Saturday August 27, 2016 – MV Lukwa & MV Kuluta

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

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Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

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Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

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Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

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Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

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Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

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Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

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Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

We couldn’t have asked for more today. We were blessed with beautiful sunny weather right from the get go. After a stint of very foggy mornings it was wonderful to head out with the sun shining and the wind at our backs. In addition to this we had amazing sights with Killer Whales, Humpback Whales, Pacific Harbour Seals, Steller Sea Lions and Pacific White-sided Dolphins. Wow! We also had amazing tidal activity as well. Super cool!

The Steller Sea Lions were as fascinating as ever today. As we approached one of their local haulouts, the group was highly vocal letting out their typical “ growls” and resting in the sun. We watched some larger males make their way out of the water and onto the rocky reef. This gave guests on board insight into how big these animals actually are, compared to when you just see their small nose poking out of the water.

Our good fortune with the Northern Resident (fish-eating) Orca continued today. As we made our way towards the Robson Bight Ecological reserve the whales were reported to be crossing the western boundary and they were swimming along at around 5 knots. So they were traveling pretty swiftly. They took moments to stop and forage and guests were lucky to see a breach and some awesome porpoising as they continued on their way.

Speaking of porpoising, lets talk about Dall’s Porpoises. They have been everywhere on our tours lately and today was no different. We watched as they ripped across the surface, leaving rooster tail splashes behind them. Also, two different groups chose to ride on the bow of the Lukwa. We watched as they weaved in and around the bow and frequently broke the surface to breath. They are so unbelievable quick and it was fantastic to see them traveling along at speed.

In the afternoon, the first sighting we had was of Dall’s Porpoises again – this time within the harbour of Telegraph Cove! And even when we left, it didn’t take us longer than a minute to see more wildlife: Orca! The matrilines A30 and I15 were heading into Beaver Cove, which is located just outside of Telegraph Cove. As Captain Wayne said  on the boat: “This is the reason we are doing the Whale Watching here.” True story!

We were actually lucky to watch them foraging. With the hydrophone in the water, we listened to some echolocation clicks at the same time. At times, the intervals between the clicks became shorter, possibly indicating that they were successful and had found a fish. Pacific White-Sided dolphins could be seen amidst the Killer Whales, pestering them while they made their way back east.

A bigger blow was spotted nearby, between 3 and 4 meters high, revealing itself to be a Humpback Whale. Stunning to watch the blow against the shore, which was all lit up by the sun. This Humpback is called Tag, whose tail we were able to see! While our boats were making their way north, they were rocking from side to side as we got more exposed to some wind. Nevertheless, the Humpback Whale sightings continued near Donegal Head with Muppet and Inukshuk, whose white tail gave away the secret of this identity.

While we were heading back to Telegraph Cove we were looking at some incredible, but thick cloud formations hovering over the Cove. They might bring some rain over tomorrow, but bad weather does neither bother wildlife nor us. We will be back on the water tomorrow with full enthusiasm to show our guests from around the world what the magical, mystical and diverse waters around Telegraph Cove have to offer.

Identified Species
Humpback Whales: Argonaut, Tag, Muppet, Inukshuk
Northern Resident Orca: A30s and I15s

Other Wildlife
Dall’s Porpoises, Steller Sea Lions, Pacific White-sided Dolphins, Pacific Harbour Seals, Rhinoceros Auklets, Cassin’s Auklets, Red-necked Phalaropes, Belted Kingfisher and Bald Eagles

Captain Wayne’s Quote of the Day
“Happiness walks on busy feet.” – Kittle Turmell

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Friday August 26, 2016 – MV Lukwa and MV Kuluta

Photo credit: Carmen Pendleton. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Carmen Pendleton. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Carmen Pendleton. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Carmen Pendleton. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Carmen Pendleton. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Carmen Pendleton. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Carmen Pendleton. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Carmen Pendleton. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Carmen Pendleton. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Carmen Pendleton. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Carmen Pendleton. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Carmen Pendleton. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Carmen Pendleton. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Carmen Pendleton. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

We are slowly reaching the end of August now and are very happy to have finally had some summer days in a row. This morning we were confronted with fog patches once again, but nevertheless had a wonderful whale watching trip.

