Monday, May 25th 2015 – MV Lukwa

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie

Not long after leaving the dock this afternoon, we had already spotted bald eagles resting in the trees and harbour seals hauled out on the rocks. While viewing some steller sea lions hauled high out on the rocks, we heard a humpback whale before we even saw it! Once we spotted the whale, we identified it as “White-Eyes,” the same humpback that we had seen yesterday. This is only the second recorded sighting of this whale and the seventh humpback to be seen in the area this year. We watched as “White-Eyes” did large circles in Weynton Pass. At this time of year when humpbacks often make longer dives “White- Eyes” returned to the surface within five minutes each time after it raised its flukes. We cruised through the islands, viewing more bald eagles, and even a black tailed deer! In Blackney pass were lucky to see over ten dall’s porpoises, who were very active. Passengers were thrilled to watch them swim around the boat. Right at the end of the tour, we got another great look at “White-Eyes” before returning to Telegraph Cove. With many rhinoceros auklets, common murres, marbled murrelets and pelagic cormorants on the water we had yet another excellent trip.

Captain Geoff’s Quote of the Day:

“Every man is the architect of his own future.” – Sallust

 

Next Available Tour:

Thursday, May 28th – 1:00pm

Sunday, May 31st – 1:00pm

Monday, June 1st – 1:00pm

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Sunday, May 24th 2015 – MV Lukwa

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie

Lukwa left for this afternoon’s tour under sunny skies and light winds. Before long, passengers had already spotted a wide variety of birds, including rhinoceros auklets, common murres, pelagic cormorants, pigeon guillimots, marbled murrelets, pacific loons and bald eagles. We found some pacific harbour seals hauled out on the rocks, and others watching curiously from nearby in the water. A group of harbour porpoises was spotted and we got great looks at these often more elusive animals. There were also many dall’s porpoises in the area, and guests were able to compare the two different species. As we watched the porpoises, we noticed that there was a humpback whale, a short distance away. Approaching, we noticed that the dalls porpoises we had been watching were now riding in the slip-stream of the whale, and appeared to be all over the animals head. Once the humpback fluked, we were able to identify it as “White-Eyes”, a whale that we haven’t seen yet this year. We carried out across Blackfish sound and eventually came to the eagle’s nest that is active again this year. Getting a close look through binoculars we were able to see an eagle in the nest, and that it looked to be feeding a chick. Guests were thrilled, as we had a great view of this happening. Before heading back to Telegraph Cove, we spotted “White-Eyes” once again, and went to have another look. With the engines shut down, we could hear the whale when it surfaced after it’s dive, and were very lucky to get another great look at this whale. It was another fantastic spring day on the water!

Captain Geoff’s Quote of the Day:

“Think big thoughts but relish small pleasures” – H Jackson Brown JR

 

Next Available Tour:

Monday, May 25th – 1:00pm

Thursday, May 28th – 1:00pm

Sunday, May 30th – 1:00pm

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Thursday, May 21st 2015 – MV Lukwa

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie

This afternoon’s trip headed out over calm seas, and not long after leaving Telegraph Cove, we encountered an active group of Dall’s porpoises. Guests were thrilled as they watched the porpoises speed in and out of the wake, as well as along the bow of the Lukwa. We viewed a number of Pacific harbour seals lounging on the rocks, while others poked their heads up from under the kelp. Making our way through the Plumper Islands, watched and listened to the many bald eagles present in the area at this time of year. From a distance we were even able to see them feeding on a school of herring, as they circled above before swooping down on the fish. A group of Steller sea lions lazed in the sun, and when Captain Geoff turned off Lukwa’s engines, it was so quiet you could even hear their breathing.  Out in the middle of Blackfish Sound, we came across a small group of Pacific white-sided dolphins. These usually very active animals were uncharacteristically quiet, but guests enjoyed trying to spot them in the calm waters.  Captain Geoff paused the Lukwa again in Blackney Pass, as we watched the current rip past. With such big tidal exchanges at this time of year, we often enjoy cruising through channels such as this to see how quickly it runs through these areas.  Back in Weynton Pass, a guest spotted a tail!  It turned out to be “Inukshuk” the humpback whale, which our onboard biologist Alison identified by matching its tail fluke and flank to the Marine Education and Reseach Society’s (MERS) catalogue. “Inukshuk” was reported to be around, and it was great for us to see this whale return to the area yet again. Getting to see a humpback early in the season is always exciting, but guests were thrilled when “Inukshuk” began tail slapping! The Steller sea lions became very interested in “Inukshuk” when he swam past, craning their necks out of the water. Lukwa moved into get a look at a large eagle’s nest in which we have seen chicks raised over the past few years. Looking closely we were able to see an Eagle sitting on that nest. Maybe we will be lucky enough to see more chicks raised there again this year! Getting one last look at “Inukshuk” we headed back to Telegraph Cove. Today was another excellent example of the great diversity of wildlife we are so lucky observe out of Telegraph Cove.

