Marine Mammals on the Summer Solstice

It was a marine mammal extravaganza on our tour today as we encountered numerous species. It was a super low tide so Harbour seals were seen lazing on the rocks as well as swimming amongst the bull kelp. It seemed everywhere we looked, their bald shiny heads popped up to the surface, catching our attention as the calm water was disturbed.

We came across a single Humpback which appeared to be resting. Its large body just floated, suspended by the sea with only its back and dorsal fin sticking above the surface. Another individual was sighted in a different location so it seems they are spread out, searching in a variety of places for food. .

Steller sea lions were also numerous but only as individuals. One ripped and pulled at a recently caught salmon and the large splash was easily detected from a mile away.

Dall’s porpoise milled about and traveled. As we stopped to admire them our skipper explained the difference between dolphins and porpoises then mentioned how at times they can be curious. Just as he finished his sentence the porpoises turned towards the boat and enjoyed a short ride of our gentle wake.

The final encounter was the first sighting of the season of Pacific White-sided dolphins. At least 50 to 60 of them were seen leaping, jumping and twisting out of the water. How playful and whimsical these dolphins appear to be.

It was wonderful to be on the water again on the longest day of the year.

Hayley ShephardComment