What a way to spend the day! Nearing Weynton Passage on tour this morning we encountered a large group of Pacific white-sided dolphins, some 100 + that were feeding intensely and passengers enjoyed some wonderful viewing of them. Continuing on and traveling through the Plumper Islands, numerous hauled out harbour seals were sighted as well a pair of bald eagles who were fishing. Once out in Blackfish Sound we began scanning for blows and it was not long before a humpback whale was sighted. As it turned out there were 5 and possibly 6 humpback whales in the near vicinity, they were well spread out in all directions where a blow or fluke could be seen off in the distance. Passengers enjoyed some wonderful viewing of Chunky and her calf and shortly after another adult humpback whale who was observed to have dolphins and stellar sea lions intermingling with it. On our way home, just as the devonshire teas were being served, passengers were treated to a special viewing of a humpback whale that was rolling over and over, waving its pectoral fins about and some 4-6 stellar sea lions were playfully rolling over and around it. It was an incredible and memorable impression for everyone to take home with them as well as some extraordinary photo’s. Other sightings today were: sooty shearwaters +++, common murres,, red-necked phalaropes, rhinoceros auklets,, surf scoters, bald eagles, a great blue heron, california gulls, glaucous-winged and bonaparte’s gulls.
September 13,2008: Not mentioned in yesterdays update: Soon after leaving the dock in Alder Bay yesterday morning, what looked to be a large deadhead in the water, turned out to be a male northern elephant seal which disappeared from sight while we were still a distance away. This summer there has been frequent sightings of northern elephant seals in this area which is quite unusual; they are found further south on Vancouver Island, near Race Rocks, Metchosin and Sooke but especially off the California Coast.