Sail with the whales ~ orcas ~ minke and humpback whales also seen!

minke whale Double crested cormorant

It was a fantastic day for seeing cetaceans but also for sailing in Johnstone Strait. Our tour began with an early sighting of a minke whale close to the dock in Alder Bay and after some very good viewing we carried on and soon received a

harbour seals: mother and pups


report of six orca's (A23's/25's) foraging in Blackney Pass and looking as though they were heading into Blackfish Sound however, they carried on and began making their way foraging along

A61 foraging

A23's travelling east in Johnstone Strait

the Hanson Island shoreline. The wind was light and perfect for sailing and with our main-sail hoisted we were soon sailing while trailing our hydrophone behind us.  A61 (A25's) was the leading orca travelling on his own ahead of the others and had already gone by us when the other orcas were observed angling


over in the direction of Vancouver Island turning back to the east, at the same time we heard a few A-Clan calls on the hydrophone. The sail down Johnstone Strait was phenomenal and exhilarating, we were going at the same pace as the orcas and observed the A23's coming together forming a travelling line of four orcas and closest to Vancouver Island

Common Murre

while the A25's had also come together and side by side were seen swimming parallel to the A23's. It was absolutely wonderful! Leaving the orcas we turned back and made our way towards Weynton Passage, the current was still flooding++ and near the Plumper Island we saw three stellar sea-lions swimming close to shore in a back-eddy, up in an eagle's nest we saw one of the eaglets sitting high in the nest, another stellar sea-lion went by us in the current and two humpback whales were also seen. It was an amazing day that continued on when passengers sighted yet another minke whale crossing just ahead of us in Pearse Passage on our approach to Cormorant Island on our way home. As one of our passengers from Scotland commented on when leaving the boat, "seeing six orcas, four stellar sea-lions, two humpback whales and two minke whales, we think we've had  a pretty good day"! Also seen today: harbour seals, dall's porpoises, a double crested cormorant, rhinoceros auklets, pigeon guillemots, red-necked phalaropes, herring and glaucous-winged gulls and belted kingfishers.