In the morning guests and crew got lucky to watch two matrilines from the Northern Resident Killer Whale Community (the fish-eaters) grouped up, who appeared to be socializing. A big male Killer Whale lifted his whole immense body out of the water and other surface activity, such as spy hopping and tail slapping, took place. Leaving the Killer Whales, we headed towards Stubbs Island, where lots of bird activity could be spotted from far. Soon we were able to make out some Dall’s Porpoises in the same area and last but not least – a Humpback Whale! It seemed like everybody was feeding on small schooling fish there, a big feeding frenzy. And as the surface activity indicated, we were soon fortunate to watch Humpback Whale, Argonaut coming up from underwater with his/her mouth wide open to scoop up dense fish aggregations.

Pure afternoon bliss! The foggy patches were lifting up when we made our way back out on the water. The mountains were partially still covered in low hanging clouds, but the sun broke through, giving the water and surroundings a silky appearance. Beautiful reflections in the water, which truly looked like a mirror today!

In the distance we could soon spot a line of black dorsal fins cutting through the peaceful surface covering the ocean. It turned out to be the A30 matriline, consisting of 10 animals, who were in a resting formation. They surfaced together, to exchange the oxygen in their lungs, and then went down for a bit longer at a time. While they were slowly making their way down east, we were watching them from a distance away. The wonderful calm conditions and the reflection of the sun underlined this magical moment even more.

Captain Wayne decided to move on to find more wildlife in the area. We received the report of another matriline of Killer Whales, namely the I4s, consisting of three individuals. They were not resting, but making their way through the currents south into Johnstone Strait.

But wait, there was more! We took our passengers over to the haulout of Steller Sea Lions, some of them resting on the sunny rocks, some of them in the water. When we made our way through the small passages of the Plumper Islands, we could see Bald Eagles in the trees above the water and beautiful Bull Kelp, covering some of the waters surface.

It is hard to find the right words do this beautiful ecosystem justice. Best way to discover and fully experience it for yourself, is  in coming here! Give us a shout.

Individuals Identified:

Northern Resident Killer Whales: A30s, I15s, I4s

Humpback Whales: Argonaut, Muppet

Other Wildlife Included:

Dall’s Porpoises, Pacific White-sided Dolphins, Pacific Harbour Seals, Steller Sea Lions, Bald Eagles, Rhinoceros Auklets, Cassin’s Auklets, Common Murre, Belted Kingfisher, Pigeon Guillemots, Red-necked Phalaropes

Captain Wayne’s Quote of the Day:

“To carry a grudge is like being stung to death by one bee” – William H. Walton

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Thursday August 25, 2016 – MV Lukwa & MV Kuluta

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Carmen Pendleton. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Carmen Pendleton. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Carmen Pendleton. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Carmen Pendleton. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

What can we say, there was a lot of fog out there this morning! Very often we are able to find amazing wildlife despite the fog and so did we today. What we spotted were some amazing Dall’s Porpoises, who decided to ride the bow of the boat, as well as Steller Sea Lions and Sea Birds. Especially the sounds of the sea lions in the fog made this trip very unique.

Typically in August we do have these very foggy mornings that give way to a beautiful afternoon. Today was just that. It is just so astonishing to see how fast the weather can change here. Suddenly a blue sky had opened up above us, the morning chill was gone and it was so bright, that the water was glistening in the distance.

In the meantime four Killer Whale matrilines had made their way up Johnstone Strait, enabling us to get a good look at them. There they were, mainly spread out along the shoreline of Vancouver Island, some of them foraging! You could see the black dorsal fins vanishing sideways into the water, possibly chasing a fish. The four matrilines belonged to two different clans (A&G) and though they speak the same language they have different dialects, almost like accents. Clans are the highest level of social structure, which is then divided into pods and then narrowed down into matrilines. After putting the hydrophone into the water, we were able to listen to another mix of different calls by these four families. If you listened closely, you could hear the unique donkey call “E-AHH” of the G-clan.

