humpback whales ~ brilliant viewing today!
It was a day of contrast and colour and vivid imagery that made ones head spin, where the scenic beauty was beyond belief and the sheer volume of water passing through Weynton Passage at maximum
flood and ebb with constant upwellings, tide rip and whirlpools was absolute madness! Where to begin on such a day? This morning when we headed out fog hung low upon the water but clearing in waves to reveal mystical islands that would suddenly appear, only to disappear again! Weynton Passage was already busy with marine life when we arrived and it was not long before we sighted our first humpback whale of the day and observed it feeding in a back eddy close to the Plumper Islands. It was brilliant viewing and exciting when it surfaced suddenly near the bow of the boat on several occasions while the boat drifted in the fast flowing current. Several stellar sea lions were also seen swimming lazily alongside of the Plumper Islands, moving also in a back eddy but in the opposite direction to the humpback whale. Several dall's porpoises were seen, some porpoising nearby and at the stern of the boat while others were rooster-tailing rapidly through the whirlpools. The fog engulfed us suddenly but while listening for blows a loud humpback whale blow could be heard and moving towards the sound that carried far into the fog, a whale suddenly dived before us. There were at least three humpback whales in the near vicinity, they were moving in varying directions and we enjoyed them all as they emerged and disappeared into and out of the fog. As the day grew brighter and warmer the islands among the scenic waterways enticed us all to look and listen more keenly at the enormous glistening kelp forests spreading outwards, belted kingfishers darting back and forth, harbour seals hauled out, black oyster catchers and ruddy turnstones; all of them adding to the beauty and majesty of the day. Our afternoon tour was busy with humpback whales and we so enjoyed watching as seven or more circled back and forth and round and round in Weynton Passage, some moving out into Johnstone Strait before cruising back through the current, swept on by in the upwellings and then out towards Stubbs Island before riding back in on the flooding current! It was exceptional viewing, everywhere one looked in all directions there they were! Some were breaching and some tail lobbing, others trumpeting, it was a challenge keeping track of them all. Stellar sea lions were in the mix, as were dall's porpoises and bald eagles fishing with gulls++ on herring balls. As unbelievable as it sounds we watched a sea lion who was lying back eating a salmon, lose it to an eagle that came swooping in, taking the portion of salmon not yet eaten and the expression on the face of the sea lion in that moment was priceless to us, the audience watching on! Today on the water it was phenomenal, the images vividly portrayed were wondrous and powerfully energizing as only nature can be.