A30 family together: Brothers A38 & A39 & their sisters A50 & A54 and calves + Humpback Whales ++
It was another special day that we shared with the A30 Matriline of Northern Resident Orcas while they spent time at the top end of Blackfish Sound. Our morning on wakening began with rain but by the time we commenced our tour most of it had dissipated and once out in Blackfish Sound it quickly subsided and the day turned out beautifully with sunshine, orcas, humpback whales galore and a southeasterly wind that enabled us to sail! En route through Weynton Passage we passed a Humpback Whale and soon, passing quickly through the Plumper Islands we arrived into Blackfish Sound and it was not long before we could see the unmistakable tall fin of a male orca foraging off Bold Head. Making our way across Blackfish Sound we were soon viewing the A30's as they foraged, A38 was well in the lead with A39 foraging closer to the A50's and A54 and calves, were nearer to Bold Head. It was fabulous watching them, so intune with each other, we heard a few vocals only via our hydrophone and suddenly they changed their pace, surfacing after a long dive, the A50's had moved further out, almost into the Queen Charlotte Strait along with A38 and A39 and the A54's followed behind them. They basically stopped, came together in a small knit group and then slowly began making their way towards Weynton Passage. The images we were privileged to glimpse at a distance were fluid and profound, a family made up of two older brothers and their two sisters and their calves, their mother A30, although now absent from the family, somehow remains, a guiding star perhaps? Beautiful to watch this new transition of family dynamics, with A50, the elder sister seemingly taking the leading matriarchael role. There were numerous Humpback Whales++ in the area of Weynton Passage but also out in the Queen Charlotte Strait and down in Blackfish Sound, one at the very least could be seen breaching in the windy water conditions. What a fabulous day, topped off with our viewing of several Stellar Sea-lions who were resting together in shallow waters and a kelp forest. Other sightings today: Harbour Seals, Rhinoceros Auklets, Common Murres, Common Murres, Oyster Catchers, Red necked Phalaropes, Bald Eagles, Belted Kingfishers and Ruddy Turnstones.