A phenomenal day, magical in every way with Orcas and Humpback Whales in our surroundings!
Some candid photo's from our iphone today including two photo's of the gorgeous sunset in Alert Bay last evening!
What a day we shared in this gorgeous month of September exploring the beauty and wonder of our surroundings and the Cetaceans who were all around us! The morning was a calm one and the sky overcast with light shinning to the east when we headed out on our tour this morning travelling towards sunshine and orcas; the I15's who were headed west spread out across all across Johnstone Strait!
Nearing Blackney Passage we could see the I15 matrilines and their off-spring moving about in the flooding current whilst they foraged, we could also see dense fog deep in Blackney Passage drifting out towards us and obscuring our view looking into Blackfish Sound. There were two humpback whales working the area, one made its way almost across to the Vancouver Island shoreline, the other was closer to Cracroft Point, we could hear its exhalations even while we could not see it in the fog. It was such a treat to be drifting in the current and listening to the G-Clan calls of the orcas on our hydrophone. At one point, three orcas appeared out of the fog coming directly towards us and we all watched spell bound when two of them passed directly under the boat, one of them we could clearly see under the water and what a treat that was for all of us!
As the fog thickened and the orcas disappeared into it moving east, we began making our way back towards a blue sky that was breaking through the clouds further west, there were also Biggs (Transient) Orcas reported travelling east! And so, we did indeed see these orcas as well, T049A the Matriarch and her off-spring: T049A1, T049A2 & T049A3 identified by Jared Towers (DFO). They were travelling slowly, together in a resting line, taking long dives and looked very relaxed as they passed on by. And still, there were more cetaceans ahead of us as two humpback whales were observed moving slowly along the Hanson Island shoreline! How beautiful they were, swimming in unison where seconds separated their synchronized dive sequences as they surfaced and dived, slowly making their way against the current to where it was flooding out of Weynton Passage and where diving birds and gulls had gathered to feed along with two other humpback whales! Breathtakingly beautiful all of it was, watching as whale after whale, surfaced and dived into the swirling waters as the current flowed bringing with it herring on which so many species were feeding!
As we headed for home, the colour blue was everywhere we looked, the sea and sky was spread all over in its vibrant healing beauty and we could not help but feel its 'Magic'! Also seen: dall's porpoise, stellar sea lions, harbour seals, surf scoters, great blue herons, rhinoceros auklets, common murres, fork-tailed storm petrels, pelagic cormorants, bald eagles and gull species.
**Lots of photo's were taken but we still have a problem with downloading them!
Today's penned comments: "A wonderful trip with a lot of lucky moments. We enjoyed it. Many thanks for this experience." Helga, Stefan, and Thomas, Germany
"We really enjoyed the trip and were really lucky in seeing so many orcas and whales. We had wonderful scenery with all that fog around, and we enjoyed our pleasant hosts and the fresh baked scones. And we liked being on a little boat like this!!" Anke & Kurt, Germany
"A completely amazing trip and experience. So many orcas and humpbacks, the sight of orcas passing under the boat will live in our memories forever. A beautiful, peaceful way to travel, with delicious muffins, scones and tea. Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful country with us." Nick & Chris, Wiltshire, UK