A marvellous congregation of species!
Orcas, Humpback whales, Pacific White-sided dolphins, a Minke whale, Dall's porpoises, Black bears, Stellar sea lions, Harbour seals, Bald Eagles, Sandpipers, Rhinoceros Auklets, Gull species, Belted Kingfishers and Common Murres.
It was an action-packed day for Seasmoke Whale Watching as three tours went out and oodles of wildlife was seen on all tours. In fact we think we saw almost every possible creature that is possible to see in this region. The only one missing was Sasquatch!
We had a feeling it was going to be a fabulous day of touring because just after leaving the dock we had a wonderful viewing of a Black Bear. Later in the day we had another incredible encounter, this time it was with a Black Bear mum and cub. They were foraging on the beach as the tide was generously low, turning over rocks and eating the meaty crustaceans that hid beneath them. Even though we had turned our engines off to drift in silence, they knew we were there. Still the bears carried on about their way showing no signs of fear or threat, just how we like it. We watched for a short while then continued on our way, in search of other nature delights to show our guests.
The conditions were picture perfect with flat calm seas and zero wind. The visibility was clear despite the smoky haze that gave the scene a sepia appearance. The Orcas were not far from Alder Bay, when we set off on our morning tour. The A23's and A25's were traveling in the Strait and when crossing over from one side of the Strait to the other, we caught a glimpse of a small group of Pacific White-sided dolphins which splashed before us. As the dolphins dashed forward they left behind a trail wake which, due to the beautiful texture and colour of the sea, made it look like a ribbon of glass.
The Humpbacks were incredibly active particularly in the afternoon. Numerous breaches were seen from near and far as these acrobats used their tail fluke to bring their entire 35 ton body out of the water. They were feasting and schools of small fish were consumed by bubble net feeding Humpbacks. Their wide open jaws rose up from the ocean giving us a spectacular view of the baleen plates that hung from their upper jaw.
Orcas were also seen breaching today which is not a common event. This is a spectacular sight to see when the entire black and white muscled body completely leaves the water. One guest was extremely lucky to photograph the full breach while others managed to catch part of the breach. There was wonderful viewing of birds today especially the Common Murre which also has stunning colourations similar to the Orca. Bald Eagles were perched in trees high and low near the water's edge. Stellar sea lion males were handsomely hauled out on their rocky kingdoms, their thick manes giving them appearance of a lion. The list of incredible encounters from today goes on and on. It was truly outstanding to be out on the water today!
Seasmoke Whale Watching photo's have been taken with a telephoto lens and have been cropped.