the space of a couple of hours. Thank you Mother Nature for revealing your treasures, we are truly grateful.
Seasmoke Whale Watching photo’s have been taken by Dave Jones using a telephoto lens and have been cropped.