Marine mammals and seabirds galore!
Sightings: Harbour seals, Steller sea lions, Humpback whales, Bald eagles and an Eaglet, Rhinoceros Auklets, Common Murres, Pigeon Guillemots, Red-necked Phalaropes, Oyster Catchers and Gull species.
It was an energetic tour this afternoon for both wildlife and the ocean. A fast-moving flooding current was stirring up the nutrients within the ocean, and numerous marine mammals could be seen feeding in areas where the water was racing.
We encountered at least five Humpback whales this afternoon. One travelled along the coast, swimming in a predictable manner which allowed us to observe effortlessly and try to capture by the camera, the massive fluke that ascended high out of the water as the whale dove deep. Having heard a radio report about a mother and calf showing signs of feeding we changed our course. We were delighted to see Ripple and her calf foraging right in the middle of a strong flood current, changing direction abruptly but gracefully. At one time a whale half breached, creating a tremendous flash that caught our eye.
On our way home we checked to see how the Eaglet was doing and were pleased to see its downy head poking up from the nest. We were all distracted by the sudden appearance of a large male Steller sea lion that clambered out of the water and onto a nearby rock. His upper body was held up mighty and erect by his long front flippers. About five others, much smaller than this individual, swam in a tight group and investigated our quietly drifting boat.
During our tour today we noticed more bird species present on the water, all of them showing us signs that summer is truly here.