Humpback and Orca Surprises

Humpback and Orca surprises were the theme of today’s adventures out on the MV Seasmoke with skipper Jon.

We set out in foggy conditions which thickened the further into Blackfish Sound we motored. Beyond Stubbs Island offered visibility only as far as the end of our nose which added to the challenge of finding whales, however thankfully, this morning the whales found us.

Resident Orcas appeared like ghosts beyond a dense curtain of ocean mist. They seemed double their size due to the lack of horizon to measure against. Their blows broke the salty, still air and as they surfaced, they created a ripple so subtle that once they were under again, it was hard to believe that they were even present.

The youngsters in the group were curious and playful, popping their heads out of the water to view their above ocean surroundings. The large male dorsal fin sliced through the glassy calm sea and gave our guests an opportunity to capture this mighty six foot dorsal fin on ‘film’.

When it was time to move on the fog was still with us and crossing Blackfish Sound to look for Humpbacks in such limited visibility was not a favourable option. Just as we were about to continue on our way, a Humpback whale surfaced, surprising us all with its large body and loud blow. The wildlife surprises did not end here because only minutes before our tour ended, another Humpback surfaced in an area not known for Humpback encounters. 

By afternoon the fog had lifted, the sun was streaming down from a generous blue sky and the Orca were still in our vicinity. Bait balls had formed so Humpbacks had the opportunity to feast in the company of numerous hungry birds. Stellar sea lions were jostling for position on their limited rocky islets and a rate sighting of a Minke whale added to our species list that was getting longer by the minute.


A generous comment in our visitor’s book sums up our spectacular day beautifully;

“AMAZING!! My dream to see wild Orca in British Columbia is done! Thanks to you Seasmoke. Jon was an excellent naturalist guide. Alert Bay will be forever in our hearts”

Hayley ShephardComment