(Sept. 25th & 26th) Mystical fog, Orcas and Humpbacks!
Sept 25th, The fog appeared to be clearing as we headed out at noon and the way was clear and beautiful when we sighted the first dorsal fins in the distance in the Queen Charlotte Strait, ahead of a looming fog bank. We stopped the boat and listened in wonder to some beautiful A Clan vocals, and as two orcas made their way towards us, we recognized them as A12 and A33, traveling close together, ahead of the rest of the A12 pod. The A30's were also seen traveling in the same direction nearby, making it a total of 17 orcas that were seen. The fog swept back in and when the orcas were again sighted, the A30's were seen grouped together in Blackfish Sound, traveling east, while the A12's had headed into Johnstone Strait via Weynton Passage. The fog had cleared again and looking back out into the Queen Charlotte Strait, vast numbers of birds could be seen in all directions. Common Murre's were diving below the water to feed on herring while large numbers of Gulls gathered to feed in a frenzy on the herring balls that had formed. We enjoyed the viewing of two Humpback Whales and then a third one was also seen as we made our way home. There were several sightings of Stellar Sea Lions during the tour, some swimming and some 25-30, were seen hauled out and with them a few Harbor Seals. More Harbor Seals were seen among the rocks on the islands on our way home, as were 6 Black Oyster Catchers and 5 Canadian Geese. It was a day that makes one fully aware of just how special and wonderful a place it is that we tour in.
Sept. 26th, The fog was still heavy when we headed out at noon but weaving in amongst some islands in our search for the orcas we were rewarded by breathe taking beauty as shafts of light exposed a natural wonderland.
The sounds of Stellar Sea Lions were clearly audible in the stillness of the day and we enjoyed viewing them as they lay hauled out on smooth rocks, even as the fog swirled amongst them. The first orca we encountered was A39, an adult male from the A30 pod. His large black dorsal fin stood tall and stark against the whiteness of the fog and it was surprising and exciting when he breached three times nearby the boat! We had some lovely viewing when A39 was joined by his sister A50 and her two calves and they continued to travel together, separate from the rest of the family.
It was magical, and as the acoustic beauty of the A Clan calls punctuated the still whiteness of our foggy surroundings, one could not help but feel deeply moved by the experience. After leaving the orcas we traveled home via numerous scenic waterways, taking in the glorious sights of sunlight, clear blue skies,
numerous Bald Eagles, Surf Scooters and Harbor Seals!