Warm wishes to you all ~ May good health, peace, beauty and happiness be yours throughout 2016 ~

Early Day's aboard SV Tuan

To all of you who have spent time onboard the SV Tuan in recent years or many years ago, we thank you  for joining us and hope that you enjoy these photo’s that were taken on one of our early tours, a long while ago!

Take good care of one another, your family and friends and may love light your way throughout 2016.

Love and gratitude for our planet earth ~ our oceans, rivers, lakes, forests, mountains and plains and every part of earth in between.

Love and respect for all who live upon and share our planet earth ~ from the tiny diatoms in the oceans to the giants who roam our lands and oceans and every species on earth in between.

Love and appreciation for the elements who make our living here on earth possible ~ air, fire, earth and water for without these elements in our world, none of us could survive.

Early days aboard SV Tuan.

Early days aboard
SV Tuan.

 

A phenomenal tour! Resident and Biggs (Transient) Orcas, Humpback Whales and Pacific white-sided Dolphins+++!

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It was yet another remarkable day out on the water viewing Cetaceans but today had an added energy and momentum with the early sighting of Biggs (Transient Orcas) travelling our way. With the SE wind blowing and our mainsail hoisted it was near Beaver Cove that we encountered the T060’s, the Matriarch T60 with her four off-spring T60C, T60D, T60E and T60F travelling with T002B (1 orca), they were identified by Jared Towers (DFO). While a large group of pacific white-sided dolphins went racing past Alert Bay at 8: 00 a.m. this morning, it was likely the same group that came racing back our way, travelling quickly they suddenly emerged through the flooding current running out off Pearse Passage, a humpback whale was also seen fluking off Lewis Point just ahead of the approaching orcas. The orcas looked to be slowing and stalling while the dolphins crowded towards the shoreline of the Pearse Islands and then suddenly mid-strait the orcas surfaced again and high powered porpoising activity++ was seen with dolphins among them. The pace and momentum was precise and deadly, and soon unbelievably the orcas were grouping nearby our boat surprising us, swimming directly under our boat back and forth, there were no dolphins seen at this point meanwhile the large group of 100++ dolphins had headed out through Weynton Passage.

Leaving the Bigg’s (Transient) Orcas, we travelled out through Weynton Passage, watching a humpback whale feeding near the Stephenson Islands as we passed through and soon we could see resident orcas travelling towards us, they were the I15’s and as we watched they made their way surprisingly slowly, even though the current was flooding. How beautiful it was seeing them in this relaxed manner and even when they entered the choppy waters of Johnstone Strait, they still moved relatively slowly with the flooding current pushing them east at a seemingly relaxed pace!

There were humpback whales feeding intensely, with clouds of gulls circling above them while common murres++ and also rhinoceros auklets were feeding from depths below, at one point we saw four humpback whales feeding in multiples of two and ‘Guardian’ once more was amongst them! The SE winds were still blowing as we sailed with our stay-sail homeward bound. What a day and tour, charged with energy as dolphins and orcas (transients and residents) and humpback whales, made their way in the wild as nature intended for them to do. The reality of ‘wild’ we witnessed today, and while some dolphins undoubtably perished, so many more survived, as did the T60’s/T002, feeding as all species need to do (humans included) in order to survive. Also seen: dall’s porpoises, harbour seals, stellar sea lions, belted kingfishers, marbled murrelets and gull species.

**For some reason we have been unable to download anymore photo’s from today’s tour from our camera. We will attempt to do so tomorrow. Fingers crossed!

Today’s penned comments: “We had a wonderful trip. Thanks so much!” William and Jenny, Seattle

“We saw so many animals! Orcas, Humpback, Seals and Sea Lions! Wonderful! We never expected it! ”      Monika and Joseph, Germany

An amazing day observing the sights and sounds of the surrounding marine life ~ seeing orcas and humpback whales with brilliant viewing while sailing!

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Today was a day to enjoy the wind and some drops of rain! Not long into the trip, we spotted blows in the distance, it was the I35’s making their way from Weynton Passage across the top end of Johnstone Strait and as they  gracefully swam together, we sailed along with them as the SE winds today enabled us to do so. We soon encountered another pod, the I15s, as they were making their way through Weynton Passage in a resting line. Then came the humpback whales! We were  surrounded by amazing marine life that included stellar sea lions whose roaring growls were heard above the wind as they gathered together, hauled out on a rocky outcrop. As it turned out, the I35’s, circled around the Stephenson Islands before making their way back through Weynton Passage and into Johnstone Strait following after the I15’s and so while we were watching humpback whales off Weynton Island, we again were able to enjoy seeing orcas! On one side of our boat, we had the I35’s and on the other, humpback whales feeding on bait balls formed by diving birds and gulls. One of the humpbacks was trap feeding, allowing us to see its huge mouth gaping through the surface of the water as it fed on herring. We could not help but be amazed by the beautiful sights and sounds of these precious ‘inside waters’ of our BC coast!

Also seen: Dall’s Porpoises, Common Murres, Rhinoceros Auklets, Harbour Seals, Great Blue Herons, Bald Eagles and Gull species.

Today’s penned comments: “It was wonderful, we are so happy to view the orcas and humpback whales. Thank you.” The Pirates from Trum were here! Switzerland, Peter, Raji, Franz, Berli, Wadi & Esther

“Our second trip in 2 days and again breathtaking. Again a wonderful trip. We saw orcas, sea lions and even humpbacks  feeding. We really love how you care about nature and never come too close or chase the animals. We feel how you love nature. We appreciate very much the effort to make vegan muffins & scones. We will come back!” Annelies, Pieter & Willem, Belgium

“This was AWESOME – loved “Devonshire Pass”, Thank you!” R & G and Roxy

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!