Other amazing wildlife encounters followed: Guests onboard the Lukwa and Kuluta got to watch Steller Sea Lions and Pacific Harbour Seals, incredible sea birds and also the Gentle Giant, the Humpback Whale. There were at least three whales in the area around the boat, but they tended to stay underwater for a long time today. Nevertheless we were fortunate to get a good look at Quartz, who was surrounded by Pacific White-sided Dolphins. They were right on top of him! Wether it was due to food, playfulness or harassment, is hard to say.

Highlight alert! When we take people on tours and we talk to them about marine wildlife one of the last things you expect to see in the ocean is a Grizzly Bear. Let alone two of them! Possibly the most exciting and interesting sighting of our day was when we spotted a pair of Grizzly Bears swimming across a large channel. At first glance we were not sure what we were looking at – Steller Sea Lions perhaps. After a closer look, the furry ears gave way to that fact that what we were seeing was actually Bears and two of them. We watched as they made their way across Blackfish Sound and then walk up onto the shoreline, shake the water off themselves like a dog would and then wander into the dense forest. Super exciting!

What a magnificent day, filled with great weather, enthusiastic guests and spectacular sightings. Mother nature was beyond kind to us today. In fact, our crew was semi-hyperactive from all the activity when they returned to the dock for the night. There is nothing like an exciting day in the wild. It can lift your spirits, rock your world and take your breath away.

Individuals Identified:

Northern Resident Killer Whales: I15s, I4s, A42s, A30s

Humpback Whales: Quartz

Other Wildlife Included:

Grizzly Bear, Dall’s Porpoises, Pacific White-sided Dolphins, Pacific Harbour Seals, Steller Sea Lions, Bald Eagles, Rhinoceros Auklets, Cassin’s Auklets, Peregrine Falcon, Common Murres, Red-necked Phalaropes

Captain Wayne’s Quote of the Day:

“The future belongs to those who live intensely in the present” – Anon

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Wednesday August 24, 2016 – MV Lukwa & MV Kuluta

Photo credit: Carmen Pendleton. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Carmen Pendleton. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Carmen Pendleton. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Carmen Pendleton. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Carmen Pendleton. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Carmen Pendleton. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Alison Ogilvie. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Alison Ogilvie. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Alison Ogilvie. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Alison Ogilvie. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

What started off as a very foggy morning turned into a bright, sunny and calm day. Our early bird guests this morning had to make use of their ears rather than their eyes, due to a big fog layer. It was a bit harder to find cetaceans this morning, but fortunately we got a good look at Northern Resident Killer Whales as well as Humpback Whale Cutter, whose fluke could be seen clearly against the white, beautiful background. Fog always adds a mystical atmosphere to our wildlife encounters out in the waters around Telegraph Cove. Lots of fascinating sea birds were seen, among them Pigeon Guillemots, two Auklet species and a Fork-tailed Storm Petrel! Dall’s Porpoises chose to ride the bow of the boat, their white dorsal fins rushing through the morning calmness. What a fabulous start of the day! 

Later on the fog gave way to a blue sky, bright sunshine and very calm waters. While we were giving the intro talk, some “black and whites” aka Killer Whales could be seen swimming close by Telegraph Cove! Needless to say how fortunate we are that we get to see wildlife so close without spending large amounts of fuel or even from land sometimes.   

When we left the Cove, all eyes were scanning the surface to find the Killer Whales, who were believed to be members of the Northern Resident Community. Once we had found them, we soon learned that we were looking at around 10 Transient Killer Whales (mammal-eaters), who, for example, tend to show differences in behaviour compared to the Residents (fish-eaters). They were making their way up west in front of steaming air that was rising up from the shore. How stunning to watch them surfacing with their exhalations glistening in the sun and hanging in the air like little clouds. 

We continued our journey to watch more than 30 Resident Killer Whales from 3 different matrilines (A30s, A42s and I15s) spread out across Johnstone Strait, wow! When we deployed our underwater microphone, we could hear such a variety of calls, squeaks and grunts, it was exhilarating! Goosebumps guaranteed. The I15 matriline has not been seen in the area for a while and seemed to catch up with the two matrilines of A pod. At some point some of the animals started porpoising, speeding up while lifting their bodies high out of the water, resulting in splashing water.

