Humpback Whales and Phalaropes

With 25 degrees Celsius in the forecast we thought this ‘damper than usual’ fog would certainly burn away in no time. Surprisingly this was not the case. On the backside of Alert Bay and beyond the Pearce Islands, the fog remained thick and constant throughout the day.

We experienced calmer than calm ocean conditions which really made for comfortable and easy travel during both tours today. Any wildlife that disturbed the surface, whether it was a harbour seal popping its head discreetly above the water, or perhaps the subtle appearance of a Dall’s porpoise, we noticed every ripple.

Today the Red Necked Phalaropes stole the show as thousands upon thousands we seen in numerous locations.  We were surprised by the passing of a small pod of Pacific White-sided dolphins. Often we experience them in large groups, but this group consisted of about five individuals, in amongst them was at least two young calves.

What was unexpected about this morning was an encounter with what seemed a very curious humpback whale. We had seen the blow from a distance, approached the vicinity slowly then stopped and turned off our engines. As we watched the whale do a series of shallow dives, then a deep dive, the next time it surfaced was much closer. It then proceeded to circle us, as though investigating the strange vessel with orange suited people in it. We all felt touched by the whale’s presence and grateful of its trust.

By afternoon the fog was still present, but thankfully the loudness of the Humpbacks breath enabled us to track one individual down and as it foraged in great circles we drifted quietly and watched.

Back in Alert Bay, the day after BC day and the Alert Bay 360, the town has gone quiet again. All the kayakers have now departed and we are back to the day to day hum of this picturesque and friendly town.

Hayley ShephardComment