The Humpback Whales, waves and wind showed all of us a wonderful time!

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October 4, 2016 ~

How marvellous was our last tour of the season where the Humpback Whales, wind and waves showed all of us a wonderful time!

Our sightings: Humpback Whales (10+), an American Mink, Steller Sea Lions, Harbour Seals, Dall’s Porpoises, Bald Eagles, Common Murres, White-winged Scoters, Great Blue Herons, Belted Kingfishers, Pelagic Cormorants and Gulls!

With the sun shinning in our eyes the gray-blue waters topped with whitecaps and flocks of gulls hovering just above was so exciting when we first ventured out on our tour.

There was so much to see with Humpback Whale blows rising high in all directions, Great Blue Herons trying to keep balance on rafts of kelp forests, Dall’s Porpoises swimming playfully around us while we sat idle watching, Stellar Sea Lions peering back at us while swimming nearby, Bald Eagles eyeing up a large salmon that was likely caught by one of them, meanwhile a Mink was feeding voraciously upon it as they watched!

The Grand Finale for all of us was absolutely fantastic and drew our season to a close so beautifully!

Photo credits: Muriel Halle. All images have been cropped and taken by a telephoto lens.

Close encounters with Humpback Whales who never disappoint!

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Our sightings: Humpback Whales, a Minke Whale, Steller Sea Lions, Harbour Seals, Dall’s Porpoises, Bald Eagles, Rhinoceros and Cassin’s Auklets, Common Murres, White-winged Scoters, Harlequin Ducks, a Great Blue Heron and Gulls!

The weather had changed so quickly from yesterday’s sunshine and glassy calm waters, yet once again we enjoyed fabulous viewing of Humpback Whales who never disappoint!

Today we observed 7+ whales in our near vicinity with Inukshuk, Merge and Argonaut identified. We observed breaching, tail lobbing and foraging behaviour with some beautiful tail flukes seen. The highlight has to have been the surprise viewing of Argonaut who surfaced nearby enabling everyone to see a humpback whale up close and personal! A minke whale was also seen in passing by some of our passengers.

While wind and wave activity made identification of bird species difficult today (Murrelets and Auklets especially) it added greatly to our Rain Coast wilderness experience along with the generous mix of sea lions and seals we saw hauled out on rocky outcrops that they shared with other bird species!

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

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.

Magnificent Humpback Whales, bow-riding Dall’s Porpoises and so much more!

Our sightings: Humpback Whales, Dall’s Porpoises, Steller Sea Lions, Harbour Seals, Two Black-tailed Deer, Bald Eagles, Rhinoceros Auklets, Common Murres, Sooty Shearwaters, Belted Kingfishers and Gulls Galore!

Humpback Whales never disappoint! Time and again throughout the season we have used that phrase because no other phrase can fully describe the wonderment and joy that we feel each time we go out on tour and see Humpback Whales! How can we not feel elated and excited when just a few decades ago, Humpback Whales were never seen, and certainly not in 1986 when we first began our tours. To see these magnificent giants back in our area is indeed reason to celebrate.

Today on our tour we saw more than 12 of them and observed foraging behaviour and some fantastic breaching by Yahtzee who, with her calf was among those that we saw (and identified) today along with Merge and Twister. All of us enjoyed the Dall’s Porpoises who joined us bow-riding alongside, darting back and forth in their zigzag fashion under and around our boat.

We also saw, Sooty Shearwaters feeding near the Humpback Whales in flight skimming along the water and diving deep, two Black-tailed Deer grazing on an island, Stellar Sea Lions and Harbour Seals hauled out on rocky outcrops, Bald Eagles perched high on treetops and Belted Kingfishers in flight close along the shoreline of narrow island waterways. How incredible is the world in which we live!

Photo Credits: Robin Quirk and Seasmoke Whale Watching. All photo’s have been taken with a telephoto lens and have been cropped.

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Sooty Shearwater

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Yahtzee and her calf

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Marine Mammal Extravaganza!

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Fern ~ Humpback Whale

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Our sightings: Northern Resident Orcas Galore! Humpback Whales, Dall’s Porpoises, Pacific White-sided Dolphins, Steller Sea Lions, Harbour Seals, Bald Eagles, Rhinoceros and Cassin’s Auklets, Common Murres, and Gulls Galore!

Today’s tour has to be one of the best! There were Orcas everywhere and Humpback Whales also. To sit quietly with our engine off and drifting in the current, watching and listening with sights and sounds of Cetaceans in all corners wherever we looked, it was fantastic! The orcas that we identified were: I15’s, A30’s, A23s, A25s, G3s, G16s and possibly more Gs were in the mix! They were extremely vocal and as we sat listening, we could distinguish G and A-Clan calls.

There were 10 Humpback whales in our vicinity of viewing today, among them were White Eyes, Fern and Merge. How marvellous it was to appreciate each and all of the Cetaceans, big and small and to also enjoy the exquisite beauty that was always just a stone’s throw away!

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

Wonderful Humpback Whales and abundant beauty in our surroundings!

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Common Murres

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Our sightings: Humpback Whales, Steller Sea Lions, Harbour Seals, Bald Eagles, Rhinoceros and Cassin’s Auklets, Common Murres, Belted Kingfishers and Gulls.

Our viewing of Humpback Whales was wonderful today! Those that we identified were Fern, Ojos Blancos (White Eyes), Merge, Zig Zag and Guardian. There was a lone young Humpback Whale calf that we observed swimming close to the Sea Lion rock in amongst the kelp forests. The Sea Lions were jumping and rolling all around it in play and the calf appeared to be playful as well. Our ID photographs have been forwarded to MERS (Marine Education & Research Society) in the hope that the ID of this young calf can be established and /or its mother who did not appear to be present. All in all we saw seven to eight Humpback Whales today.

Our viewing of Stellar Sea Lions around our boat was a treat, they came close and checked us out and the Harbour Seals hauled out were an added bonus to watch as we passed through some quiet island waterways on our way home; we also saw a Bald Eagle feeding on a fish head and about to fly away with it and a brief surfacing of a Minke Whale!

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