An amazing encounter with Northern Resident Orcas and Humpback Whales!


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Our blog from September 29th, 2016

Our sightings: Northern Resident Orcas, Humpback Whales, Dall’s Porpoise, Steller Sea Lions, Harbour Seals, Bald Eagles, Rhinoceros and Cassin’s Auklets, Common Murres, Ancient Murrelets, Sooty Shearwaters, White-winged Scoters, Great Blue Herons, Belted Kingfishers and Gulls!

The afternoon tour was a fantastic surprise for everyone when an orca fin was sighted in the distance and so it was after hearing orca vocals via our hydrophone that we also got to see them. From their vocals (pinging sounds) we believe that it was G-Clan orcas, possibly I31s (the vocals that we heard) and our viewing was of some of the A34s who were spread out and foraging over a wide area.

Humpback Whales were also seen along with so much else and touring through the Plumper Islands was simply divine! It was an incredible afternoon, the weather was exquisite and the photo’s posted of the orcas show only a glimpse of what we all so enjoyed. Unbelievable and wondrous!

Photo credits: Hayley Shephard. Photo’s were cropped and taken with a telephoto lens.

A fantastic day! Resident and Transient Orcas and Humpback Whales!

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, Black Turnstones and Gull species.

What an incredible morning for viewing marine life! We first encountered the A42’s who were foraging west from Kaikash to Blinkhorn while on our hydrophone we were able to listen to their beautiful A-Clan vocalizations! Afterwards we observed two Humpback Whales, one we identified as Argonaut. Meanwhile, the Bigg’s (Transient) Orcas, T059 & T041’s who had been reported earlier travelling east along the north side of Malcolm Island, we observed them first in heavy current porpoising fast around Stubbs Island and watched as they made their way close along the Plumper Islands shoreline while the Steller Sea Lions quickly hauled out of the water just ahead of them!

It was an amazing morning, with so much variety in the wildlife sightings and endless activity that was happening all around us to watch, seemingly at the same time!

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

Northern Resident Orca Update ~ A30’s matriline ~ since their arrival back!

It was on the afternoon of July 15th that some Northern Resident Orcas had been sighted in the far west but it was the A30 matriline that finally made their way as far as Bere Point on Malcolm Island around 3:30 p.m. in the afternoon. No other groups made it down to Bere Point and have likely headed back out of the area. The A30’s took their time and were off  Orcalab around 9:45 p.m. that evening. Having stalled at Cracroft Point for quite some time, they carried on into Johnstone Strait and were at the rubbing beaches in the Robson Bight Ecological Reserve by 1.00 a.m. on July 16th (yesterday early a.m.) and then continued to travel on further east in Johnstone Strait. Yesterday in the afternoon they were reported returning back from the east and headed back into the rubbing beaches at the Robson Bight Ecological Reserve at around 3.00 p.m..

This morning they were reported by Orcalab as heading back into Blackfish Sound on the fast ebbing current from Cracroft Point and currently, S.V. Tuan with her passengers and crew are sailing with them!