Captain Geoff’s Quote of the Day:

“We do not remember days, we remember moments” – Cesare Pavese

 

Next Available Tour:

Sunday, May 24th – 1:00pm

Monday, May 25th – 1:00pm

Thursday, May 28th – 1:00pm

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015 – MV Lukwa

Photo Credit - Jackie Hildering

Photo Credit - Jackie Hildering

Photo Credit - Jackie Hildering

Photo Credit - Jackie Hildering

Photo Credit - Jackie Hildering

Photo Credit - Jackie Hildering

Photo Credit - Jackie Hildering

Photo Credit - Jackie Hildering

Photo Credit - Jackie Hildering

Photo Credit - Jackie Hildering

With this morning being a little gloomy our hopes were high not only for some great wildlife sightings but for more of that summer sunshine that we have been enjoying here in Telegraph Cove! Our lucky guests from all over the world including Germany, The Netherlands and many more got to experience wonderful wildlife sightings in the glorious May sunshine.

The trip started off with sightings of a few Steller sea lions as well as a couple pacific harbour seals hanging out on the rocks. Shortly after we found a whole bunch of playful pacific white-sided dolphins that decided to travel along with us jumping in and out of the MV Lukwa’s wake! Everyone on board was able snap a great picture of these beautiful dolphins as they just kept darting alongside and behind the boat.

As Captain Geoff continued steering the MV Lukwa through the straits we got a great look at “KC” the Humpback Whale!  We have known KC (BCY0291) since he first came to the area as a calf with his mother, “Houdini” in 2002. Everyone on board held their breathing still as they watched “KC” surface repeatedly giving large blows to the surface every time!

Just minutes after seeing “KC” The T010s appeared exciting everyone on board! The T010s (mom T010’s and her two sons) are mammal-eating Killer Whales known as “Bigg’s Killer Whales” or “Transients”. We continued to watch these magnificent marine mammals move ever so languidly down the Strait.

The trip ended with an educational lesson from our head naturalist Jackie Hildering.  It was a wonderful day today here at Stubbs Island Whale Watching and we are all just so excited that the season is beginning on such a great note!

 

Captain Geoff’s Quote of the Day:

“The ocean is a central image. It is the symbolism of a great journey.”

-Enya

 

Next Available Tour:

Thursday, May 21st – 1:00pm

Sunday, May 24th – 1:00pm

Monday, May 25th – 1:00pm

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Monday, May 18, 2015 – M.V. Lukwa

©2015 Jackie Hildering - Two young guests are showing the baleen and tooth from different whales.

©2015 Jackie Hildering - A common loon takes off across the calm waters of Winton Passage.

©2015 Jackie Hildering - The Minke whale off in the distance.

©2015 Jackie Hildering - Resting Steller sea lions.

©2015 Jackie Hildering - The group of Pacific white-sided dolphins slow down after leaping and speed after food.

©2015 Jackie Hildering - A dolphin looks up at us as it surfs through the boat's wake.

©2015 Jackie Hildering - A Pacific white-sided dolphin gets some air as it propels itself through the wake of our boat.

©2015 Jackie Hildering - Guests are looking up to the eagles nest above.

©2015 Jackie Hildering - A group of Steller sea lion and one California sea lion surface near the boat.