Time was slowly running out, but we were able to catch a glimpse at two Humpback Whales still, who turned out to be Cutter and Argonaut! We continued to have a look at a nearby haulout of Steller Sea Lions. Among mature and immature sea lions we could also spot at least one youngster (make sure to have a look at the pictures). These waters are truly home to a bounty of nature’s magnificence.   

Individuals Identified:

Transient Killer Whales: T109, T109B & calf, rest unknown

Northern Resident Killer Whales: A30s, A42s, I15s

Humpback Whales: Cutter, Argonaut

Other Wildlife Included:

Pacific White-sided Dolphins, Dall’s Porpoises, Pacific Harbour Seals, Steller Sea Lions, Bald Eagles, Rhinoceros Auklets, Cassin’s Auklets, Pigeon Guillemots, Common Murres, Fork-tailed Storm Petrel and Red-necked Phalaropes 

Captain Wayne’s Quote of the Day:

“Nothing great in the world has been without Passion” – George Hegel

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Tuesday August 23, 2016 – MV Lukwa and MV Kuluta

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Dusty Dawson.

Photo credit: Dusty Dawson.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

There is no better way to get the energy flowing on a boat than a little excitement. Very shortly after we left the harbour today, sightings of marine wildlife were underway within minutes as we came across a group of Dall’s Porpoise.

The Porpoises were very active and as we passed by them, the group chose to ride on the bow of the boat. This is always an exciting encounter and allows guests to see just how quickly they can travel. We were watching them swerve in and around the bow, both underwater and breaking the surface, creating rooster tails every time. The interesting thing about this group was that it seemed as though there was also a Hybrid Porpoise among them. This porpoise was more of a greyish colour as opposed to the normal black and white, but it too was choosing to ride on the bow. A Hybrid Porpoise is the offspring of a Harbour Porpoise and a Dall’s Porpoise.

Reports of the Resident Orca were that they were still in the area but rubbing on the beaches in the Robson Bight Ecological Reserve. Since they were so deep into the reserve, Captain Roger made a decision to go and look at Humpback Whales. We came across a Humpback named Squiggle, who was traveling very close to shore. It was fascinating to guests just how close to shore these huge whales can get and it is because there is a significant drop off and plenty of depth.

Late in the trip a drip of good fortune came our away, reports that the Northern Residents were westing out of the reserve. Perfect timing as we arrived to watch the A42s and the A30s cross the boundary line. They were traveling quickly and tightly together. As they surfaced, their blows hung like low laying clouds. As if the moment could not have been more perfect, we dropped our on board hydrophone and listened to amazing vocals as well. What a bonus!

As they made their way up Johnstone Strait in the sunny afternoon, we once again listened to their amazing vocalizations, including echolocation, which they use in order to find prey. It also helps them to get a better understanding of their surroundings, as the echoes bounce back from any kind of object in their way. The two matrilines were “hugging” the shoreline while they made their way west. They were spread out, enabling us to shut off the engine and watch them. What a privilege to listen to their sounds underneath and above the surface, when they came up to breath in today’s calm waters.    

In addition, we had some wonderful looks at Humpback Whales. Argonaut and Cutter were spotted in the calm waters of the afternoon, the sun glistening on their flukes, before they submerged into the depth of the ocean. While we were waiting for the whales to come back up, which usually takes between 3-10 minutes, we could hear Steller Sea Lions vocalizing across from us.

While we seem to spot more and more Steller Sea Lions, we also continue to see Pacific Harbour Seals hauled out on rocks or swimming in the water. They are usually solitary when hunting but come together in groups when they are hauled out. Their colouration differs from white to grey, to brown and even black. Such incredible animals. 

It was definitely a perfect day for listening to various sounds in addition to the visual counterparts! Hard to find the right words for another beautiful day in paradise. Also a big thanks to the local school children from Kwakiutl and Gwa’Sala-Nakwaxda’Xu. Always nice to share this area and all of it’s incredible life with the next generation.

