A stellar day with fantastic viewing of orcas and humpback whales!
We spent an incredible day in Johnstone Strait with barely a breath of wind, flat calm waters and sunshine. We all enjoyed observing the I15's who were well spread out, travelling in their matriline groups and the A30's who were in the vicinity of Blackney Passage. The A5's (A23's and A25's) who were further over on the Vancouver Island shoreline, we saw at a distance. As well we enjoyed viewing a large group of pacific white-sided dolphins, some 150++ who were travelling mid strait in Johnstone Strait.
After seeing some humpback whale blows early in Weynton Passage in passing and a humpback whale close-by, foraging through a herring ball as we initially made our way down Johnstone Strait, it was incredible as dall's porpoises could also be seen nearby. With small matriline groups of the I15's passing us heading west, we cruised slowly towards Blackney Passage and enjoyed viewing the A30 matriline who were lingering off Cracroft Point before turning back into the Passage, while A38 was foraging a distance apart from his sisters and their off-spring.
Meanwhile, two humpback whales were feeding intensely and we were fortunate in seeing both lunge feeding and trap feeding behaviour as one whale hung vertically with its mouth gaping wide open and filling with small fish (likely herring) before closing its mouth and swallowing. What a thrill it was to see all of this and the diving birds, rhinoceros auklets and common murres while flocks of red-necked phalaropes were also feeding at the surface of the water. It was so wonderful watching the humpbacks feeding in the current in Blackney Passage and the stellar sea lions who were also in the mix, feeding alongside the humpback whales! Words cannot express our excitement and exhilaration, our joy was immense and heartfelt!
Today's penned comments: "Thank you for an amazing adventure. I enjoyed it thoroughly!!" Evelyn, Ontario
"It was an awesome trip! Thank you so much for giving us the possibility to see orcas, whales and dolphins. And we loved the scones and the Devonshire Cream Tea and the atmosphere onboard. It was so much fun! Thank you!" Heike & Sophie, Germany
"What a fantastic trip! Fulfilled the dream of a lifetime when we saw the humpbacks feeding and the orcas basking on the other side of the boat. Breathtaking from beginning to end. Thank you for being such amazing hosts and for your enthusiasm about the wildlife." Roger, Janet & Emma, Yorkshire, UK
"Wow, what a trip! I can't thank you enough for this opportunity. Everything was so fantastic and I was able to see things I've never seen before ~ lunge and gait feeding,an orcas resting line and then just when you think it can't get anymore perfect you bring out tea and scones. Incredible day. Thank you, thank you, thank you!" Beth & Lorand, Vancouver.
"I never thought I could have had a better "Whale Watching" trip than I had 9 years ago with you......today exceeded my expectation....wonderful! " Michael, Susan & Lucas, Nanaimo, BC