We couldn’t have asked for a nicer day for the first tour of 2015. Calm seas and sunny skies made for a perfect day on the water as we departed Telegraph Cove for our afternoon wildlife tour. With Captain Roger at the helm and Jackie as our naturalist and deckhand, everyone was settled in for a lovely cruise around Johnstone Strait and Blackfish Sound in search of marine life.
With lots of eyes scanning the horizon, it didn’t take long for someone to spot the blow and fin on something in the water. A fast moving Minke whale surfaced off the port bow at a couple of hundred yards away. Everyone waited for the whale to resurface near where it was first seen but it was several minutes and quite a distance away before it reappeared. It was several more minutes and another healthy distance away before we saw it appear again. After a few more long dives, the Minke seemed to completely disappear and was not seen again.
So off we headed to look for other exciting animals to experience. As we cruised through Weynton Passage which connects Johnstone Strait and Blackfish Sound, we became aware of the strong tidal currents surrounding that challenged the M.V. Lukwa. Through a smaller passage between two islands the water raced as if running downstream on a mountain side. It pushed us from one side then the other but our Captain maintained course and gave the engines more throttle to compensate for the rushing tide. We broke through into sunshine and flat calm waters of Blackfish Sound in awe of the flooding tide that would rise almost four meters from its low point of the morning. Quite amazing power and with it comes all sorts of marine life and life giving oxygen to the many creatures under the surface. Jackie, who is also a scuba diver and biologist, was delighted to share her knowledge of the amazing life that is found underwater in the area. Truly amazing.
In Blackfish Sound we could see clearly across to the mainland mountains that still stood tall with a topping of white snow in the late spring. Soon across the Passage some splashes drew our attention and Jackie leaped with excitement, “Pacific whited-side dolphins” she squealed. About a kilometre or more away we could see the sleek white and grey forms leaping in a spiral fashion clearing the water and splashing down. Off we went to see what had these twenty or so dolphins all excited. As we approached closer it was obvious by their speed and constant changes in direction that they were chasing something. Jackie explained that it was like small schooling fish that are a favourite food. We stopped the Lukwa and watched as they went back and forth until they must have had their full and slowed to a more leisurely pace. We spent a bit more time enjoying their company and it was time to continue on. As we went to leave the area, the dolphins decided to take advantage of the boats wake and they all began surfing behind us. They fooled us for a while until they had had enough and we had to say goodbye.
On our way back towards Telegraph Cove, something moved as we approached the shoreline of a small island. First one head appeared then a second. It was two Steller sea lions hauled out on the rocky shore basking in the sun. They gave us a careful look as we quietly passed by at a save distance so as not to disturb their peaceful enjoyment of their resting spot.
Looking skyward to the tall treetops and white speck stood out along the green line formed between the island and the sky. A bald eagle was perched in a tree looking down on us with its piercing stare. Carefully Captain Roger steered us where we could see the eagle’s nest where the mate was protecting this year’s young which are still out of sight from our viewpoint.
Suddenly below us in the water there was a splash and we could see that a Steller sea lion had popped us and was as startled as we were. Several more poked their noses up to take a breath and look us over before diving back under the water. Of the several lightly tanned young Steller’s, one stood out being a darker brown and Jackie explained that it was a California sea lion which are sometimes found swimming with their larger cousins.

Captain Roger’s Quote of the Day:

“I have found if you love life, life will love you back.” – Arthur Rubinstein

Next Available Tour:

Thursday, May  21st @ 1:00pm

Sunday, May 24th @ 1:00pm

Monday, May 25th @ 1:00pm

 

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Friday, October 3rd – MV Lukwa

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie (Telephoto & Cropped)

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie (Telephoto & Cropped)

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie (Telephoto & Cropped)

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie (Telephoto & Cropped)

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie (Telephoto & Cropped)

We’ve had a change in the weather, that’s for sure! It’s been fairly mild though, and a little wind with some light showers definitely did not dampen the spirits of our guests today.

