Tuesday, September 1, 2015 – MV Lukwa & 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: 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.

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

Photo Credit: Geoff Dunstan. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo Credit: Geoff Dunstan. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo Credit: Geoff Dunstan. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

This morning, the calm waters of Blackfish Sound were broken by the fins of 4 different matrilines of fish eating orcas as they rested in 3 separate groups. At times we could hear the exhalations of each individual as they surfaced in their resting line. The larger exhalations of the Humpback Whales could also be heard across the waters. A large group of birds gathered, and Frosty and Domino the Humpback Whales lunge fed on the juvenile Herring that had been grouped together by the diving Rhinoceros Auklets and Common Murres. As we were returning to Telegraph Cove, a Bald Eagle swooped down and grabbed a Gull! All the other Gulls chased the offending Eagle as it flew to the rocks for lunch.

2 Sea Otters were spotted on this afternoon’s trip! This is the first time that we have ever seen more than one Sea Otter in a day. One of them was right next to a group of resting Orcas, and the other was next to a colony of Steller’s Sea Lions. We look forward to seeing more of them as they return to this area.
A large flock of Gulls alerted us to what one guests described as a “National Geographic Moment”. A large Steller’s Sea Lion was in the process of killing a Giant Pacific Octopus. This was the largest Sea Lions species in the world, eating the largest Octopus species!
As we were watching Humpback Whales, we noticed that several large groups of Orcas were mingling in Johnstone Strait. We deployed our hydrophone and naturalists on both were stunned by what they heard. These calls were phenomenal and unlike any they had ever heard. Three different lines of Orcas appeared to be facing off and their erratic movements blocked our return to Telegraph Cove. What an amazing encounter!

Individuals Identified:
Humpbacks: Domino, Cutter, Argonaut, Frosty and many more!
Killer whales: I15, A36, A35, A42, A30, A23 and A25 and other unidentified matrilines of fish eating Orcas

Other Wildlife:
2 Sea Otters, Dall’s Porpoises, Bald Eagles, Rhinoceros Auklets, Common Murres, Gulls, Red-necked Phalaropes, Pacific Harbour Seals, Steller’s Sea Lions and Great Blue Herons.

Captain Wayne’s Quote of the Day
“A diplomat is a man who always remembers a woman’s birthday but never remembers her age.” -Robert Frost

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Monday, August 31, 2015 – MV Lukwa & MV Kuluta

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

Photo Credit: Johanna Ferrie

Photo Credit: Johanna Ferrie. 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.

Highlights:
This morning there were multiple families of fish-eating Orcas in the area. They were foraging over a wide area and we could see them wherever we looked over the flat clam waters of Queen Charlotte Strait. With our hydrophone in the water we could hear the distinct calls of both the A and G clans as they chased salmon.

We were excited to see Dall’s porpoises zipping around the Lukwa as we travelled back to Telegraph Cove.

Just out of Telegraph Cove the Lukwa encountered the A23, A25 matrilines who were being provoked by several groups of rooster-tailing Dall’s Porpoises. This group of Orcas was very vocal as we turned off the engine and listened to them on the hydrophone. The Kuluta ventured North in an attempt to avoid the rain and spent some time watching the A30 matriline. These whales were travelling in a tight group and some of the younger whales were spy-hopping and porpoising.

This afternoon Weynton Pass was full of wildlife as the strong tidal currents stirred up the water, making for excellent feeding. Several Humpback Whales including Argonaut, Cutter, Guardian and Ojos Blancos were feeding in these currents. We even spotted a Minke Whale feeding in the area as well! As we were watching the Humpback Whales the A42 matriline of fish-eating Orcas passed by and were incredibly vocal. A large group of squawking gulls alerted us to a Steller’s Sea Lion who was thrashing around in the water while eating a large Ling Cod. In one of the small passes we watched over five juvenile and mature Bald Eagles mingling on the rocks and swooping between trees. The rain ceased and the waters were flat calm with brilliant colour as we headed back to Telegraph Cove at the end of the day.

Individuals Identified:
Humpbacks: Domino, Cutter, Guardian, Argonaut, Ojos Blancos and many more!
Killer whales: I15, A42, A30, A23 and A25 matrilines of fish eating Orcas

Other Wildlife:
Western Grebes, Dall’s Porpoises, Bald Eagles, Rhinoceros Auklets, Common Murres, Gulls, Red-necked Phalaropes, Pacific Harbour Seals, Steller’s Sea Lions and Great Blue Herons.

Captain Wayne’s Quote of the Day
“Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.”
Anthony J. D’Angelo

Next Available Tours:
Tuesday, September 1 @ 9:00am & 1:00pm
Wednesday, September 2 @ 9:00am & 1:00pm
Thursday, September 3 @ 9:00am & 1:00pm

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Sunday, August 30, 2015 – MV Lukwa & 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: 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: Wendy Walker. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

This morning the Orcas were just outside of Telegraph Cove as we prepared the coffee for the morning tour. As we gathered the group for our pre-trip boarding talk at 8:45 the water was calm and everyone was anticipating an amazing day. Our careful scanning of the the waters of Johnstone Strait paid off as we spotted the A23 and A25 matrilines of fish eating Orcas taking long dives. Soon this group was joined by the I15 and A42 matrilines resulting in a playful group of over 30 whales. We saw them spy-hopping, tail-slapping, half breaching and rolling all over one another. With our underwater microphone (hydrophone) we were able to listen to a wide variety of incredible calls from both the A and G vocal clans. The towering blows of the Humpback Whales could be seen throughout Blackfish Sound as we entered Blackney Pass. Freckles and Domino the Humpback Whales were lunge feeding on small schooling fish. When they surfaced with their gigantic mouths wide open we were able to see the small fish boiling around them. The Steller’s Sea Lions were longing on their haul-out enjoying the sun in Weynton Pass.