Individuals Identified:

Northern Resident Killer Whales: A42s and A30s

Humpback Whales: Squiggle, Argonaut, Cutter, Slash & calf, Conger, 1 unknown

Other Wildlife Included:

Dall’s Porpoises, Pacific Harbour Seals, Steller Sea Lions, Harlequin Ducks, Red-necked Phalaropes 

Social Media Team’s Quote of the Day:

“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery – air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, this is what it is to be happy.” Sylvia Plath

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Monday August 22, 2016 – MV Lukwa and MV Kuluta

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Carmen Pendleton. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Carmen Pendleton. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

The new week kicked in with a remarkable Monday out on the waters around Telegraph Cove today! Yesterday’s winds had calmed down over night, providing us with less Rock n’ Roll on our two boats. We couldn’t wait to get back out on the water and were thrilled by the enthusiasm of our guests. It was very rewarding for us to share our knowledge with so many interested people from all over the world. Big thanks goes out to you!

We can surely call ourselves very fortunate to be able to catch up with the matrilines of the A42s and A30s again. The two families were traveling in close vicinity to each other today, staying tightly within their matrilines. It is always such a gift of nature to watch these intelligent mammals in their natural habitat.

After this great first sighting, we happily made our way further north, only to find our boat surrounded by a  diversity of marine life, it was hard to believe our eyes! Several Humpback Whale blows popped up around us, and huge open mouths appeared in the distance. Lunge and trap feeding whales! Not knowing where to look first, everybody tried to take in the whole experience. Suddenly Pacific White-sided Dolphins came “out of nowhere” and exposed their slender bodies by leaping out of the water. The stirred up waters around us were full of moving bodies! Amidst the dolphins and Humpback Whales we could also make out some Steller Sea Lions. Both dolphins and sea lions were seen very close to the Humpback Whales, possibly interacting with them. Simply wonderful to watch this whole phenomenon evolve in front of our eyes. 

While making our way back “to the barn” (Telegraph Cove) we came across more Humpback Whales. Pretty sure every one of our guests got a fluke image today! We did see at least 9 + individual Humpback Whales this morning, just wow! Among them was Corporal, an individual we have seen for the first time this season. This information will be forwarded to MERS (Marine Education and Research Society), a local research society based in Port McNeil, who – among other projects – keep their eyes on the Humpback Whale population of this area.    

As we headed out in the afternoon the Orca matrilines we had seen in the morning decided to travel in different directions. That being said, luck was on our side and guests were able to see both the A30s and the A42s. Late in the trip a report came in that the A42s were in an area close by. They were still traveling tightly and appeared to be in a resting mode. Beautiful to see the families surfacing in unison.

Our good fortune continued in the afternoon as we were watching up to four different Humpbacks North of Stubbs Island when the A42s surfaced and Steller Sea Lions could be heard vocalizing and seen hauled out on a rock in the distance. A true representation of the biodiversity of this unique coastal region.

What a magnificent Monday!

Individuals Identified:

Northern Resident Killer Whales: A42s & A30s

Humpback Whales: Argonaut, Slash & Calf, Conger, Cutter, Quartz, Ripple, Squiggle and Corporal

Other Wildlife Included:

Pacific White-sided Dolphins, Dall’s Porpoises, Pacific Harbour Seals, Steller Sea Lions, Bald Eagles, Rhinoceros Auklets, Cassin’s Auklets and Red-necked Phalaropes.

Naturalists quote of the day:

“Be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody.” -Unknown

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Sunday August 21, 2016 – MV Lukwa and MV Kuluta

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Alison Ogilvie. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Alison Ogilvie. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Alison Ogilvie. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Alison Ogilvie. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Alison Ogilvie. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Alison Ogilvie. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Some of our guests from this morning trip might still feel like they are on a boat – it was a little bit like a washing machine out there today! Usually we are very fortunate with calm water conditions due to our sheltered location here, but northwest winds and gusts made for some rocking movements on the boats today! Despite the heavy rain early this morning and a very overcast sky, it quickly cleared up and gave way for the sun as the morning unfolded.

