A fantastic day with some quiet moments spent in the presence of a humpback whale named Ojos Blancos / White Eyes, as well as a minke whale sighting!

How fabulous was our day, with sunshine and sparkling waters and glorious hues of blue reflected in the sea and sky! Our encounter with the humpback whale Ojos Blancos was an exciting one and breathtaking to say the least! It was Roberto from Milan, Italy who first sighted the whale surfacing a distance behind our boat in Weynton Passage as we were making our way towards Blackfish Sound. Luckily for us, Roberto (now called our ‘Whale Man’), was looking in the right direction at the right moment. We watched spellbound as the whale took its time circling back and forth in Weynton Passage in the flooding current. Taking some 3-10 minute dives with 6-13 breathes between dives, we so enjoyed watching this whale,  intent on feeding, unperturbed by our presence. Leaving the whale to forage, we carried on exploring the magical Plumper Island waterway’s, observing numerous bald eagles and their nests and hauled out harbour seals, we also enjoyed a brief encounter of a small group of dall’s porpoises riding at the bow of our boat. It was on our way home that we sighted a minke whale and although it was too far away to accurately identify the whale, thanks to Christie, we now know that both Bolt and Rapid were sighted in the area that we passed through today. We also observed: pigeon guillemots, stellar sea lions, rhinoceros auklets, belted kingfishers, cormorants (pelagic and double-crested), common murres, pacific loons, and gull species.

Today’s penned comments ~

It’s been a great “first” whale experience! The sight of a close humpback whale makes you shiver with excitement and gratefulness…. Thank you so much for sharing your whale stories with us. Alessandra & Roberto (The Whale Man).

Ps: we will be back for the orcas. ~ Milan/Rome, Italy

Beautiful sunny day on the water. Dall’s porposes and a multitude of eagles. The star of the show (and a check on my bucket list) was the humpback whale. The scones and tea were fantastic, really good tea – strong in a brown betty. Maureen and Dave are really knowledgeable and obviously love this gorgeous place. Will recommend this trip to everyone. The boat is smooth and sturdy. Thank you for a great day ~ Lois, Todd and Sam, Parksville, BC

What a beautiful day on the boat. Happy to see a humpback and minke whale and also porpoises! Second time for me with Seasmoke, first time for Bikkki. Thank you Dave and Maureen! I’m sure we will be back. ~ Kim & Biiki, Ontario

Had a wonderful time. Thank you! First time on a sail boat. Was a beautiful peaceful day. Thanks so much for the information shared about the marine life. Spectacular sighting of the humpback, made my day.                                    Thanks ~ Lisa & Jeff, Vancouver, BC

Dear people, It was a wonderful trip. We enjoyed it very much. It was a spectacular!

Thank you so much for everything. ~ Martin en Yvonne from Holland.

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Fantastic day with playful Orcas: A30’s and A42’s and numerous Humpback whales!

