A fabulous summers day of viewing wildlife in and out of the water!

Blue sky and the glistening sun kept us company for the entire tour, even though a fog bank out to the North threatened to envelop us.

As we departed Alder Bay we stuck close to the shore where the low tide was fully exposed. Only minutes into our tour we observed a single Black bear foraging close to the edge of the water, turning over rocks and eating tasty crustaceans.
We journeyed East down Johnstone Strait and watched a pod of Dall’s porpoise travelling in the glassy calm water. We drifted silently in the ebb tide between narrow passageways, stopping to gaze up at treetops where Eagles perched.
We soon came upon foraging Humpbacks that bucked current, diving shallow numerous times, then descending deep, their tail flukes lifting high towards the sky. We were able to identify one individual as Guardian which thrilled out guests who were then able to put a name to the photos they had taken.
Kelp forests glistened in the sun as well as the Harbour Seal heads that rose to the surface nearby the rocks and reefs we cruised by. We paused to watch a Black-tailed Deer observing us from a rocky shoreline; a surprise encounter like that of the Black Bear we had seen early in the tour.
It was a fabulous summers day on the water with so many more to come.
IMG_5640
IMG_5309

Foraging Humpback Whales~

June 10th

The sun welcomed us out on the water today, as did the calm sea conditions.  We departed with our sights set on exploring the small islands and picturesque passages, leading us to the foraging grounds of the Humpback Whales.

With literally no wind, we were able to search the horizon for whale blows, and it did not take long for us to suddenly see the three-meter whale breath lingering in the still air as a Humpback surfaced just ahead of us.

A mum and calf passed our motionless vessel, giving our guests the opportunity to hear the powerful breath and witness the large marine mammals surfacing as it travelled and foraged.

Dall’s porpoise, Stellar Sea lions, Harbour Seal and numerous eagles were the feature sightings of the day.  The clear visibility in the ocean enabled us to see Bull kelp stipes leading all the way to the ocean floor which mesmerised our guests.

We are happy to be back on the water and look forward to the many tours to come.

IMG_1694IMG_1615

June 8th, 2018 ​ A beautiful first tour of the season!

Seasmoke Whale Watching was out on the water for the first tour of the season.

How wonderful it was to be on the glassy calm water, under a canopy of low cloud, gentle drizzle and the silence of the sea.

It was a tour consisting of numerous marine mammal sightings which included 5 Humpback whales, 200+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins, Stellar Sea Lions, Dall’s Porpoise and Harbour Seals. Not to mention the numerous Bald Eagles we witnessed, poised on the top of cedar trees, their damp wings outstretched wide to dry. All our guests were able to observe a two-week-old Eaglet that popped its head up from a large nest situated in a western red cedar tree.

We are happy to be back on the water, ready for a season filled with awe-inspiring encounters with the wildlife of the region and guests from all over the world eager to witness the beauty of our backyard.

20180608_10200720180608_10211520180608_10223720180608_110956

We are grateful for our summer of abundant and varied wildlife encounters.

IMG_1508IMG_1514IMG_1461IMG_1476IMG_1531

September 27th

Today’s Sightings:

Humpback whales, Dall’s porpoises, Stellar sea lions, Harbour seals, Bald Eagles, Red -necked Phalaropes, Ancient Murrelets, Rhinoceros Auklets, Gull species, Belted Kingfishers, Great Blue Herons, Pelagic Cormorants and Common Murres.

Heavy fog and brilliant sunshine, Humpback whales lunge feeding through numerous bait balls and frolicking sea lions, all took the spot light today as we cruised amongst the scenic rock gardens and bays of this Northern Vancouver Island region.

As sea smoke blanketed the islands and islets of our coastal marine paradise, the M.V. Seasmoke headed out for the final tour of our 2017 season. It is a bittersweet feeling to be hanging up the float suits, winterizing our vessel and closing the office doors. For some of us who are privileged to live in this region, the day has arrived that we begin our farewells, saying goodbye to the majestic and incredible animals who for the summer have called this place home. While some species remain here throughout the winter, most will move on to their wintering grounds including the resident Orcas and Humpback Whales.

When we look back on our posted blogs and images and recall all our profound wildlife encounters, we cannot help but feel overwhelmed with gratitude. Nature in its own rhythm went about its way, balancing within an ecosystem so fascinating yet so fragile.

We have observed feasting Humpback whales, foraging and socializing Orcas, grazing Black bears, diving seabirds, soaring Bald Eagles and sunbathing seals along with numerous other animals. They were simply doing their thing, in their own unique way, all ultimately trying to survive and thrive.

We can only hope that our visitors, along with their photographs and memories, have taken away from their experience while aboard M. V. Seasmoke, an understanding that we are all a part of this Natural World. Humans, whales, birds and bears can coexist in harmony as long as there is an understanding and respect for the needs of all living things. We play a huge role in being the voice for the coast and all who dwell here, therefore ambassadors we have become.

How wonderful it has been to have had the opportunity to share this with visitors from all over the world. May the coming seasons be gentle for our wildlife and kind to all those who shared their lives with us here at Seasmoke.

Thank you.

Seasmoke Whale Watching photo’s have been taken by Dave Jones using a telephoto lens and have been cropped.

Breaching Humpback whales and so much more!

