The Boys are Back in Town
Our day began with a misty morning at Seasmoke whale watching. Once all our guests were on board we headed in the direction towards a group of Islands known as the Plumper Islands. As we approached we could hear growling sounds and at first we had no idea what was making that noise. As we approached, the noise got louder, and it soon became evident that the culprit was a Steller sea Lion. It was hauled out right in front of us, along with twenty-five to thirty other Sea lions. They were competing for a place on the rocks and seemed rather defiant and territorial. The more mature and larger animals were showing dominance towards the younger males. Their heads were held high, chest out and the deeper the growl the more dominant they became. Numerous other individuals stayed in the water, waiting for an opportunity to join the crowd. The first sign that the Boys are Back in Town.
We noticed an abandoned Bald Eagle nest perched high in a tree close to the Sea lion haul out. Two juvenile Eagles along with two adults which may be the parents, were witnessing the performance of the Sea Lions, as they watched the scene from a high tree. In the same vicinity a Humpback whale gave us an amazing view of its fluke. With the fog still around us, we observed this whale, doing the usual routine of looking for food, while covering a large area of ocean.
Dall’s porpoise was seen transiting the area, sharing the space with the Humpbacks. These energetic porpoises offered us a small glimpse of those black and white dorsal fins before disappearing from the seascape.
Our afternoon tour was also full of wildlife. We were able to join another Humpback foraging in Blackfish Sound, just in front of Orcalab. The fog was almost gone from the area, so it opened our view of the deep, green coastal mountains and forest, made up of Western Red Cedar, Hemlock, Sitka Spruce and Red Alder.
We made our way to the western boundary of the Robson Bight Ecological Reserve, having heard over the radio that Orcas had entered the area. We were delighted to encounter a couple of them. A42s and I11 Northern resident Killer whales, traveled peacefully and quietly. With our hydrophone down few vocals could be heard however we stayed with them and admired their beauty from a distance. At times we stopped, shut down the engines and waited for them to pass as we enjoyed the sunshine, the scenic vista and the company of our guests.
It was a refreshing day with a slight chill in the air but bright sunshine which made the ocean sparkle.