Marine Mammal Buffet

Skipper Jon set off with a boat load of international travelers in search of the wonders of Northern Vancouver Island inside waters. The fog had generously lifted by the time of departure and the sea was comfortably calm. Both sky and sea was the same soft grey and what broke the one colour were the deep forest greens of the mountains and trees.

Today numerous marine mammals made it on our species list including two Biggs Orca who appeared to not be hungry. They traveled west in Johnstone Strait taking five to six minute deep dives, passing Dall’s porpoise, Pacific white-sided dolphins, Stellar sea lions and even Harbour seals. They were uninterested in the buffet of marine life, instead it seemed they were on a mission to get somewhere. At least the Humpbacks were hungry.

We were thrilled to observe at least seven to eight Humpback whales lunge feeding on numerous bait balls that had formed in the vicinity of Wheyton Passage and Blackfish Sound. At times we did not know which way to look as the large head and open mouths lunged out of the water in all directions. One Humpback took a narrow passage through the Plumper Islands. An already large whale appeared even larger in the tight quarters of this picturesque channel, framed by forests of bull kelp and rocky outcrops.

Throughout the day we could feel fall in the air, as the low lying clouds remained with us all day. A break from the sun can sometimes be welcomed and often means no fog in the morning.

As the wildlife went about their day, as did the residents and visitors of Alert Bay who were winding down after the long weekend.

Hayley ShephardComment