A Marine Mammal Banquet!
We enjoyed extraordinary viewing on both of our tours today. It began with an early sighting of a Minke whale in Pearse Passage, and although it is often difficult to spot Minke whales, because our guests were so keenly looking for wildlife, this beautiful Minke could not hide from us!
We continued our tour through the Pearse islands where a group of Harbour seals surprised us from shore. They looked towards our boat from a distance while we enjoyed watching them, the peace and quiet of the waterway, the beauty of the Bull Kelp forests, and the company of a Kingfisher who was flying back and forth while uttering its shrill cry.
Near Stubbs and Plumper Islands, we observed several Humpback whales who were swimming from one active bait ball to another. They were feeding on the small schooling fish who were swimming in a tight spherical formation having been chased to the surface of the water by diving birds from below, mostly Common Murres and Rhinoceros Auklets.
One Humpback whale provided us with quite a show. Tail lobbing again and again and rolling over, we could see its belly at the surface, and then its pectoral fin with its wave-like movement and adding to every exhalation a trumpeting sound! Pacific White-sided dolphins and Steller sea lions were interacting with this enormous whale. We wondered if this exchange of behavior between the animals bothered the whale as the dolphins and sea lions were swimming very close to the whale’s body, but after a couple of minutes, the sea lions and dolphins all lost interest and left the whale alone to feed.
In the afternoon, the shared feeding frenzy amongst the many species continued with Humpbacks, Pacific White-sided dolphins +++, Stellar Sea lions, gulls, seals and diving birds; all who were seen feeding in every direction we looked. Orcas where sighted travelling back from the west, the I15’s and A30’s and everyone enjoyed listening to their beautiful vocals via our underwater hydrophone.
Amazing, spectacular, incredible and fantastic were just some of the words used by our guests to describe what they had witnessed in the beautiful waterways that we locals are so fortunate to call “our backyard!”
One comment in our visitor’s book today sums up the tour: “Wowzers! If whale watching was on your bucket list, I can’t think of a better place to do it. Wonderful!”.