What a day to have chosen to be on the water, with barely a breath of wind and the scenery today was spectacular! The view looking down Johnstone Strait when we first headed out this morning and up through Blackfish Sound later on in the morning was remarkable, the lighting added warmth and beauty enhancing greatly our viewing of natures seascape!
With early reports of orcas travelling east off Adam’s River this morning we headed down Johnstone Strait hoping for their change of movement back to the west. Near Weynton Island we were fortunate in seeing a sea otter, a rare sighting in our area, it was fabulous seeing this otter, lying on its back while drifting in the current. We did not try and get close to the individual, it was good viewing it at a distance so as not to disturb while seeing it nearby! In Blackney Passage we observed a humpback whale blow and as we neared the area, we could see the whale was moving about in wide circles in the region of Blackney Passage and travelling far out into Johnstone Strait, there was herring ball activity++, with rhinoceros auklets and common murres feeding along with gull species and large flocks of red-necked phalaropes were also seen in Blackney Passage in the fast flowing flooding current.
Two more humpback whales were up near Parsons Light, one slipped on down to Blackney Passage during a long dive and we could see its blow far behind the boat when it finally surfaced while another whale surfaced beside us suddenly, giving us quite a surprise as we were not expecting such a close viewing. The current today was at its peak in the flood while we were making our way against it in Blackfish Sound and the whales were moving about in the current considerably! How wonderful was our viewing and then nearing the top end of Blackfish Sound where numerous diving birds had gathered and were resting, another humpback whale was making its way east in the flood and after surfacing twice was soon behind us. Suddenly out of the corner of our eyes, the humpback whale surfaced lunging and looked to be headed directly across the Sound towards where gulls were seen gathering at the surface and feeding on herring. As the gulls flew upwards, we were all eagerly awaiting for it to lunge feed and we were not disappointed when it was suddenly seen opening wide its mouth and was “trap feeding” briefly. The whale was ‘Conger’, a whale who is one of a few individuals in our local waters, observed frequently “trap feeding!”
Also seen today: stellar sea lions++ swimming and hauled out, harbour seals, belted kingfishers, common murre chicks with their fathers x 2, bald eagles & dall’s porpoises. Yesterday was the first day of seeing a common murre chick trailing behind its father calling++, today we saw two chicks, each with their father. The fathers (who are moulting) and their unfledged chicks are extremely vulnerable to boat strike and attack by Biggs (Transient) Orcas at this crucial stage in their lives and it is important for all mariners to be aware of their vulnerability and inability to fly.
Today’s penned comments: “Fantastic weather, very nice crew and delicious homemade made. We saw lots of whales and other wildlife. Thank you for a beautiful trip.” Christian & Franziska, Germany
“Beautiful weather, gorgeous wildlife, yummy scones and tea, perfect day! Thank you very much, see you next time.” Peter & Frauke, Inken, Fabian and Miriam, BC
“What a nice and exciting trip with you! Thanks alot for this nice day and the good food (these scones are excellent, yummy!!)” George & Ursula, Switzerland
“One perfect day, very enjoyable, lots of whales, the weather was great, food excellent and the crew very knowledgeable. Thank you very much.” Rowner & Walbunga, BC