A blissful day watching Orcas and Humpback Whales!
While sunshine continues on the North Island we hold our breath and then breathe deeply of our beautiful surroundings! Protected 'inside waters' that are dotted with a myriad of forested islands and an abundance of marine life, it is our soul food that nurtures and teaches us in a profound and wonderful way, if we allow. Today was another exceptional one on the North Island, the fog cleared quickly and we were soon looking at the sparkling blue waters of Johnstone Strait with a clear blue sky above us and the sun shining bright! We enjoyed a brief encounter with a small group of dall's porpoises riding at the bow of our boat and cruising alongside and it was delightful watching their sleek black and white bodies as they darted back and forth. Resident orcas, the A30's and A42's were foraging off Cracroft Point when we arrived and as we watched them, spread out and foraging we could also hear the blow of a humpback whale and while we could not see it, we knew that it was nearby. With our engine off we drifted in the current off Blackney Passage and with our hydrophone deployed listened to the wonderful A-Clan calls of the orcas. We observed them foraging in the current and it was exciting viewing especially when they would suddenly lunge after a salmon while others would stop to rest momentarily before foraging once again. The current turned to ebb and with it the orcas began moving west in the ebbing current passing into Blackfish Sound where they slowly commenced moving west, the A42's grouped together in a travelling line, while the A30's were more spread apart. Stellar sea-lions were swimming in clusters with playful interactions observed amongst them. Prior to leaving Cracroft Point we saw not one, but two humpback whales working close along the shoreline off Cracroft Point, more were ahead of us near the top end of Blackfish Sound where we enjoyed viewing at least five including 'Slash', and 'Ripple' and her calf and more could be seen off Bold Head. Also seen: Stellar sea-lions, harbour seals, cassin's auklets, common murres, red-necked phalaropes, bald eagles, belted kingfishers, pelagic and double crested cormorants, marbled murrelets and gull species. Today's penned comments: "Amazingly wonderful! Both the wildlife and the hosts. Maureen was so informative and eager to share her knowledge. Dave was great on keeping up with the orcas and humpbacks. Thank you both ~we will always remember our 20th Anniversary with great Canadian memories." ~ Susie & Andrew, Oregon
"Thank you for a wonderful day! We'll pass it on to all our friends." ~ Tannis & Tom, BC
"This has been one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. Awe inspiring to see such huge beautiful creatures. You both have given us a lot of information about these magnificent creatures which has made it more personal. Thank you for your great hospitality, also very appreciated. Will see you again." ~Gary & Bonnie, BC
"Great day, great whales, great sea lions & great company." ~ Jane, UK
"Mere words cannot describe how wonderful and gorgeous this whale watching trip is." ~ Dave & Corrine
"Both the whales and hospitality were fantastic." ~ Phillip, UK