The choppy seas frequently seem to encourage marine mammals to be very active at the surface. Although higher waves and white caps make it harder to spot whales and dolphins, we were fortunate to watch the two matrilines A30s and A42s socializing and playing in the waves. It was just so much fun to watch these fish-eating Killer Whales rolling over, breaching and spy hopping in these powerful waters. They stayed quite close together too, giving our guests an idea of how many animals there were. At times you could even tell the families were sharing fish as they were tightly grouped and swimming in circles. Then as if things weren’t amazing enough, we heard amazingly clear vocals. Just beautiful.

BIG NEWS! Thanks to the fantastic research team from NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Centre, including Dr. John Durban and Dr. Holly Fearnbach, with the support of Dr. Lance Barrett-Lennard (Head of the Cetacean Research Program at the Vancouver Aquarium), it was discovered that the head of the A42 matriline, Sonora (A42), is pregnant again. The research team uses a marine hexacopter (a drone with a camera) to fly above Killer Whales to determine their health/fitness state by measuring different body sections (such as body length and width). This method is called photogrammetry. For more information about the research they conduct, please refer to the Marine Detectives article (https://themarinedetective.com/2014/09/22/look-up-way-up-hexacopter-soars-high-above-killer-whales-to-study-their-fitness/)

Humpback Whales Slash, her calf and Argonaut could be spotted this morning too, how great! As with the Orca, we could observe some surface activity as well, especially in Slash’s calf! The youngster breached once, rolled over and slapped his/her tail onto the surface. We love choppy seas! The Humpback Whale sightings continued throughout the day. In the afternoon we broke double digits in Humpback sightings. We spotted our third known mom and calf, Black Pearl and her calf. When they fluked in unison guests could see the size difference and their drastically contrasting fluke patterns.

The Steller Sea Lions continue their return, we are seeing increasing numbers everyday. Pacific Harbour Seals continue to haul out and guests got great looks at the speed of Dall’s Porpoise today as they chose to bow ride.

Today was one of those wonderful days where there was wildlife everywhere you looked. What a super wicked amazingly cool day! If we could use more excited adjectives we would. Sweet dreams and until tomorrow!

Individuals Identified:

Northern Resident Killer Whales: A42s & A30s

Humpback Whales: Argonaut, Slash & Calf, Black Pearl + calf, Ridge, Conger, Guardian, Doppleganger, Cutter, Quartz + 3 unidentified whales.

Other Wildlife Included:

Dall’s Porpoises, Pacific Harbour Seals, Steller Sea Lions, Bald Eagles, Rhinoceros Auklets, Cassin’s Auklets, Red-necked Phalaropes, Belted Kingfisher and Black-tailed Deer

Captain Wayne’s quote of the day:

“A problem well stated is a problem half solved.” – Charles F. Kettering

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Saturday August 20, 2016 – MV Lukwa & MV Kuluta

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Let’s start with some exciting news we just received from the Marine Education and Research Society (MERS). Over the last few days we have been observing a whale in this area that our crew could not identify, so we relayed pictures to MERS to confirm this is a new whale to the area. Low and behold, this was not a new whale but even more exciting, a whale that has not been seen off of Telegraph Cove since 2008. The Humpback Whale we have been seeing is known as Towers. Super exciting for our crew as well as researchers at MERS.

Now that we’ve let that cat out of bag, lets get down to what happened out on the water today. We set sail this morning with confirmed reports that the A30 and A42 matrilines were still in the area. The two matrilines were traveling together and were exhibiting social behaviour. The whales were spy-hopping and rolling over one another. As we were watching these two families swim closer and closer to the Robson Bight boundary line, one of the juveniles breached twice. One breach is exciting but multiple breaches even more so. It also gives both guests and us a chance to get our cameras ready and capture the moment. Check our online posting to see pictures of these always jaw-dropping encounters. In the course of the afternoon they were spread out across Johnstone Strait, heading north. They spend a good chunk of time in the rip tides and dorsal fins were going back and forth, sifting through the water. We assume that they were feeding in these impressive currents that bring nutrient rich water to the surface.

