Todays tour was a very special one, made so by the beautiful dynamics displayed between a matriline who has in recent months lost her son and of three brothers who lost their mother several years ago. We encountered the A36 brothers with A12 near to Bold Head in Blackfish Sound. All of the orcas were very relaxed, some were seen resting while others were foraging, moving very slowly to the west yet not going any distance. A12 was observed spending time very close to A46, A32 was closest to Swanson Island and A37 was not so far from A12 and A46. Passengers enjoyed listening to their A-Clan calls via the hydrophone as we drifted in the current. The orcas rested, drifting towards Donegal Head while A32 continued to forage.
All the while numerous Bald Eagles were working a herring ball and some wonderful viewing of the Eagles swooping low to pick up herring in their talons was observed, along with Rhinoceros Auklets who were also diving and feeding. As we neared the orcas again, a single Pacific White-sided Dolphin was seen amongst them and then the orcas disappeared for a long dive, resurfacing, they were seen to have grouped altogether. With A12 traveling between A46 and A32 and A37 alongside; it really was quite wonderful to see. Their movement carried them towards Weynton Passage and it was at Stubbs Island that they finally were seen to have made up their minds to head in that direction into Johnston Strait with the flood current pushing them along. Even in the distance as we watched, the four orcas made their way into Johnstone Strait, they were relaxed, swimming alongside in traveling sequence with A12 tight between A32 and A46 with A37 to the left of A32. Having watched A12 solo and alone for several days not so long ago, it truly was heartwarming to see her in this way today.