Our tour today was a fantastic one with incredible sightings of both orcas and humpback whales. As we headed out this morning through Weynton Passage we passed four humpback whales who were all spread a distance apart feeding and moving rapidly about in the flooding current. We carried on and sighted orcas travelling west along the Swanson Island shoreline, they too were well spread out and foraging and we could soon make out the unmistakable dorsal fin belonging to A38 from the A30’s matriline as he foraged west from Bold Head. Before we realized, several orcas (who we had seen foraging intensely a distance away, females and their calves) suddenly rushed together, excited and playful with one of them breaching multiple times. The vocalizations heard via our hydrophone were A-Clan calls from both the A30’s and A42’s and they were absolutely wonderful to listen to. We drifted in the flooding current with our engine off enjoying the beauty and sounds of our surroundings and looking out towards Mainland BC, the water was flat calm and there were very few boats around, we could also see and hear the blows of several more humpback whales, some a distance away with one surfacing amongst the orcas. We were taken completely by surprise when several orcas came swimming towards us and before we knew it, they were around and under the boat, looking upwards at us as they did so. We will never know if they were inquisitive and playful or chasing salmon alongside the hull of the boat, it was so unexpected to see them at such close proximity and happened so quickly. To us they appeared highly interested in our own excited squeals of amazement as much as we were interested in looking down on their black and white streamlined bodies, it was utterly and unbelievably stunning to witness so many exquisite moments in the blink of an eye! It happened not once but several times with them passing alongside and under and around the boat with incredible viewing of majestic wonder and beauty. The humpback whale continued to surface nearby and began to steal the show with multiple tail lobbing that lasted a long while or so it seemed, it too was fantastic to watch! We cruised through the Plumper Islands and entering Weynton Passage we could see four humpback whales working the area, cruising back and forth, all of them were feeding intensely. One whale caught our attention when lunge feeding through a herring ball and as we came closer we could see that it had commenced to trap feed. With its jaws wide open on the waters surface, and lying vertical in the water it would stay still momentarily and then close its mouth, swallowing the small fish trapped inside using baleen while straining out the water. It was astonishing to watch, the sequence became one of waiting for it to resurface and then to observe the mouth wide open and to also see the baleen! Also seen today: stellar sea lions++, harbour seals, common murres, rhinoceros and cassin’s auklets, fork-tailed storm petrels, great blue herons, bald eagles and gull species.

Today’s penned comments: “Thank you for a wonderful trip! It was really amazing to see the whales, eagles, sea lions…we hope to come back in a few more years to do a trip with you again.” ~ Steven & Kathrin, Germany

“Most amazing time! Love the boat, your knowledge of both the area and wildlife. Thanks so much. ”                ~Bob & Heidi, Alberta

“Maureen & Dave, what an incredibly special day! Absolutely amazing day! Thanks so much.”~ Barb & Don, BC

“Absolutely INCREDIBLE! Killer whales swimming under and around the boat, sea lions basking and humpbacks trap fishing! A once in a life-time opportunity. Thank you.” ~ Don Jr, Canada

“Thank’s for the trip! What a trip!” Ian, ManitobaIMG_5176 IMG_5187 IMG_5195 IMG_5200 IMG_5223 IMG_5226 IMG_5302 IMG_5334 IMG_5375 IMG_5436 IMG_5441 IMG_5500 IMG_5506 IMG_5537 IMG_5546 IMG_5552 IMG_5561 IMG_5564 IMG_5568 IMG_5573 IMG_5581

Beautiful viewing of A30’s & A5’s + 12 Humpback Whales!

We enjoyed a beautiful day with some fabulous viewing of resident orcas A30’s and A5’s (A23’s, A25’s & A42’s) as they swam slowly east from Cracroft Point against the ebbing current towards the Robson Bight Ecological Reserve. Prior to this we had a wonderful encounter with a group of dall’s porpoises who rode for a time at the bow of our boat, we also observed pacific white-sided dolphins and there were humpback whales in Weynton Passage as we passed by, all of this was ahead of seeing the orcas in Johnstone Strait! The lighting today across the sky and reflecting over the water was ever-changing and beautiful as the four matrilines all came together and made their way towards the Reserve.  It was mesmerizing to watch them and the varying shades of blue, silver and grey tinged with pink, change, moment by moment! We left the orcas as they rested and were drifting near and then on past Izumi Rock in a back-eddy on their way to the Reserve. We had all enjoyed memorable moments with tail slapping, spy-hopping and breaching behaviour observed. Turning up into Blackney Passage it was not long before we encountered our first close sighting of a humpback whale who we identified as KC and as we travelled further into Blackfish Sound and then through Weynton Passage we were all excited to see eleven more humpback whales, some of whom were breaching! Unbelievably, we luckily avoided all of the rain clouds, there were a few sprinklings of rain drops felt and none while partaking of our Devonshire Teas on our way home! Also seen today: stellar sea lions, harbour seals, rhinoceros auklets, common murres, red-necked phalaropes+++, bald eagles, fork-tailed storm petrels, belted kingfishers, great blue herons, marbled murrelets and gull species.