Everyone was able to witness some incredible displays of humpback whales feeding, with one lunge feed after another! The bait balls were large, and the feeding was fast and furious. At times we even had 2 humpback whales lunge feeding right next to each other. 8 different humpbacks were viewed today, which allowed everyone on board a great look at these magnificent baleen whales.

Over 300 Steller sea lions were viewed in the area this afternoon! With some hauled out on the rocks while others swam in the nearby kelp beds. A group of 40 harbour seals were also sighted, with their behavior much the same as the sea lions.

Our birders weren’t disappointed either! We had sightings of over 100 common murres, 8 bald eagles, 50 northern phalaropes, 2 belted kingfishers and 8 pelagic cormorants!

So far October’s sightings have been great, and we can’t wait to see what our last tour of the season has in store for us tomorrow!

 

Captain Wayne’s Quote of the Day:

‘We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.’

 

Next Available Tour:

Saturday, October 4th – 1:00pm – Our last tour of the 2014 season!

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Thursday, October 2nd – MV Lukwa

Photo credit - Alison Ogilvie (Telephoto & Cropped)

Photo credit - Alison Ogilvie (Telephoto & Cropped)

Photo credit - Alison Ogilvie (Telephoto & Cropped)

Photo credit - Alison Ogilvie (Telephoto & Cropped)

Photo credit - Alison Ogilvie (Telephoto & Cropped)

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie (Telephoto & Cropped)

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie (Telephoto & Cropped)

It was a little grey and blustery as we left Telegraph Cove today, but once we made it across the straights, we found calm waters in Blackfish sound.

We quickly came across a very large bait ball and were able to watch  for 25 minutes as ‘Humpless’ circled and lunge fed. ‘Humpless’ was then joined by ‘Guardian’, who lunge fed straight up and high out of the water, as only ‘Guardian’ does. ‘Argonaut’ also managed to grab a quick meal before all of the food was gone! Lunge feeding humpback whales are truly a sight to behold, and everyone on board was quite delighted!

As we continued our journey towards Bold Head we encountered ‘Moonstar’ who was pec slapping. This massive whale then did a full breach right out of the water, and head lobbed, before moving in closer to the shoreline. After ‘Moonstar’ moved in closer to the shore he/she continued pec slapping and trumpeting.

There were humpback blows everywhere you looked, and we found ‘Domino’ just north of Stubbs Island. Then ‘Cutter’, and an unidentified whale with a white tail (not in our humpback catalog), did 3 double lunge feeds.

As we carried on we were able to have a good look at 30+ harbour seals as they were hauled out on some rocks. After the seals we then watched 40+ Steller sea lions who were also hauled out on the rocks, as well as swimming along the shore. On our way through Boat Pass we had a great look at a mating pair of bald eagles who were sitting on a low branch. Also sighted in Boat Pass were river otters on the rocks feasting on a strip of salmon.

30 rhinoceros auklets, 100′s of common murres, 6 bald eagles, 100′s of Northern phalaropes, 5 belted kingfishers, 10 harlequin ducks and 30 pelagic cormorants kept our birders happy!

We’re getting close to the end of our season, but the wildlife sightings continue to be amazing!

 

Captain Wayne’s Quote of The Day: ‘Learning is like rowing upstream, not to advance is to drop back.’

 

Next Available Tours:

Friday, October 3rd @ 1:00pm

Saturday, October 4th @ 1:00pm

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Wednesday, October 1st 2014 – MV Lukwa

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie

What a beautiful day to start October off with! We had perfectly calm waters, and slightly overcast skies, before the warm sunshine came through. The sunshine gave everyone the perfect lighting to capture the tours best moments!

We were treated to some fantastic humpback whale activity, with sightings of bubble netting, lunge feeding, and scoop feeding through large bait balls. The humpback whales that we were able to identify this trip included “Argonaut” as he lunged through the large bait balls several times, “Corporal”, “Jigger” who was bubble netting constantly, “Ridge”, “Ripple” and her calf “Lorax”. As we watched these humpback whales go through the bait balls we were able to observe some great bird activity too! The marine birds were hovering above and then diving into the bait ball in search of the small fish. Chum salmon were also seen swimming up to the surface of the bait ball as well. It’s always so incredible to think about how rich our ecosystem really is, with the abundance of wildlife that we are so lucky to have around us.

