Choppy Seas and Scattered Rain Showers

When we woke up this morning in Alert Bay, it was to the sound of the rain falling and the wind blowing. Thankfully, the whales are happy on both rainy and sunny days, and we stay warm in our orange flotation suits. Undaunted by the threatening skies, we set out and were glad to see the rain abate, even though the waters were “lumpy” (as we locals say) down Johnstone Strait, which is where we spotted our first wildlife of the day - northern resident orca! We watched in wonder as the young in the group (the A42s) repeatedly breached into the waves. We also saw spyhopping and tail slapping. Later, Pacific white-sided dolphins joined the fray, splashing and frolicking, and generally pestering the orca, as dophins are prone to do. Later in the day, we also saw orca from the I4s, A30s, and A25s.

The humpback activity was spectacular today too, beginning with an impressive breach in the morning, and some amazing shows of lunge feeding, where we saw the mouth of the whale opened wide with its baleen showing. Salmon were jumping, birds were dive bombing the bait fish, blue herons were watching, perched on nearby kelp, and harbour seals kept an eye on things as well from their vantage point on the rocks. Bald eagle pairs sat high in trees watching the spectacle, even as Stellar sea lions impressed us with their massive size and loud vocals as they rested on rocky outcroppings along the shore. Our humpback viewing culminated in repeated humpback breeching, flipper and tail slapping.

What a gorgeous day! Humpback, resident orca, Stellar sea lions, Pacific white-sided dolphins, eagles, myriads of birds, seals . . . there was action-packed wildlife in every direction all day today. Awesome!

Hayley ShephardComment