Watching and Listening
This morning we were greeted by calm waters and our August fog. (There is a reason that locals call August “Fog-ust”!) We didn’t let the fog discourage us, but enjoyed the mysterious feeling that it gave to our trip, and by the middle of the afternoon, the sun was out in full force.
This morning, we found our first humpback whales by listening. If you have never heard a whale breathe before, it is hard to describe the feeling you get when you hear these giant mammals blow, especially in the fog, when you can hear them (and smell them!) before you can see them. We saw several different humpbacks, and were even surprised and delighted when one breached and then slapped its fluke onto the water.
On our tours today, we saw orca, both Bigg’s/transients (T90s) and northern resident orca (A69s). Whenever that first dorsal fin is sighted, passengers become instantly alert and tuned into every ripple and movement on the water. What excitement to see these creatures that are so often hidden from our sight, whether by the water, or simply by geographical distance. Many of our passengers travel across the world with a dream to see the wildlife that our coast has to offer.
Today our wildlife sightings also included Dall’s porpoises, Stellar sea lions and harbour seals. We are also seeing a wide variety of bird life as the season progresses. We saw large numbers of rhinoceros auklet, red-necked phalarope, pigeon guillemot, and common murre, along with bald eagles, black oystercatchers, and a solitary great blue heron. Seeing all of these creatures, breathing the brisk ocean air, hearing the blows of the whales - all of these experiences combined to make two great tours today!