Humpback Whales, Bald Eagles fishing and catching salmon and a Minke Whale!
It was another lovely day, calm and overcast when we headed out and turning bright and sunny in the afternoon, it was stunning weather for us all to enjoy. We cruised through beautiful waterways looking at eagle nests' and hauled out harbour seals (some mothers and their pups) while numerous bald eagles could be seen in the tree tops and black oyster catchers on the rocks; the day could not have been more relaxing or beautiful! A humpback whale was seen in Weynton Passage and soon began foraging along the Plumper Island shoreline and as we observed it made its way in close amongst kelp forests growing over a reef. There were a large number of bald eagles in trees watching its progress with interest, as well a group of crows who were making quite a raucous in the trees, they too were watching the whale swimming close by. We passed stellar sea lions fishing in the strong flooding current and witnessed one catching a salmon, a portion of which was picked up by a mature eagle who flew off with it, and as we watched, another mature eagle caught a salmon and carried it to shore where a juvenile eagle charged and claimed the salmon from the older eagle to eat. We watched it drag the salmon further up into some brush and then with a talon firm upon the fish it spread its wings wide to protect it from the other watching eagles. The cries of indignation of several eagles could be heard loud and clear! It was fascinating to watch the sequence play out with precision timing by the eagles in their grasping of the salmon in their talons and that might possibly have been the highlight for some passengers onboard today! As we made our way towards Bold Head we passed a second humpback whale, it was taking long dives with one to two breaths between dives, a third humpback whale blow was seen near Flower Island. We carried on out to the White Cliff Islands and there amongst islands, rocks, seals, eagles, oyster catchers, harlequin ducks, cormorants and a gathering of rhinoceros auklets, a small dorsal fin was glimpsed and a minke whale (Galaxy) was seen surfacing nearby. It was so good to see the whale feeding quietly while the birds sat resting nearby. On our way home we passed an area of orange coloured water, often referred to as 'red tide' it is when there is a higher than normal concentration of algae in the water, it can also be known as a harmful algae bloom where the blooms can sometimes be dangerous for marine-life due to the toxins produced by some species of algae. The blooms can also be the result of nothing more than a combination of tide and temperature that is favourable to the algae. In amongst the orange water today we could see many dead moon jelly fish floating on the water surface. Red tide has been reported in the Vancouver Harbour as well on July 8-11th. The day was a beautiful one where the sun reflected the colour blue equally upon the sea and sky! Today's penned comment: Maureen and Dave, Thank you so much for the wonderful and personal day. We loved the stories and all the knowledge you shared with us. It was a much more personal trip than the other commercial trips we have done. It was amazing to see the tail of the humpback and to see and learn about the minke whale. The muffins and scones were delicious! Thanks again ~ Jasper & Celine from Holland
The experience of a lifetime! Humpbacks were amazing to watch because of the majestic features of their bodies. The minke whale Galaxy also showed up with a sneaky approach amongst a flock of birds. Overall it was an amazing day! So good they made me pick up a pen!! Brilliant!! ~ The Wildbore family ~ Ontario/UK