September 28th

Our tour today has to be one of the loveliest tours of the season and especially so for September. Just prior to leaving Alert Bay this morning a large rainbow arched its way across the entire Bay, it was a glorious beginning that promised more; a day of blue skies, calm waters and sunshine, it was a welcome change after many days of unsettled fall weather. First seen and always of interest were 44+ hauled out Stellar Sea Lions, among them were several Harbour Seals who lay relaxed and well camouflaged on the rocks. Within minutes of viewing the Sea Lions a Humpback Whale was seen in the distance, its large fluke disappearing from sight caught everyone's attention and as we drew closer, two Humpback Whales (not one) were observed, they were identified as Houdini and her 2007 calf. The viewing could not have been better, especially so when a third Humpback Whale was sighted very near the other two. It was at this point that orca A-Clan calls were being heard on the Cracroft Point hydrophone and so with much anticipation and excitement we headed in that direction, passing a forth Humpback Whale en route in Blackfish Sound. Entering Johnstone Strait through the scenic waterway of Little Hanson Island, the lighting was superb and the sight of several blows in the distance was surprising and spectacular, showing up as white "seasmoke" against the backdrop of Vancouver Island. Our timing was perfect! It was the A30's, a family of 9 Orcas and they were spread out, foraging to the west, a number of Dalls Porpoises were with them "rooster tailing" racing back and forth while the orcas foraged about. Listening to the A-Clan calls of the orcas and watching them pass nearby was the BEST, it truly was a special experience of awe and wonder and sheer delight! Homeward bound everyone was well contented, the sights and sounds of numerous bird species and herring ball activity further enriched the experience. Other wildlife sightings today included numerous Common Murres, Rhinoceros Auklets and a Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel.