Today was our last tour and what a lovely day it was to end our season on! It was an incredible gift where everyone onboard felt a great sense of gratitude, peace and beauty for it was all around us, everywhere we looked today! The humpback whales did not disappoint us and even while we made our way towards two of them feeding on a bait ball early on in our tour, we could see three more in the distance working the area near Weynton Island with some trap feeding by one of the whales that ended before we arrived!
How amazing it was to watch the movement of so many humpback whales circling around and around and to listen to the pattering of webbed feet of vast numbers of sooty shearwaters as they made their way across the water to feed several metres or so away, often not even taking to their wings in flight but walking along the top of the water in a pattering fashion! We observed, time and again when gulls began feeding on top of a herring / bait ball, the sooty’s would immediately arrive, some by pattering their way there and others by flying and plunging into the water around them, causing the gulls to take flight for they were vastly out numbered by the shearwaters, and even the common murres were out numbered as well! We have never before seen the shearwaters linger so long in the area and feed so intensively on the herring as they have been doing. In previous years they have flown in to rest and feed briefly before flying off to remote islands in the South Pacific Ocean and they were usually seen off Bold Head and the top end of Blackfish Sound whereas this year they are everywhere, including Johnstone Strait.
Sitting out on deck watching the humpback whales circling around and around, two of them together at times, the pinky blue colours of the sky reflected on the water, the rocky outcrops and nearby chain of the Plumper Island waterway’s, the Coast Range Mountains with their peaks obscured today by clouds, all of it was magnificent! Acoustically, with the calling cries of the murres, gulls and red-necked phalaropes, the humpback whale exhalations, pattering sound of the shearwaters and stellar sea lions roaring in the background, one could not help but feel a sense of stillness and absolute peacefulness where nothing else mattered at all!
Some heartfelt moments that occurred today: four dall’s porpoises went by our boat as we sat drifting with our engine off, there was a mother and her calf among them, they passed by us so quietly, it was a beautiful viewing to see them so close and so unaffected by our presence. Yet another small sparrow species visited us briefly today, sitting upon the hand of one of our guests as she held onto the top of our cockpit roof, it rested momentarily before flying off, that was a very rare and special moment in time!
This place on earth is precious and priceless and ‘giving in abundance’ at all times. How wonderful to see it in its glory today on our final tour of the season and how fortunate we are to live in such a world ‘seeing beauty everywhere’!
Also seen: harbour seals, stellar sea lions, belted kingfishers, great blue herons, harlequin ducks, pelagic cormorants and gull species.
** There were many humpback whales out there today including Guardian, there was one whale that we have never seen before with distinct white markings across its body and the underside of its tail was also white. We are wanting to download our photo’s from the last 7-10 days and hope to have one of this whale to forward for identification to Jackie and Christie as soon as we can. The photo’s posted today were taken by our iphone.
Todays penned comments: “The sun was shinning, sea calm and what a morning! Fantastic trip with humpbacks all around, so much enthusiasm and knowledge.” Angela, London, UK
“A beautiful day with some beautiful whales. Enjoyed the porpoise, the sea lions, seals and sooty’s too!” Gary, Guernsey