Dolphins, Humpback Whales and Sea Lions ~ a trio of species gathered together and feasting!

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Our sightings: Humpback Whales, Pacific White-sided Dolphins++, Steller Sea Lions, Harbour Seals, Bald Eagles, Rhinoceros Auklets, Common Murres,  Ancient Murrelets, Harlequin Ducks, White-winged Scoters, Great Blue Herons and Gulls!

It was a brilliant day for viewing Pacific White-sided Dolphins with 500++ that we saw feeding in the same area as the 8-10 Humpback Whales we also observed. Ojos Blancos, Conger, Twister, Muffin, Moon Star and Freckles were among those in the count of whales and it was Freckles who we heard trumpeting. We also heard some wonderful calling from the whales.

The Humpback Whales were surrounded by the dolphins who were also feeding and we listened to some nice vocals of the dolphins as they made their way in Blackfish Sound. The dolphins were leaping about with some Stellar Sea Lions who were also in the mix and porpoising along with the dolphins!

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

Humpback Whales breaching, lunge and trap feeding and Dolphins and Sea Lions feeding as well!

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Our sightings: Humpback Whales, Pacific White-sided Dolphins++, Steller Sea Lions, Harbour Seals, Bald Eagles, Rhinoceros and Cassin’s Auklets, Common Murres, Pigeon Guillemots, Marbled and Ancient Murrelets, Sooty Shearwaters+, Harlequin Ducks, Pelagic Cormorants and Gulls Galore!

It was another remarkable day in which the weather conditions were changing by the moment and had us departing on our tour in heavy rainfall while arriving back home to a gorgeous afternoon of clearing skies and sunshine!

How good it was to see the Humpback Whales again today! There were at the very least 12 + that we saw including Moon Star, Inukshuk, Freckles, Slash and her calf. We observed lunge and trap feeding and a very close breach by Inukshuk, as well as a close passing of Inukshuk and Freckles as we sat drifting in the current with our engines off.

We had some wonderful viewing of Sea Lions, some of whom were ripping apart fish surrounded by Gulls. There were some 200+ Dolphins swimming amongst Humpback Whales with high jumps seen, we also had them passing by us as we headed for home! Today’s tour gave to all of us breathtaking scenic beauty and phenomenal Cetacean encounters!

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

Orcas and Humpback Whales ~ Amazing!

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Arctic Tern

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Guardian ~ Humpback Whale

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Our sightings: Northern Resident Orcas, Humpback Whales, Steller Sea Lions, a Mink, Bald Eagles, Rhinoceros and Cassin’s Auklets, Common Murres, a Common Loon, an Arctic Turn, an American Wigeon and Gulls.

It was an incredible tour that found us venturing out into the Queen Charlotte Strait looking for orcas who had been reported travelling west early in the morning. We caught up to the I15’s and identified I27+ new baby and I107 swimming together, they were being harassed by Pacific White-sided Dolphins and taking long dives. I77 who is the son of I27 was swimming with I128 who belongs to the I16 Matriline. Several more orcas were seen in the distance but as I128 was identified, it was likely the rest of the I16’s. We left the orcas who carried on travelling very slowly west.

There were many Humpback Whales in the area today. Guardian and the new whale Fern was identified but in total, there were about 15 HB’s in Blackfish Sound today! We observed some nice flukes and a breach far in the distance.

It was a fabulous day beginning first thing this morning when we saw a Mink running along the beach in Alder Bay and ending with some brilliant viewing of Stellar Sea Lions swimming nearby!

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

 

A phenomenal day ~ A Minke Whale, Orcas, Humpback Whales, Dolphins, Porpoises and more!

September 15th, 2016

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Our sightings: A Minke Whale, Biggs (Transient) Orcas, Humpback Whales, Dall’s Porpoises, Pacific White-sided Dolphins, Steller Sea Lions, Harbour Seals, Bald Eagles, Rhinoceros and Cassin’s Auklets, Red-Necked Phalaropes, Common Murres, Sooty Shearwaters, Fork-tailed Storm Petrels, Belted Kingfishers and Gulls galore!

Fog and drizzle greeted us this morning attempting to dampen our spirits but instead, our spirits soared from the onset because of what was then to follow. Like a spell unravelling, the magic began with a near sighting of a Minke Whale soon after we left the dock in Alder Bay! It was a peaceful encounter and we sat observing it in silence for a longtime watching as it surfaced and dived while active in feeding.

