A perfect tour!
Today, right from the get-go, we knew it was going to be a fabulous tour! Over the radio we had heard the good news that there was a group of orca between Hanson and Vancouver Island easting through Johnstone Strait. Ahead of us, the majestic fin of a single male appeared intermittently, and toward Vancouver Island, we saw the group as they moved steadily along. There were several pods of orcas: A50/A54’s, A23’s, A25’s, I27’s, and I65’s in the mix. We saw tail-slapping, spy hopping, and splashing and we enjoyed every moment we had in their presence before heading around Hanson Island into Blackfish Sound to look for humpbacks.
We weren’t disappointed! In the middle of Blackfish Sound we sat still, listening to the breathing of these giant mammals, watching them surface, blow, fluke, and dive repeatedly. What a treat! Humpback whales are the among the largest baleen whales in the world, and they come yearly to our waters here in the Pacific Northwest to feed on small schooling fish such as herring before heading to warmer waters to breed and birth their young.
Along the way, we were also privileged to see Dall’s porpoises and harbour seals. We also saw several eagles’ nests and the watchful eagle parents nearby, as well as a number of juvenile eagles, not yet grown into their signature dark brown body and white head, but huge in size nonetheless!
All in all, a happy, contented group of passengers and crew disembarked this afternoon, each one of us thankful for the special time out on the water today.