A wonderful time viewing a Sea Otter and Humpback Whales!

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October 2, 2016

Our sightings: Humpback Whales, a Sea Otter, Steller Sea Lions, Harbour Seals, Bald Eagles, Rhinoceros and Cassin’s Auklets, Common Murres, Ancient Murrelets, White-winged Scoters, Great Blue Herons and Gulls.

It was a wonderful outing we enjoyed with the Alert Bay Rangers and what a great troup to have on board! The sun was shinning brightly and the sea was like glass, it was a glorious day for everyone to enjoy all of the magic in our surroundings so close to home!

The Humpback Whales were numerous with Yahtzee, Freckles, Moon Star, Merge, Frosty and Quartz identified and we were very lucky to see one breach.

The highlight of the day had to have been the near sighting of a Sea Otter that we observed with a sea urchin and watching it roll around in amongst a kelp forest.

We also enjoyed some close encounters with Stellar Sea Lions and a group of Dall’s Porpoises who came swimming alongside the boat while we sat idle and drifting. What more could we ask for!

 

Photo credits ~Muriel Halle. All photo’s have been cropped and taken with a telephoto lens.

A fantastic day of viewing on both of our tours ~ Orcas, Humpback Whales, bow-riding Dolphins and Porpoises!

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Today’s Sightings: Northern Resident Orcas, Humpback Whales, Dall’s Porpoises, Pacific White-side Dolphins, Steller Sea Lions, Harbour Seals, Rhinoceros and Cassin’s Auklets, Red-Necked Phalaropes, Bald Eagles, Belted Kingfishers, Common Murres, a Great Blue Heron, a Surf Bird and Gull species.

It was an amazing day that we shared with many Cetaceans beginning with Orcas who were first encountered in Blackfish Sound, the A30s! It was fabulous to watch as they travelled east in the Sound, they were hunting and food sharing, socializing and rolling over one another, especially the younger calves; tail and pectoral fin slapping was also observed.

Along the way we encountered  four or more Humpback Whales, one came nearby en-route while travelling. We also enjoyed the presence of Pacific White-sided Dolphins and Dall’s Porpoises who separately came alongside and also rode at our bow as we travelled along, it was a real treat for us all to enjoy!

On our afternoon tour we encountered the A30s in Johnstone Strait as they had turned back to the west at Izumi Rock. There was a group of some 20+ Dolphins who were among the Orcas feeding with them and also harassing them so at that point we observed that the orcas were taking long dives in their attempt to out smart the dolphins! Later, with our hydrophone deployed, we were able to listen to the A30s beautiful A-Clan vocalizations.

There were two Humpback Whales, one came by very close as we sat drifting in the current. We observed some pectoral fin slapping and enjoyed watching as the whales swam in wide circles, going back and forth around us. A final treat that was a delight for us all to see were some bow-riding Dall’s Porpoises who also had their young come alongside. It was an amazing day to say the least!

Photo Credits: Muriel Halle. All photo’s have been cropped and taken with a telephoto lens.

A30s and A42s ~ Beautiful viewing!

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Today’s Sightings: Northern Resident Orcas, Biggs (Transient) Orcas, Humpback Whales, Steller Sea Lions, Dall’s Porpoises, Harbour Seals, Rhinoceros and Cassin’s Auklets, Red-necked Phalaropes, Bald Eagles, Belted Kingfishers and Gull species.

What beautiful weather we are all enjoying on the North Island! Today was a gorgeous one, made even more so with the appearance of the A30s into Johnstone Strait, they having arrived into the area last evening where they joined with the A42s! The morning was a wonderful one and we all enjoyed seeing the two families, close together, travelling slowly west near Kaikash in Johnstone Strait. Their A-Clan vocalizations were beautiful to listen to!

Afterwards, we ventured into Weynton Passage where fog had settled for a while and there we saw a Humpback Whale and Steller Sea Lions frolicking in the kelp forests.

This afternoon, Bigg’s (Transient) Orcas went by Alert Bay, they were the T0137s. People enjoyed watching and taking their photographs from the shore!

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Photo Credits: Andrew Jenning and Seasmoke Whale Watching. All photo’s taken with a telephoto lens and have been cropped.

 

Superstars ~ Orcas and Humpback Whales and other stars as well!

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Today’s Sightings: Northern Resident Orcas, Humpback Whales, Dall’s Porpoises, a Harbour Porpoise, Steller Sea lions, Harbour Seals, Bald Eagles, Belted Kingfishers, Rhinoceros and Cassin’s Auklets, Pigeon Guillemots and a Great Blue Heron.

How lucky are we to live where we do in a place where an abundance of marine mammals and seabirds can be viewed so close to home. We are so inspired by our guests who travel great distances to see our Superstars, the Orcas and Humpback Whales and yet, they are also just as thrilled in seeing the Red-Necked Phalaropes flying low over the water in small cloud-like flocks (a rare sighting in Europe we have been told), the hauled out Harbour Seals, Steller Sea lions and Bald Eagles perched high in trees. All of them are common sightings for most locals but wonderful sights for our guests to gaze upon in awe and photograph.

