Feeding frenzy

The ocean today was a gentle mix of silvery-blues and dark greens, reflecting the cloud cover above and the tree-covered coastline that surrounded us. Some say that grey, blue and green are the three colours that best describe the coast of British Columbia, and today aboard the MV Seasmoke, passengers and crew alike enjoyed the classic coastal beauty of this calm August day.

As we headed out for our wildlife viewing adventure, we had our eyes peeled in every direction, looking for the distinctive blows of humpbacks and the black dorsal fins of the elusive orca. Our search was soon rewarded when we came across humpbacks. We were excited when we saw them lunge feeding! Humpback whales are baleen whales, and eat anywhere from 1-2 tons a day during the approximately four months that they are feeding in cold waters. Their diets consist of small schooling fish such as herring, as well as small ocean critters such plankton and krill. They have very small throats and are physically unable to swallow anything larger than these.

Among the feasting whales were a number of birds who were also partaking in the bait ball feast. Rhinoceros Auklets, Common Murres and various gull species all shared in the abundance of the sea, squawking and vocalizing as they acrobatically flew in close proximity to eachother.

Sightings of Pacific white-sided dolphins, Dall’s porpoises, Stellar sea lions and harbour seals rounded out our tours nicely. Each animal we encountered today plays a vital role in an intricate cause-and-effect web here in our coastal region, and each has a charm and beauty all of its own.

Hayley ShephardComment