We made our way out through Weynton Passage and had a fabulous viewing of two Humpback Whales, one of which was trap feeding nearby. It was an incredible sight to watch as the large whale slowly surfaced with its mouth gaping wide open and its body hanging vertically, seemingly suspended in the water while small shoaling fish (herring) swam into its wide open mouth and then once inside the “trap” the mouth closed.

There was a report of Biggs (Transient) Orcas in George Passage travelling east, some 8-10 orcas who were later identified as the T049s and T019s. Our viewing of them when they unexpectedly surfaced nearby was breathtaking, the images of the big black and white Orcas was stunning to see and filled our hearts and minds to the brim!

Our afternoon tour found us viewing Humpback Whales, some were close while others were in the distance and some of them including Ridge were trap feeding.  The same Biggs (Transient) Orcas as seen on our morning tour were seen near the Sophia Islets in Johnstone Strait, they were in a resting line while T049A1 and T019C we observed were still in close physical contact to one another as they had been on the morning tour, it was wonderful watching the two interact while the other orcas rested nearby.

It was an amazing day with so much to see and presented us with a myriad of Cetacean species, big and small, when porpoises and dolphins also appeared into the mix!

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

An exciting day with Biggs (Transient ) Orcas, Humpback Whales, Dolphins, Porpoises and Sea Lions!

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Today’s Sightings: Humpback Whales, Biggs (Transient) Orcas, Dall’s Porpoises, Pacific White-sided Dolphins, Harbour Seals, Steller Sea Lions, Rhinoceros and Cassin’s Auklets, Red-Necked Phalaropes, Common Murres, Bald Eagles, Belted Kingfishers, Fork-tailed Storm Petrels, Great Blue Herons and Gulls.

It was an exciting morning for everyone when AJ our skipper looked up at the exact precise  moment and saw dorsal fins in the distance! After a lengthy dive underwater, they finally surfaced, four orcas who were believed to be Biggs (Transient) Orcas and who were later confirmed as Biggs (Transient) Orcas, the T101’s (T101, T102, T101A, T101B). During our time viewing the orcas, we observed them travelling from Stubbs Island and down and back through Cormorant Channel. They went after a Steller Sea Lion swimming alone but were not successful, the Sea Lion was seen swimming in the opposite direction when the orcas turned back.

As well as orcas, there was a large group of some 200+ dolphins who were observed initially off Mitchell Bay, they were steadily on the move, while Dall’s Porpoise’s joined us alongside, bow-riding briefly! It could not have been busier or better to have two Humpback Whales in our vicinity while all else was happening all around us, one of them was Argonaut!

The sea was flat calm today and made it possible for AJ to be lucky to spot the dorsal fins when he did. It was a fabulous Sunday outing and exhilarating to see such a diverse abundance of Cetaceans and seabirds with increased numbers of Common Murres, so close to our home port!

A large group of Dolphins were also observed travelling quickly west in front of Alert Bay when they suddenly turned back to the east, they were travelling fast and were swimming close along the shoreline of Cormorant Island.

Photo credits: Andrew Jennings. Photo’s have been taken with a telephoto lens and have been cropped.

 

An amazing day it turned out to be ~ Orcas, Humpback Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises!

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Today’s Sightings: Humpback Whales, Biggs (Transient) Orcas, Dall’s Porpoises, Harbour Seals, Harbour Porpoises, Steller Sea Lions, Rhinoceros and Cassin’s Auklets, Red-Necked Phalaropes, Common Murres, Bald Eagles, Belted Kingfishers, a Great Blue Heron and Gull species.

It was a stunningly beautiful fall day to be out on the water. On our morning tour there was so much Cetacean activity in our surroundings! We saw six Humpback Whales, four of them were feeding together near Donegal Head. A large number 200+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins were in amongst them feeding intensely and it was an incredible experience for our passengers to see all of the action that they did, it was phenomenal!

Our afternoon tour was just as exciting as there was a report of Biggs (Transient) Orcas near Boat Bay travelling west. We encountered the Orcas at the Sophia Islets and enjoyed viewing them as they made their way in Johnstone Strait and out through Weynton Passage. We observed as they made their way directly to the Steller Sea Lions hauled out but they did not attack any and carried on into Blackfish Sound. We also watched two Humpback Whales, one of which was Squiggles.

What an amazing day it turned out to be!

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

Biggs (Transient) Orca photo’s credited to Andrew Jennings.

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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.