Today’s penned comments: “Great tour, impressive encounters, all types of weather, nice hospitality! Many thanks!” ~ Joan, The Netherlands

“Really great/amazing/fantastic tour! Don’t often enjoy ‘tours’ but this had a great vibe with two great hosts and amazing boat. We loved seeing all the orcas and humpbacks! Thanks a lot!” ~ Elyse & Elliot, Australia

“Amazing! Seen so many wonderful things on our journey and seen animals do great things. The passion you’ve put into it makes it even more of a great experience. It has been everything I expected and more! Thank you so much! ” ~ Esmeralda, The Netherlands

“I was blessed to do this for the third time and for two days. Saw even more than ever and enjoyed the fabulous scenery which is as special as the creatures we have seen. Humpbacks were a real great extra surprise for me and thanks for muffins, scones and hot chocolate! Hugz!” Marcella ~ The Netherlands (Mum of Esmeralda)

“Great time, the most whales I have seen on any whale watching trip.” ~ Travis, USA

“So many orcas all together! Amazing.” ~ Wim & Janette, Netherlands

“Excellent trip! Lot of pods. We don’t see that in the Netherlands! ” ~Arthur & Anneke, NetherlandsIMG_4082 IMG_4084 IMG_4087 IMG_4091 IMG_4100 IMG_4145 IMG_4171 IMG_4195 IMG_4213 IMG_4286 IMG_4290 IMG_4384 IMG_4402 IMG_4453 IMG_4456 IMG_4460 IMG_4467 IMG_4473

A30’s, A23’s & A25’s + Humpback Whales ~ a relaxed and wonderful day with the whales!

We enjoyed a beautiful day of breathtaking scenic beauty and wonder. The day was a lovely one with not a breath of wind and the orcas seemed to enjoy as well the quiet morning; they were travelling very slowly east from where we first encountered them near the Bauza Islets. We identified the A30’s: A50 and A54 and their calves and also the A23’s, while A38 was seen initially foraging a distance away as well two more orcas were further ahead, the A25’s. Relaxed and leisurely they all swam together, against the ebbing current and going nowhere fast, we observed playful interactions between the younger calves which included jostling, spyhopping, tail and pectoral slapping. They gradually made their way close in along the Vancouver Island shoreline where A38 joined them and they all continued travelling slowly east. We carried on through Weynton Passage where we observed two humpback whales, two more could be seen further out in Blackfish Sound with another making its way towards Weynton Passage off Donegal Head. We enjoyed cruising through the waterways of the Plumper Islands, looking at bald eagle nests high up in the treetops and kelp forests, all glistening brightly in the sunlight and looking so beautiful today! Also seen: harbour seals, a stellar sea lion, dall’s porpoises, fork-tailed storm petrels, bald eagles and newly fledged eaglets, rhinoceros auklets, common murres, belted kingfishers, great blue herons and gull species.

Today’s penned comments: “A generous offering of natures beauty and sea life in the context of gracious hospitality – tea and scones! Thank you.” ~ Judith, Bowen Island, BC

“So appreciate your excellent guidance through this incredible vista after vista, natural history accounts and marvellous things to eat.” ~ Alison, Arizona

“We had an extraordinary experience with the orcas and enjoyed the hospitality of the crew very much. Thank you so much! ” ~ Adriana and Heinz, Switzerland

“This was a fabulous journey and we never had this before. Thanks for your wonderful trip! We would like to do it again.” ~ Amy & family ~ BeiJing, China

“Thank you Maureen & Mike! What a wonderful day I had onboard Seasmoke. The food, the company, sights and weather were all wonderful!” ~ Barb, Ontario

” Maureen’s passion and love for nature and the birds, mammals and the changing light is so exhilarating. The Tuan trip is such an experience. ” ~ Pat, Alert Bay.