IMG_1428IMG_1431IMG_1437IMG_1444

September 26th

Today’s Sightings:

Humpback whales, Dall’s porpoises, Stellar sea lions, Harbour seals, Bald Eagles, Red-necked Phalaropes, Ancient Murrelets, Rhinoceros Auklets, Gull species, Belted Kingfishers, Great Blue Herons, Cormorants and Common Murres.

As we near the end of our whale watching season having only one touring day to go, we feel the need to take in every morsel of natural phenomena that is revealed right before our eyes while cruising the straits and passages.

Today was a stunner. The seas were like glass, the skies clear and the sun rays soaked us in its beautiful, stunning light. Everything glistened including the slick backs of Humpbacks, the water caressed seals and sea lions, as well as the bull kelp that fringed the rocks and islands where we traveled.

Bald Eagles stood on tops of cedar trees as though they too were taking in the last of the summer. The abundance of animals was a topic of conversation while onboard M.V. Seasmoke. The Stellar sea lions have multiplied in massive numbers, now taking up residence on additional islets and rocks. We had an incredible encounter with a large group who were swimming by, perhaps in pursuit of food. They slowed down, stopped then lifted their heads and shoulders high out of the water and looked straight at us. Their curiosity astounded us as we silently watched.

This morning we were blessed by a sighting of a breaching Humpback whale which occurred shortly after a discussion had just taken place about that very topic. Synchronicity is a fascinating thing.

Despite the fact that we are very much in the middle of Autumn, the signs of summer are holding on by a delightful thread that gives us hope that winter is not yet ready to draw upon us. We have hope that tomorrow, our last tour of the season will offer similar sea and weather conditions. Until then, enjoy the stunning images posted on today’s blog.

Seasmoke Whale Watching photo’s have been taken by Dave Jones using a telephoto lens and have been cropped.

Our wonderful world!

IMG_1394IMG_1399IMG_1410IMG_1314IMG_1323IMG_1304IMG_1421

September 24th.

Our sightings:

Humpback whales, a Minke whale, Pacific White-sided dolphins++, Dall’s porpoises, Stellar sea lions, Mother Black bear and two cubs, Harbour seals, Bald Eagles, Red-necked Phalaropes, Ancient Murrelets, Rhinoceros Auklets, Gull species and Common Murres.

It was an amazing time that we all shared despite there being a heavy fog in our surroundings for much of our tour today.

It began with the sighting of a large bait ball that we were excited to watch as a Minke whale lunged through it, time and again. There were Harbour seals hauled out and Stellar Sea lions to view with Bald Eagles sitting high up on the tree tops as we cruised slowly along to arrive at the edge of the fog line.

We entered into the heavy fog looking for Pacific White-sided dolphins and Humpback whales that had already been reported in Blackfish Sound. Using our boat instruments we motored cautiously and slowly onwards and finally, there they were, some 80++ dolphins and a Humpback whale. Inukshuk the whale was trumpeting loudly and tail lobbing repeatedly. The viewing was spectacular, especially when a second Humpback whale joined in and with dolphins all around, we found ourselves totally immersed and transfixed on the moments at hand that lasted for us a long-while, observing and listening to the dolphins splashing and leaping all around us and the Humpbacks!

As the fog began to clear, on our return home we were able to enjoy the lovely sights of some picturesque island waterways that never disappoint and are always a treat to explore. The last wildlife encounter for everyone was the surprise viewing of a mother Black bear and her two cubs who we observed were feeding amongst the boulders at low tide. Our ending could not have been more heart warming or memorable. A Mother bear teaching her cubs how and when to feed, on a coastal beach where the tide is low and generous with food for their taking, twice a day.

Seasmoke Whale Watching photo’s have been taken by Dave Jones using a telephoto lens and have been cropped.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orcas and Humpback whales in their glory!

IMG_1194IMG_1171IMG_1158IMG_1182IMG_1217IMG_1259IMG_1294

September 21st.

Our sightings:

Orcas ( A34’s and I4’s), Humpback whales, Pacific White-sided dolphins, Dall’s porpoises, Stellar sea lions, Harbour seals, Bald Eagles, Red-necked Phalaropes, Ancient Murrelets, Rhinoceros Auklets, Gull species, Fork-tailed Storm Petrels and Common Murres.

It was an incredible day for viewing wildlife for calm and mirrored waters enabled easy viewing far and wide where Orcas and Humpback whale blows could be seen a long distance away.

As luck would have it, as we headed out on our tour this afternoon we encountered Orcas (A34’s and I4’s) making their way through Weynton Passage towards Johnstone Strait. It was wonderful to see them passing by and to listen to their A & G-Clan calls via our hydrophone as they entered into Johnstone Strait. The lighting was superb and the viewing phenomenal.

Out in Blackfish Sound the blows of Humpback whales were seen rising in all directions near and far away towards the BC Mainland. The sight and sounds of them and a myriad of bird species calling and flying about made the viewing wondrous and unforgettable. We watched while the whales lunged through the bait balls barely formed and soon consumed by the frenzied feeding of the Humpback whales.

Travelling home via the island waterways we watched in awe the Stellar sea lions, those hauled out and sitting upon the rocks majestically while those in the water intrigued us with their graceful and fluid swimming antics.

And then, as though to remind us once again just how wonderful this special place on earth truly is, Pacific White-sided dolphins appeared as though from nowhere and were soon all around us and racing onwards.

Each day we say to ourselves that it cannot get any better, but each day we also have to admit and say that it does!

Seasmoke Whale Watching photo’s have been taken using a telephoto lens by Dave Jones and have been cropped.