Humpback whales ~ mesmerising and magical!
Sightings: Humpback whales, Dall's porpoises, Harbour seals, Bald Eagles and two Eaglets, Rhinoceros Auklets, Pigeon Guillemots and Glaucous-winged Gulls.
The sky was blue with vast expanses of heavy white and grey clouds that floated high above when we headed out on tour this afternoon. A light SE wind was blowing in Johnstone Strait but crossing Weynton Passage, we were soon cruising in glassy calm waters at the top end of Blackfish Sound. En route we observed a family of Bald Eagles gathered together on a rocky shoreline, two juveniles appeared to be fighting over remnants of a large fish that was hauled up high on the rocks while two mature Bald Eagles (likely their parents) watched patiently nearby. We also enjoyed the presence of a small group of Dalls' porpoises bow-riding along with us for a short while.
It was in Blackfish Sound that we saw our first blow of a Humpback whale in the distance and then two more distinctive blows rising upwards. When a mother Humpback whale and her calf surfaced side by side, we were mesmerised and sat watching as all three whales slowly made their way west in Blackfish Sound.
At one point in our viewing, a cruise ship loomed ahead of the mother and her calf. Having seen both of them swim towards the Swanson Island shoreline only moments earlier, we suddenly glimpsed the mother on the far side of the cruise ship and waited anxiously for the calf to surface and when it did, it was on the opposite side of the cruise ship and its mother. It was with relief and joy that we watched the mother and calf reunion and them swimming away from the ship together!
Traversing home via small islets and swirling currents we looked up high to an Eagles nest and saw not one but two Eaglets sitting in the nest! It was a marvellous way to end the tour and made us mindful of all the magic and beauty we had been so fortunate to see.