Orcas, Humpback Whales, a Sea Otter and Eagles Galore
Arriving at the dock in Alder Bay this morning we enjoyed some fantastic viewing of many Bald eagles; some were sitting high on treetops while several more were flying overhead.
Leaving the dock and making our way towards the Stephenson Islets, we entered into a surreal world of dense fog, and for some on board, it was their first experience of being in a fog while on the water. As we approached the Stephenson Islets, the fog lessened, allowing us to see the islets and abundant kelp forests amongst which lay numerous Harbour Seals, mothers and their pups who were hauled out and resting.
Travelling further and out towards Blackfish Sound we listened intently for whale blows in the fog. We were surprised when a Humpback whale suddenly broke the water while surfacing close by, giving everyone an encounter they will never forget. One never knows what one might see on any given day as even in fog conditions, the viewing can be phenomenal as was ours today! We encountered two more Humpback whales before making our way back, and en route, a small group of Dall's porpoises joined us briefly riding at our bow which was a thrill for all but especially the children onboard who loved to watch as they surfaced and dived as though in play around us. Another surprise viewing on our return to Alder Bay was that of a Black-tailed deer walking along the shoreline.
On our afternoon tour, the fog had dissipated, and with a report of Orcas some distance away, we headed in their direction and encountered Biggs (Transient) Orcas near the Holford Islands. Ahead of our arrival, the vessel reporting the orcas had observed their feeding activity and Dall's porpoises fleeing the area. We watched the orcas milling around before they started travelling and at that time we left them. Our viewing was fantastic and well worth the effort we made to go so far to see them.
It was a fabulous tour with sightings of many species, including that of a River otter and surprisingly at close range! We also saw two Humpback whales and Dall's porpoises played again at our bow as we sat watching a Humpback whale near Donegal Head. Bird species seen today included Rhinoceros Auklets, Pigeon Guillemots, Common Murres and Red-necked phalaropes.
What more can we say, our passengers all of them, on both tours were thrilled with all they had seen, the day was an entirely wonderful one and the scenery breathtaking!