“Beautiful BC at its absolute best from a sailboat up close! Islands, kelp forests, seals, birds – and whale watching….accommpanied by hot scones and tea! Thank you so much – a great day! ” Thea, Vancouver BC

“Many thanks to beautiful BC and you guys once again and no fog. All the best.” ~ Marty, Alert BayIMG_3395 IMG_3471 IMG_3489 IMG_3503 IMG_3507 IMG_3546 IMG_3563 IMG_3572 IMG_3577 IMG_3578 IMG_3580 IMG_3585 IMG_3590 IMG_3599 IMG_3611 IMG_3613 IMG_3617

Magical moments with the A23’s and A25’s ~ quietly beautiful!

We enjoyed some wonderful whale watching today with the A-Clan orcas, the A23’s and A25’s and the fog and rain that closed in around us later on in our tour today only added to the magic of the beautiful B.C. rain-coast! We so enjoyed our early meanderings through the Stephenson Islands where bald eagles were gathered and harbour seals (mothers and their pups) were hauled out. The orcas were travelling west from Boat Bay and we encountered them near the Baron Reefs in Johnstone Strait. They were travelling slowly, stopping at times to forage, both groups were travelling close along the Hanson Island shoreline and at one point an orca breached twice and a lucky passenger onboard captured one of the breaches, alas, we did not, but the moment was a splendid one for those watching! Also seen today: dall’s porpoises, rhinoceros auklets, common murres, black oyster catchers and black turnstones, bald eagles++, belted kingfishers and gull species.

Today’s penned comments:

“A foggy morning, but a great boat trip! We’ve seen orcas, eagles, kingfishers and more. Maureen and Mike are great hosts! We had nice warm cups of tea with scones and muffins. The best were the orcas, beautiful animals! Thanks a lot.” ~ Fam. van der Eyk, Netherlands

“We were fortunate to see orcas today and Maureen’s information about them made it even more memorable. Thanks for the warm clothes, coffee and homemade food. We have had a fantastic trip. Thank you!”     ~ Richard, Janet & Dillion, London, England.

“We had a wonderful trip! We started with sunshine and a little ‘Seasmoke.’ We saw seals, bald eagles, porpoises and orca’s. Later on it started raining but it didn’t matter at all. We had some drinks and scones. Thank you for taking us to this place on earth!” ~ Fam. Nieuwhof, NetherlandsIMG_1078 IMG_1086 IMG_1092 IMG_1103 IMG_1106 IMG_1118 IMG_1128 IMG_1136 IMG_1139 IMG_1140 IMG_1142

Unbelievable day with Cetacean sightings – Orcas, Humpback and Minke Whales!

It was a fabulous day on the water with glassy calm blue waters and a clear blue sky as well and perfect for seeing marine mammals! We entered into Weynton Passage after viewing numerous juvenile bald eagles and hauled out harbour seals, black oyster catchers and black turnstones. It seemed that humpback whales were everywhere in Weynton Passage and out into Blackfish Sound as well off Bold Head. We enjoyed our time with some 5-6 individuals, ‘Argonaut’ was among them and then we headed towards Lizard Point where orcas had been sighted. We caught up to them just west of Lizard Point, they were well spread out and travelling to the east at a leisurely pace. With our hydrophone deployed there were no calls, they were silent. At one point a small group of orcas surfaced near our boat and we saw an orca with two notches in her fin, we believe was I104 from the I35’s. The orcas were well spread out, two large males were also seen travelling together near to the Malcolm Island shoreline, they were too far away to ID, as were the other orcas, likely they were the I15’s. On the way home in Pearse Passage we had a good sighting of the minke whale ‘Bolt’, it was a fabulous ending to a fabulous day! Also seen today: dall’s porpoises, stellar sea lions, common murres, rhinoceros auklets, red-necked phalaropes, fork-tailed storm petrels, a black-tailed deer on an island, herring, glaucous-winged and california gulls.

