What a beautiful day with so many sightings! Our tour today took us in the direction of the Robson Bight (Michael Bigg) Ecological Reserve where orcas were reported nearby and they were on the verge of entering when we headed out this morning. En route in Johnstone Strait we had some surprise sightings beginning with the sighting of a black bear on a beach on Vancouver Island and a second one a few kilometres further east. We passed dall’s porpoises feeding nearby as well a small group of pacific white-sided dolphins who were also fully focussed on feeding. As we neared the eastern boundary of the Robson Bight Ecological Reserve, a minke whale passed us travelling to the west and it was a wonderful surprise seeing this whale so far east in Johnstone Strait! Looking towards the Reserve, we could see a group of orcas nearing Critical Point, close to the shoreline while many more orcas who had been in a large resting line, looked to be heading out of the Reserve angling west in the direction of Cracroft Point!
And so it was that we were able to view the A30’s, A5’s, A42’s and A4’s who travelled close along the Cracroft Island side of Johnstone Strait. The A30’s were in the lead with A38 out in the front and foraging, the A5’s and A4’s were travelling in tight groups just behind them while the A42’s trailed a short distance behind; all were headed towards Cracroft Point. With our hydrophone deployed at one point we could hear distant G-Clan calls, those of the I15’s and G27’s who had carried on to the east in the Reserve. We observed when A38 angled back to the east foraging briefly, and then he angled outwards towards our boat, passing alongside and then crossing further out towards mid strait, at that point we again deployed our hydrophone with our engine off and heard some wonderful A-Clan vocalizations, which were fabulous to listen to. In Blackney Passage, we observed a humpback whale feeding in wide circles in the passage, we could also see the blows of two more humpback whales near Parsons Bay. Johnstone Strait today provided us with an amazing array of species in a relatively small area which was truly remarkable!
Today’s penned comments: “Had an awesome day, many orcas, two bears, humpback and delicious scones and tea. Thanks for this nice and amazing trip.” Bertha, Thomas & Ben, Germany
“Thanks for the great tour. Well done. A real treat for a couple of Prairie flat landers like us.” Phil & Suzanne, Saskatoon, SK
” Thanks for an amazing trip yet again!My fondest childhood memories are of trips on your sailboat watching orcas. It is bittersweet to be out here for the last few times, but I always have a great time.”Keaghan (Heidi’s & Bobby’s daughter).
“Thanks for a fabulous trip”
“I had an amazing time watching orcas and humpback whales! I also loved seeing the bears on shore. You guys are a charismatic duo and clearly love what you do. Thanks for teaching us about the orca families and the ways that orcas are protected from harm. One of a kind experience.” Katelyn, Portland
“Thank you for a beautiful experience!” Simone & Michel, Winnipeg,
‘A wonderful trip with two bears, dall’s porpoise, white-sided dolphins, A-30 Orca family, humpback whale feeding and best of all, Maureen’s scones.” Heidi, Bobby & Clan. Portland.