The day was a truly amazing one with wonderful viewing of orcas in Johnstone Strait. Today we were able to clearly view and enjoy all of the pods in Johnstone Strait, they were the A30’s, the A24’s and the A5’s. Our first encounter began with sighting the A24’s traveling very close along the shoreline of West Cracroft Island and close to the Baron Reefs near Cracroft Point.
They crossed Blackney Passage and continued to travel west but as we watched from a distance they turned back towards Cracroft Point. Crossing Johnstone Strait we sighted two more groups of orcas moving to the west slowly, the A5’s were altogether in the lead followed by the A30’s. They were at a distance from the Vancouver Island shore and it was beautiful to observe the resting lines of orcas. One male orca, A39 separated from his pod and foraged further west beyond Blinkhorn and while the hydrophone was deployed we heard their A-Clan calls, at this point both groups of orcas turned back to the east and A39 was observed turning back as well, moving quickly to catch up with his pod. The orcas had been relaxed and resting and some spyhops were seen amongst the A24’s that included A73. A Minke Whale was sighted briefly just prior to our leaving the orcas. It was in Weynton Passage that we sighted a Humpback Whale feeding in the flood current where a large herring ball with gulls galore, were feeding at. The sea birds in the area in Weynton Passage were numerous. Continuing on our tour and close to home a second Minke Whale was sighted in Pearse Passage. It was a wonderful ending to a most beautiful day on the water. Other species also seen today were: Dall’s Porpoises, Harbor Seals, Rhinoceros Aucklets, Common Murre, Belted Kingfishers, Harlequin Ducks, Surf Scoters and a Great Blue Heron.