Todays penned comments: Today (August 3) we went with Seasmoke Whale Watching. This is our second time and we just love it. The weather was just beautiful. We saw seals, bald eagles, humpback whales, sea lions and orcas. It took some time for the orcas to show up but then it was awesome!The hospitality on board is great. Maureen told us a lot about the wildlife. The muffins, scones, tea, hot chocolate was nice too, because the wind was a little cold. It’s so nice to talk to other people and hear about their stories on Vancouver Island. I recommend this. It’s great! ~ Family Smeele, Holland

Dear Crew, I really enjoyed this whale watching tour! It was a great pleasure to meet you and I thank you for having me on this trip. Coming from so far away, I have gained my knowledge by seeing one of the – if not the – most beautiful places on our planet. Please take my greatest thanks for today , you have showed us the whales so carefully. I hope that this place on earth will be unaffected by human activities. ~ Mathias, Dresden, Germany

What beautiful morning light. Every confidence in the crew, their ethics and their ability to host. The ship is comfortable and quiet – thank you for the trip, the whales and whale education!  ~ Marilee, BCJuvenile Bald Eagles Juvenile Bald Eagle Dall's Porpoises + calf Looking down Johnstone Strait today!

'Bolt'

Minke Whale ‘Bolt’

Minke Whale ~ Bolt Relaxing in the sunshine on deck Devonshire Tea being served IMG_9937 IMG_9934

From I35's -G-Clan (I31 matriline)

I104 From I35’s -G-Clan born 2002
(I35 matriline)

Black-tailed Deer Humpback Whale- Argonaut Black Oyster Catchers

Orcas, Humpback and Minke Whales with breathtaking moments in their company!

It turned out to be a long day yet a fabulous one with some close encounters of orcas, humpback and minke whales. When we headed out this morning the orcas ( I15’s and A42’s), who had been reported milling off Blackney Passage began travelling east and slowly made their way into the Ecological Reserve. When we caught up to them they had still not ventured past the east end of the Reserve, and while many were seen in a resting line close to the Vancouver Island shoreline inside of the Reserve, a group of three were seen across the Strait on the West Cracroft Island side of Johnstone Strait. The orcas, all continued moving east on both sides of the Strait and we enjoyed a magical encounter of two foraging after salmon nearby, turning back and forth lunging after their prey. It was exciting to watch the speed at which they lunged and the momentum of their bodies moving rapidly through the water focused and intent on their prey! We made our way back while enjoying Devonshire Tea and were soon up in Blackney Passage viewing a large herring ball and later dall’s porpoises feeding and two humpback whales, one of whom (Argonaut) surfaced nearby! It was brilliant viewing and on we went, heading for Alder Bay when a minke whale surfaced suddenly ahead of us and that too was a fabulous sighting. A second minke whale was seen in the distance and closer to Alert Bay. It was a brilliant ending to a day of some exceptional visual encounters!

Today’s penned comments: Seasmoke Tour has been beyond our expectations! The tour was very personal and intimate which made this a memorable experience. Our tour guide and Captain were both enthusiastic and passionate about marine mammals which led to the sighting of orcas, humpback and minke whales. We were able to gain a great deal of knowledge from our tour guide about marine wildlife. The warm freshly baked muffins and scones were an added treat! I highly recommend Seasmoke for your whale watching tour!!! Such a lovely day. Sofia and Tanner ~ Toronto, Canada ~ Thanks So Much!!!

Seasmoke went above and beyond finding us some whales to view. But almost as spectacular as the whales was the story telling that Maureen did in between, sharing personal antidotes and whale facts. A day well spent! And the muffins and scones didn’t hurt either! Thanks for everything! Jeremy Tankard ~ Vancouver

This tour was incredible. At first it was pretty fun just going on the water(and the muffins and scones were an extra bonus), but then we saw the whales and it was amazing! We saw 3 kinds of whales, and we saw them really close-up too, which was really cool. All in all, this tour was an amazing experience that I highly recommend.

Hermione Tankard (age 12) ~ Vancouver, BCIMG_7750 IMG_7765 IMG_7769 IMG_7773 IMG_7781 IMG_7784 IMG_7803 IMG_7816 IMG_7822 IMG_7825 IMG_7837 IMG_7845