Humpback Whales in their glory ~ a fabulous day of viewing them!

IMG_19700103_190447IMG_19700103_192228IMG_19700103_190039IMG_19700103_190037IMG_19700103_180803IMG_19700103_180642 We had a beautiful sunny morning to start us off today. We saw Dall’s Porpoise’s a plenty and many Pacific Harbour Seals hauled out on rocks and bobbing about in the bull kelp. There were Black Oystercatchers, and one guest keen on birding pointed out some male Harlequin Ducks. A big splash caught our attention and there were three Stellar Sea Lions swimming along and rolling about in the water, the splash and roll was so big, some guests thought it might have been a humpback whale! Five or six blows were seen in the distance and we had wonderful viewing of a several Humpback Whales. One we identified as “Conger”. He was distinguishable by the little patches of algae on the tip of his flukes.There was another big splash and we clearly saw the whole back half of a humpback whale tail slapping the water! It was a magnificent sight that we all enjoyed immensely! The number of Humpback Whales arriving into our area is increasing daily and the surface activity of them lunge feeding is mounting as well with bird activity++ especially that of the Rhinoceros Auklets and Common Murrres in particular. How fortunate are we to visit with so many marine species (birds and mammals) on a regular daily basis in the summer time! We live in a wonderful world here on the North Island!
Today’s penned comments:
“We had a “whale” lot of fun!” Daan, Noa, & Anouschka, Belgium “Loved your hospitality + the perfect sunshine. Thank you.” Mike & Shauna Richards, Perth, Australia
“Sunshine and sealife – a perfect morning! Thank you!” Christy Jones Ohio, U.S.A.
“We enjoyed the trip, very nice. The weather was perfect and the scones and muffins were very nice. Next time we will come to watch the killer whales. Thank you.” Family van der Gaag (Holland)
“Most enjoyable, excellent views of humpbacks, sea lions, etc.” The Williams’, U.K.
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 The colour of the sky and sea today was a beautiful blue….the photo’s tell it all!

Fantastic viewing of Humpback Whales ~ a brilliant day despite the rain that we so badly need!

IMG_3853 IMG_19700101_201240 IMG_19700101_201227 IMG_19700101_195057A dozen souls braved the clouds and rain today to see what we could find.  It was a mother and her pup among the hauled out Pacific Harbour Seals that got everyone’s excited eye. We caught sight of a bait ball with vast numbers of seabirds and bald eagles soaring overhead and diving for a meal, it was a perfect place to find a Humpback Whale! We observed some exceptional sightings of a lunge feeding Humpback Whale displaying its throat pleats (aka throat grooves) and where the purpose of the pleats was clearly visible to all on board. We continued on, making our way across Blackfish Sound passing Dall’s Porpoises on the way and viewing a mother and her calf among them, what a tiny little creature it was! We caught sight of two more Humpbacks travelling together, one we identified as “Stripe” while off in the distance you could see great splashes as another Humpback Whale was breaching over and over again and what a great display that was! These happy humpbacks tell us that summer is here, and the feeding has begun! What a wonderful trip, great fun had by all and nothing beat’s a ‘little rain on one’s face”!

“Thanks alot for your hospitality. Despite the rather bad weather we were very happy seeing several humpbacks on our tour. Definitely a “must do” when on Vancouver Island.”
Nicole & Erich, Switzerland

“We appreciated your genuine love for the nature, its creatures and flora. It was a wonderful day, full of excited moments. Thank you for making it happen for us to encounter the beautiful whales. Humpback, Dalls Porpoise, be safe all of you”
Tanya & Armin, Germany

What a wonderful outing! We saw so much active wildlife! What a special day. Thank you so much for being so aware of our surroundings and actively participating with all of us! ”
Jason, Alena, Aidan & Mackenzie, Airdrie, Alberta

“An excellent adventure, worth coming from Ireland”
Noreen, Ireland

“Thanks for the rain”
Jenn and Aidan from Port Hardy

Blog today by Sarah

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Superb viewing of two humpback whales ~ marine mammal viewing at its best!

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What a fantastic day we shared with our passengers. The morning was a foggy one and glassy calm and yet there was still so much to see. Dall’s porpoises in small groups were numerous as were harbour seals hauled out on rocky outcrops. It was in Blackney Passage that we encountered two wonderful humpback whales, Guardian and Ripple who were working the area while circling around in the Pass. What a surprise for us when they both surfaced time and again close beside the boat while we sat drifting in the ebbing current with our engine off, they were both very relaxed. At one point we could see some lunge feeding behaviour and a pectoral fin moving about just underneath the water. It was a very exciting and close encounter with the gentle giants and far more personal than we could have ever thought possible when we started out this morning! There were bald eagles galore in the trees at Cracroft Point, they were resting while waiting for bait balls to be worked up by the diving seabirds, rhinoceros auklets and common murres and likely when the current turned to flood. The mixing calls of the eagles, common murres and marbled murrelets together with the gentle lapping of water against the hull of the boat and the mesmerizing sound of the whales inhaling, all added a powerful punch of breathtaking beauty and sound into our day. Also seen: belted kingfishers, pigeon guillemots and gull species++.

Today’s penned comment: Thank you very much for the awesome trip! We never thought that we would see whales so close. We were really well treated and felt privileged to be there with you. Thanks for providing suits, the food and tea were great. An amazing experience with the two humpback whales; they gave us an outstanding show!                                                 ~ Sarah and Emmanuel, Montreal. QC

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