Mother Nature's bountiful beauty in our backyard
It all began this morning with light rain forming a scotch mist low over the water which quickly disappeared when we headed out on tour. We welcomed the glassy calm waters crossing Broughton and Johnstone Strait's watching enthralled the cloud formations that hung high and heavy over forested areas far along Vancouver Island.
Nuances of colour began peeping into our awareness as pinks and blues wove into and through the cloud cover and then our attention changed back toward the ocean ahead of us where another kind of misty spray, that of Humpback whale blows, distinct and highly visible, could be seen rising upwards and above a myriad of seabirds. The birds had gathered together and were seen hovering over massive bait balls near the water surface and where numerous Humpback Whales could be seen lunging towards and through the balls at incredible speed.
One has to witness first hand such a marvellous scene, to comprehend just how quickly and precisely these massive whales gain momentum, diving and then lunging up through the surface of the water, being fully focused on the large volume of bait (small schooling fish and krill) swimming in their midst while gulping down vast mouthfuls of food, all the while there were birds actively feeding in and around their open mouths; gulls, Rhinoceros Auklets and Common Murres included in the feeding frenzy!
It was a wild and wonderful place to be this morning, sitting in comfort on our seats aboard M.V. Seasmoke, looking out on the wide body of water that was still and glassy and of a glorious shade of blue. We all felt tremendous joy and privilege at seeing all that we had in such a short span of time.
And, then, when we thought it could not get any better, it did when we encountered Orcas travelling east towards us at the top end of Blackfish Sound. It was an incredible sight to see the A50's and I4’s in the lead followed by the A54's, A25’s and A42’s. We watched spell bound listening to their calls via our hydrophone and were mesmerized by their graceful dive and surfacing sequences, the sound of their blows and sight of them making way through the glassy calm waters of Blackfish Sound was unforgettable.
Making our way home, the finale included a wonderful replay and recap of bountiful beauty we had seen from start to finish and included sightings of Harbour seals, Stellar Sea Lions, Dall's Porpoises, Red-necked Phalaropes, Common Murres, a Great Blue Heron and Rhinoceros Auklets.
As one passenger remarked " It was a beautiful day on the sea"!
Photo’s will follow