A wonderful way to spend a day!
Orcas (A23's/A25's), Humpback whales, a Minke whale, Dall's porpoises, Stellar sea lions, Harbour seals, Bald Eagles, Rhinoceros Auklets, Belted Kingfishers, Gull species, Black Oystercatchers and Common Murres.
Moments after leaving the Alert Bay dock we were met by a Humpback Whale. Our guests were pleased by the sudden appearance of a whale only minutes after they joined us for a 'whale watching' tour. We are grateful when nature works its magic. After spending a few minutes with this individual, it gave us a memorable farewell as it executed a full breach, which we surprisingly all managed to see.
Stellar Sea Lions have multiplied in numbers and are now congregating in large numbers on neighbouring islets and rocks. Not only does their fur colourations and neck mimic those of a male lion, their roars and grunts do also. Our guests can often hear the sounds coming from these concentrated groups before seeing them and even at a distance, if the wind is blowing in the right direction, we can smell them also.
More than twenty Humpbacks were in the area where we journeyed to today and some familiar flukes were recognized. Freckles, Slash and Black Pearl were but a few that we identified, all of them at some stage lunged through the middle of bait balls and feasted before our eyes.
When dealing with the dynamics of weather and wildlife, during a tour it is always a gamble when figuring out which direction to go. During the latter part of our tour today, there was report about Orcas heading into the area from the East. Often, when coming from this direction, the first stop for the whales is the Robson Bight Ecological Reserve. This is a whale sanctuary and therefore an area no one is allowed to enter. Often the whales spend a considerable amount of time socializing within their family or social pod as well as massaging their bodies on the smooth pebbled beaches. On the odd occasion they pass through fairly quickly, therefore it is worth the trip down the Strait to see what we can see. We did encounter Orca during our visit down to the Reserve where the orcas were today, and although they were inside of the Reserve boundary, we gave our guests the opportunity to witness these beautiful whales in their habitat, completely uninterrupted by humans.
Our adventure was completed after a cruise amongst the islands and through the narrow scenic channels with the forest close to our sides. We enjoyed visions of Bald Eagles and fully fledged Eaglets in their forested kingdom, their eyes poised towards our direction as we drifted by and we also had a brief sighting of a Minke whale on our way home.
Seasmoke Whale Watching photo's have been taken with a telephoto lens by Dave Jones and have been cropped.