It was a phenomenal day ~ Orcas, Humpback and Minke Whales with brilliant viewing!

IMG_20150815_123522 IMG_8845 IMG_20150815_122738 IMG_20150815_122714 IMG_0591 IMG_8840 IMG_0588 IMG_8837 IMG_8836 IMG_8830 IMG_8822 IMG_8826 IMG_8828 IMG_8785 IMG_8790 IMG_8813 IMG_8781 IMG_8639 IMG_8704 IMG_8722 IMG_8537 IMG_8547 IMG_8552 IMG_8472 What a glorious day to be out on a tour, with calm waters, a blue sky and a glassy blue sea. Cruising through the islands en route to orcas we had an early treat of viewing two humpback whales, one of which we saw tail lobbing at a distance away; it  was a great start to the day and everyone was excited in their anticipation of seeing more cetaceans. In Blackfish Sound we observed numerous humpback whale blows in all directions also orca fins were ahead of us while others we could see were far behind. The A30's were swimming against the ebbing current, moving slowly east towards Blackney Passage while the A23's and A25's were ahead of them, also were reported, the A42's! It was an incredibly beautiful sight to see, their sleek black and white bodies in contrast to and against the background of the brilliant blue water in which they swam.

Behind us we observed a humpback whale travelling in our direction and with our engine off, we drifted in the current, still looking forwards at the orcas but also mindful of the humpback whale coming closer. We fully expected to see it surface a distance ahead, instead it came alongside just under the surface of the water and we could all clearly see the white underside of its pectoral fins passing by so close to the boat. It was a profoundly moving experience for everyone on board to experience, its sheer size and beauty glimpsed momentarily gliding just beneath the water was unforgettable! The whale we have identified as being Conger, a whale who has frequented these waters in the summertime for a number of years.

We made our way further west in Blackfish Sound and enjoyed the approaching large number of orcas; the I15's and the G27's who were travelling with them. The orcas were travelling slowly in a wonderful resting line with a single pacific white-sided dolphin in their lead, like the other orcas before them they were taking their time, relaxed and swimming in their mesmerizing surfacing and diving sequence, against the ebbing current. Breathtaking to watch and to also listen to, all the while humpback whales were feeding on either side of the boat, our dilemma being, which way to look?

On our way back through the islands we all enjoyed the tranquil beauty found in those waterways, no other boats passed by us, only birds, stellar sea lions, harbour seals and a mink running along a beach were present and as we were nearing Alder Bay, for the finale, a minke whale was sighted feeding close to shore.  Other birds also seen: rhinoceros auklets, common murre, red-necked phalaropes, belted kingfishers, bald eagles and an eaglet in a nest, black oyster catchers, black turnstones and gull species.

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Today's penned comments: " Great day, great landscape, lots of whales, great people who give that to all of us! Perfect! Thanks a lot for such a beautiful day." Asrid and Jurgen,Germany

"Orcas, humpbacks, stellar sea lions, eagles, blue sky and flat calm. There are those days to spend a day. Lovely day and lovely scones. Very peaceful floating about with the whales and orca. But really, I can't sing!" Luca, Netherlands

"Beautiful day on the water, thank you so much. The islands, the water, the whales, the food, the company, the entire experience was glorious! Cheers." Keith, BC

"A very beautiful and great day on the water and on your boat. We saw a lot of orcas, humpbacks and sea lions. A great experience for us. Everything was fine and well done. We enjoyed it and maybe one day we have the chance to come back." Ralf & Melanie

'I'm really glad I came back after last year whale watching. Beautiful day, friendly crew and so many orcas! Best way to celebrate my birthday.Thank you!" Katerina, Czech Republic

'Our whale watching tour today was simply superb! The friendly crew was fantastic and the sailboat was a great way to view the abundant sea life. The sheer numbers of whales we observed was far beyond our expectations! Thank you for a beautiful experience." Nanaimo, BC

Very professional guided tour and a wonderful way. It has been a nice and respectful way of approaching whales. Friendly and super hospitality as well Devonshire tea was delicious. Thank you so much! Vancouver, BC