Throughout the trip we also found 80-100 Steller sea lions basking in the afternoon sun and 40-50 harbour seals. There was a ton of bird activity today, including: rhinoceros auklets, common murres, bald eagles, northern phalaropes, belted kingfishers, pelagic cormorants, cassins auklets, great blue herons and Leach’s storm petrels.

Another great day out on the water making it even harder to count down to our last trip of the season!

Captain Wayne’s Quote of the Day:
“How long have you been working here? Ever since they threatened to fire me! ”- Joke

Next Available Tour:
Thursday, October 2nd @ 1:00pm
Friday, October 3rd @ 1:00pm
Saturday, October 4th @ 1:00pm

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Tuesday, September 30th 2014 – MV Lukwa

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie

Yesterday afternoon turned out to be absolutely wonderful! Just before we departed at 1:00pm, the skies cleared up, and that beautiful sun came out to defrost us!

Right away we sighted 6 humpback whales that were identified as “Domino”, “Argonaut”, “Frosty”, “Ripple” and “Lorax” by our on board biologist Alison. Everyone on board managed to get that picture perfect tail fluke shot as these amazing marine mammals took long deep dives! All of a sudden “Frosty” and “Ripple” started lunge feeding through large bait balls. As we continued to watch these humpbacks feed, a report came over the VHF radio of the elusive transient’s (Bigg’s killer Whales), so off the MV Lukwa headed in search of these orcas.

We caught up with 6 T36’s who were grouped up and heading south, taking long dives almost as if they were getting ready to begin hunting. We traveled with them for as long as we could before having to head back to Telegraph Cove.

Today we didn’t just thrill all the whale watchers on board with sightings of 2 different whales, but also the bird watchers who were just as thrilled with sightings of rhinoceros auklets, common murres, bald eagles, northern phalaropes and pelagic cormorants.

Another absolutely spectacular afternoon with orcas, and awesome humpback whale activity with huge lunge feeds!!

 

Captain Wayne’s Quote of the Day:

“Fun is like life insurance, the older you get the more it costs”- Kin Hubbard

 

 

Next Available Tour:

Wednesday, October 1st @ 1:00pm

Thursday, October 2nd @ 1:00pm

Friday, October 3rd @ 1:00pm

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Monday, September 29th 2014 – MV Lukwa

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie

Photo Credit - Alison Ogilvie

As we headed out this afternoon the conditions were to die for! The emerald green Pacific Ocean waters were like a sheet of glass, and to top it off we had the perfect amount of afternoon sunshine! But of course, rain happens here in Telegraph Cove, so down came a torrential pour! Captain Wayne made sure to remind everyone of just how badly we need the rain for the rivers to get flowing, so that the salmon are able to climb to the top to spawn.

What an afternoon it was for wildlife sightings! Talk about some great humpback whale action, with a total of 7 whales that our on board biologist Alison identified as “Argonaut”, “Ripple”, “Lorax”, “Freckles” and “Domino”. “Lorax” breached completely out of the water, not once, but twice! Then “Domino” did about 4 tail lobs, splashing water up and down. Such exciting humpback whale activity!

Shortly after watching the humpback whales we found a small group of Pacific white-sided dolphins, who decided to tag along and began to bow and wake ride with the MV Lukwa. These dolphins had tons of energy, jumping in and out of the glass like water.

Just before heading back to Telegraph Cove we stopped to take a look at the large Steller sea lion population that has taken over the area! These sea lions were hauled out on the rocks enjoying the sun and the smooth tides coming in.

For all the birdwatchers on board today we spotted rhinoceros auklets, common murres, bald eagles, Northern phalaropes, belted kingfishers, pelagic cormorants, and last but not least, cassin auklets.

 

Captain Wayne’s Quote of the Day:

“You cannot create experience you must undergo it”- Albert Camus

 

Next Available Tour:

Tuesday, September 30th @ 1:00pm

Wednesday, October 1st @ 1:00pm

Thursday, October 2nd @ 1:00pm

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