The jaw dropping encounters continued today when our boat was surrounded by Humpback Whales. Today there were four Humpbacks within viewing distance of the boat. Guests could look left, right, front or back and be able to see tail flukes and powerful blows. Johanna, our on board naturalist, was able to identify these whales as Guardian, Argonaut, Squiggle and Cutter. 
In the afternoon we sighted Ridge quiet close to the shore with her white pectoral fins glittering through the surface. Pectoral fins can vary in colouration. Some of them are white, some black and some have black and white patterns on them. Argonaut was seen again as well as Freckles, one of the whales we have been spotting consistently over the last weeks.

It seems like we are seeing more and more Steller Sea Lions every day. Today we were fortunate to see them hauled out in a pretty big group near the Eagle’s nest. We were able to count up to twenty animals, both in the water and on rocks. Some of them were completely dry after sitting in the sun for a while, making them look even better. It truly is the biggest Sea Lion in the world.

It just never gets boring out on these wondrous waters – we can’t wait what tomorrow’s trips hold!

Individuals Identified:
Northern Resident Killer Whales: A42s & A30s
Humpback Whales: Argonaut, Guardian, Squiggle, Cutter, Ridge and Freckles

Other Wildlife Included:
Dall’s Porpoises, Pacific Harbour Seals, Steller Sea Lions, Bald Eagles, Rhinoceros Auklets, Cassin’s Auklets and Red-necked Phalaropes

Captain Wayne’s quote of the day:
“The beginning is half of every action.” -Greek Proverb

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Friday August 19, 2016 – MV Lukwa and MV Kuluta

Photo credit: Alison Ogilvie. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Alison Ogilvie. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke.

Photo credit: Leonie Mahlke.

Another fantastic and sunny day out on the waters of Johnstone Strait! We definitely recommend to bring sunscreen these days, as the reflection of the sun gets really strong on the water. Not a single cloud covered the sky today and there were no ripples moving on the surface. Glassy waters gave way for some amazing visibility!

Over the course of the day we saw some very graceful Pacific White-sided Dolphins, who sometimes decided to approach the boat and ride in the wakes we created. Their slender bodies were shining through the surface and guests could watch their effortless movements evolve in the waves. If you watched closely, you could see that the dolphins swam sideways occasionally, allowing us to get a look at their eyes as well. It is always amazing to not only watch the dolphins, but our guests facial expressions when they first spot these incredible creatures. This happiness among people on the boat usually spreads super quickly. We truly indulge in these magical moments!

What a marvellous day for observing pinnipeds! Big numbers of both Steller Sea Lions and Pacific Harbour Seals could be seen on our trips today. They were hauled out on rocks and reefs when we left in the morning, due to a very low tide. Their camouflaged pelage (fur) makes it hard to spot them sometimes but we were lucky to spot quite a few. We kept our distance so as not to scare them into the water, as they sometimes use the high tides to get up onto rocks and cliffs.

The sightings of the A42 matriline of resident (fish-eating) killer whales continued today and some of our guests were fortunate to catch a glimpse of the A30s from afar as well. They were moving in and out of the Robson Bight Ecological Reserve, but we got some good looks at them either before or after they entered the Bight. Often guests ask us why they rub their bodies on the pebble beaches and researchers consider the possibility, that it just feels good and might be part of their socializing.

Guests onboard the Kuluta and Lukwa were able to spot some Humpback Whales today as well. These whales can be as big as a school bus! Many of them were sighted off Donegal Head in front of beautiful backgrounds consisting of a thick fog blanket and mountains in the distance. It was magnificent to watch their black bodies break the surface whenever they came up to exhale and take in fresh oxygen. It seemed as if their bodies became one with the surface as it was so very flat out there.

We left for home sunburnt but very happy hearted after another great day full of incredible wildlife just outside of Telegraph Cove.