It is very easy to take it all for granted but how can we? Daily we are reminded by our guests excited expressions for they tell a familiar story. How lucky we are to see so much beauty in our surroundings!

Our tour today was beautiful. There were three Matriline groups travelling together, the A42s, A24s and C10s and we first encountered them resting in Blackfish Sound. When they woke up they began interacting and socializing with each other, the A24s keeping a little distance ahead of the mix of A42s and C10s and we observed some tail slaps and spy-hopping behaviour in the mix of orcas!

Four Humpback Whales were sighted during the tour and Argonaut was one that we identified in Weynton Passage. Our passengers were thrilled to see in one scenic shot, Stellar Sea lions, Dall’s Porpoises and Bald Eagles. Having seen the Superstars earlier on in the tour, everyone was more than content to see the other stars!

It is a wonderful and precious world that we live in, here on the North Island!

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Our C0-Pilot ~Thank you Dava, you stole all of our hearts today!

Photo credits: Muriel Halle & of Dava ~ Andrew Jennings: cropped photos taken with telephoto lens.

Pure magic with Humpback Whales and bow-riding Porpoises in the morning and Orcas in the afternoon!

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Pacific White-sided Dolphins

Pacific White-sided Dolphins

Today’s Sightings: Humpback Whales, Resident Orcas, Dall’s Porpoises, Steller Sea lions (5 hauled out), Pacific White-sided Dolphins, one White-tailed Deer, Bald Eagles, Belted Kingfishers, Red-necked Phalaropes, Common Murres, Pigeon Guillemots, Rhinoceros and Cassin’s Auklets.

What a day to be exploring the diversity of our local waters and the abundance of marine mammals and sea birds, all of them close to home port!  The morning tour had some wonderful viewing of Humpback Whales including a mother and her calf who were observed near the White Cliff Islands where the Coast Range Mountains of Mainland BC added greatly to the viewing experience of the area in which we tour. It was absolutely superb to sit back and allow the beauty reveal its magic to us! The bow-riding Dall’s Porpoises were fabulous, seeing them close-up and darting so happily back and forth alongside, was a highlight for us all to remember for a long while!

Our afternoon tour took on an adventure of its own when there was a report of a large group of Orcas heading east from the Queen Charlotte Strait where they had been sighted travelling east of Port Hardy. It was an amazing tour in which several Matrilines were observed. The Orcas identified were the A35s/A73 and her offspring A104, A34s, A42s, A24s and incoming C10s, it was a wonderful surprise to observe and identify them in the mix! There was a lot of socialization amongst the pods with spy-hops, tail slaps and beautiful A-Clan vocalizations heard via our hydrophone. Pacific White-sided dolphins were also seen and Humpback Whales on the way home.

What more can we say other than, it was a wonderful day and Pure Magic!

All photo credits: Muriel Halle.  All photo’s have been taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

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An awesome day with numerous Orcas and also wonderful viewing of Humpback Whales!

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Today’s Sightings: Resident Orcas: A23s, A25s, A30s, A42s, A24s, A35s/A73, Humpback Whales, Dall’s Porpoises, Harbour seals, Steller Sea lions, Bald Eagles, Belted Kingfishers, Red-necked Phalaropes, Marbled Murrelets, Black Turnstones and Rhinoceros Auklets.

It was an incredible day with multiple pods of orcas in the area and good sightings on both our morning and afternoon tours. Humpback whales including one identified as Freckles were seen with some surprise close viewing on both tours and there were 5-6 Dall’s Porpoises wake surfing on the afternoon tour. There were breaching orcas on the morning tour among the A30’s with the A23s and A25s trailing them.

The misty foggy weather we experienced this morning quickly turned into a gorgeous day with a blue sky and there was sunshine and wind on our afternoon tour.  Orcas in the count this afternoon included all of the A4s (35s/A73 and A24s) and the A42s. It was a really exciting orca day with a lot of activity amongst the groups!

Photo credits: Muriel Halle ~ photo’s have been taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

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Humpback Whales never disappoint! A wonderful day of viewing!

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Today’s Sightings: Humpback Whales, Dalls Porpoises, Harbour seals++, Stellar Sea lions, Bald Eagles, Belted Kingfishers, Red-necked Phalaropes++, Cassin’s Auklets, Black Oystercatchers, Marbled Murrelets, Black Turnstones and Rhinoceros Auklets+. It is also possible that we saw a brief sighting of a Minke Whale on our afternoon tour.

It was a day of viewing magnificent scenery in all directions! It was absolutely beautiful being out on the water, the blue sky and blue water reflected was gorgeous, we could not have asked for lovelier weather! And while there were no orcas in our area, there were fabulous viewings of Humpback Whales and Freckles and Guardian were amongst the count of three Humpback Whales observed on our morning and afternoon tours. Humpback Whales are wonderful to observe, they always surprise and never disappoint!

Touring through the islands homeward bound it is always a treat that we love to share with our guests for there is so much beauty in the big and small, to explore!

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Photo credits: Andrew Jennings and Sarah Hauser. Please note that all photo’s have been taken with a telephoto lens and have been cropped for viewing purposes.