Individuals Identified:
Northern Resident Killer Whales: A42s & A30s
Humpback Whales: Ridge, Argonaut, Quartz, Guardian, Freckles

Other Wildlife Included:
Dall’s Porpoises, Pacific Harbour Seals, Steller Sea Lions, Pacific White-Sided Dolphin, Bald Eagles, Rhinoceros Auklets, Cassin’s Auklets, Common Murres, Red-necked Phalaropes, Belted Kingfisher

Office Team’s quote of the day:
“Opportunities multiple as they are seized.” – Sun Tzu

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Thursday August 18, 2016 – MV Lukwa and MV Kuluta

Photo credit: Carmen Pendleton. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Carmen Pendleton. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo Credit: Carmen Pendleton. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo Credit: Carmen Pendleton. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo Credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo Credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

As we departed Telegraph Cove this morning Captain Wayne could be heard on the radio – “Another day in paradise.” He was right, it was a phenomenal day and it does definitely feel like paradise on days like this. Today was sunny and warm, the water was like glass and had a greenish blue hue to it. At times it was possible to make out some of the marine mammals just below the surface. Absolutely spectacular!

As the day started off there was a great deal of excitement amongst our team. There was news that the A30s had returned. This means more Resident (fish-eating) Orca in our area and even more importantly, company for the A42s who have been the only matriline in this area over the last few weeks. As the A42s and A30s came together it was clearly a social session for these whales and enough to bring a tear to the eyes of some of the crew and guests on board. As we listened to amazing live vocals, we watched as these two families spy-hopped and rolled over one another in what was clearly playful behaviour. What a gift to be able to witness that specific moment.

This would not be the only captivating moment of the day. We didn’t know it then but there was still so much that laid ahead. As the day continued and the impressive morning light and fog gave way to a blue sky and beaming sun, our second trip of the day departed the famous harbour of Telegraph Cove.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo Credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo Credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.way to a blue sky and beaming sun, our second trip of the day departed the famous harbour of Telegraph Cove.

As we were working our way along the Vancouver Island shoreline, Captain Wayne was gathering the updated reports on both the A42s and their close relatives the A30s. Then, suddenly, blows and on closer look, Orca! Odd since reports were that the Resident Orcas were sighted somewhere far off. Surprise! Transient (mammal-eating) Orca appeared as if from nowhere and with no reports when we laid eyes on them. They turned out to be the T137s. We followed this family of four as they continued on their east bound path. You could see their blows glistening in the sun, the shine of the water beating off their black and white bodies and at times we were even able to make them out below the surface. Remarkable!

After spending some time with these whales we continued on to “see what else Mother Nature had in store for us”. We traveled out to an area known for Humpback Whales and we found not one, not two but three different Humpbacks. Guests on board were lucky to see all three unique tails. These whales were identified as Guardian, Doppleganger and another whale that is new to this area and still to be named.

Shortly after we returned to Telegraph Cove and then quickly prepared for our fourth and final trip of the day.  With the setting sun we caught up with the A42 matriline. They were surrounded by Pacific White-sided Dolphins who were weaving in, out and around them. You could see the blows of the family as they surfaced in unison, with the setting sun beaming through their blows. The glass-like condition of the water in combination with the above made for a tranquil and breathtaking encounter.

Tonight near the end of our tour the combination of the setting sun and the sound of Humpback blows completed a day that was pure bliss. As the sky changed from blue, to yellow and then to a peach-like colour, the Humpback Whales known as Nick and Stripe surfaced in unison. Their blows were powerfully audible and you could see their blows lingering with the beautiful peachy sky in the background. See the pictures to understand just how beautiful this convergence of elements really was.

There was so much today we could not possibly include it all. Steller Sea Lions hauled out and vocalizing, Pacific Harbour Seals sunning themselves on reefs and Bald Eagles soared right in front of us from tree to tree. There is no other word for today that can do it justice than the one we used at the beginning. If you were lucky to be on the water and witness even a fraction of this today, we hope you would agree, it truly was, Paradise.

Individuals Identified:

Northern Resident Killer Whales: A42s and A30s

Transient (Biggs) Orca: T137s

Humpback Whales: Nick, Stripe. Guardian, Doppelgänger and 2 unknown.

Other Wildlife Included:

Dall’s Porpoises, Pacific Harbour Seals, Steller Sea Lions, Pacific White-Sided Dolphin, Bald Eagles, Rhinoceros Auklets, Cassin’s Auklets and Common Murre.

Captain Wayne’s quote of the day:

“Time is the longest distance between two places.” – Tennessee Williams

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jennie Leaver. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

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