This afternoon we were only ten minutes from Telegraph Cove when the sharp eyed guests on the bow of the boat spotted Humpback Whale blows to the right and Killer Whale fins to the left. The I15 matriline passed by at least five Humpback Whales that were feeding in a small area. There were whales everywhere we looked! The active birds were an indicator of where to look for lunge feeding Humpbacks. The Killer Whales were also very active, especially the youngest member of the I15 family who porpoised, spy-hopped, rolled, and chased his or her family members around. More Humpback Whales were spotted at Cracroft Point. We heard a loud bang and discovered Frosty the Humpback Whale waving and slapping his/her tail on the surface of the water. The strong flood tides resulted in an excellent opportunity for Quartz the Humpback to feed on small fish in Blackfish Sound. The Steller’s Sea Lions were on the same rocks as this morning but because of the high tide many of them were now partially submerged with only their head and chest exposed. We noticed that one of them had a fishing flasher hanging from his mouth and have reported this injured animal to Fisheries and Oceans Canada. If you see an injured marine mammal please report it to them at 1800-465-4336.

Individuals Identified:
Humpbacks:    Ridge, Conger, Freckles, Domino, Cutter, Frosty, Ripple, Quartz, Argonaut, Guardian
Killer whales: I15, A23, A25 matrilines of fish eating Orcas

Other Wildlife:
Dall’s Porpoises, Bald Eagles, Rhinoceros Auklets, Common Murres, Gulls, Red-necked Phalaropes, Pacific Harbour Seals, Steller’s Sea Lions, Harlequin Ducks and Great Blue Herons.

Captain Wayne’s Quote of the Day
“Public opinion is what other people think other people think” -Dalesman

Next Available Tours:
Monday, August 31 @ 9:00am & 1:00pm
Tuesday, September 1 @ 9:00am & 1:00pm
Wednesday, September 2 @ 9:00am & 1:00pm

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Saturday, August 29, 2015 – 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.

Highlights:
-We saw a Minke Whale! This whale is likely one of about 7 whales that are documented by the Marine Education and Research Society (MERS) in this area. Although they are often seen in the nearby waters surrounding Cormorant Island, it isn’t often that we get to see one on our tours. This makes today’s sighting particularly exciting.
-There was lots of Humpback Whale activity on the water today. Conger the Humpback was tail slapping oh this morning’s trip, and we were able to watch several lunge feeds from Guardian, Cutter and Ojos Blancos in the afternoon. In the distance, the towering blows of the Humpbacks could be seen everywhere we looked.
-The Orcas were active all day, spyhopping, tail slapping and rolling all over one another and chasing each other in circles. We and when we put our hydrophone in the water, we were able to hear amazing vocalizations from both the A30 and I15 matrilines as they socialized nearby.

Individuals Identified:
Humpbacks: Guardian, Ojos Blancos, Argonaut, Cutter, Conger and others
Killer whales: I15, A30 matrilines of fish eating Orcas

Other Wildlife:
A Minke Whale, Dall’s Porpoises, Bald Eagles, Rhinoceros Auklets, Common Murres, Gulls, Red-necked Phalaropes, Pacific Harbour Seals, Steller’s Sea Lions and Fork-tailed Storm Petrels

Captain Geoff’s Quote of the Day
“The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain” -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Next Available Tours:
Sunday, August 30 @ 9:00am & 1:00pm
Monday, August 31 @ 9:00am & 1:00pm
Tuesday, September 1 @ 9:00am & 1:00pm

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Friday, August 28, 2015 – MV Lukwa & MV Kuluta

Photo Credit: Carmen Pendleton

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: Captain Roger. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo Credit: Captain Roger. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo Credit: Captain Roger. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Highlights:
*A beautiful double rainbow just outside of Telegraph Cove this morning kicked off an amazing day on the water.

*Over 50 different orcas of both the fish eating and mammal eating populations were seen in the area today! The A42 family passed outside of Telegraph Cove and the office staff were thrilled to see Orcas multiple times today. The Orcas spy-hopped, tail slapped, and even cartwheeled their way down Johnstone Strait. Traveling with one of the mammal eating Orca groups, we were excited to see a very young calf that still had orange colouration. It surfaced enthusiastically beside its mother T38A.

*The Steller Sea Lions were incredibly vocal on both of today’s trips. There was competition for space on the small amount of rock available at high tide this afternoon.

*A group of Humpback Whales gathered near Weynton Island to feed during the flood tide. We were fortunate to see these whales lunge feed several times on the juvenile herring that had been grouped together by the diving birds. Post feeding, Guardian the Humpback Whale rolled in the bull kelp and surfaced with it draped all over her head.

Humpbacks: Guardian, Ojos Blancos, Ridge, Frosty and Slash/Humpless

Killer whales: A42, I15 and A30 and A34 matrilines of fish eating Orcas

T018, T019, T019B, T019C, T035, T025 A, T035A1, T038A and new calf of the mammal eating  population

Other Wildlife:
Dall’s Porpoises, Bald Eagles, Rhinoceros Auklets, Common Murres, Gulls, Red-necked Phalaropes, Pacific Harbour Seals, Steller’s Sea Lions.

Captain Geoff’s Quote of the Day
“Children are like wet cement whatever falls on them makes an impression”-Haim Ginott

Next Available Tours:
Saturday, August 29 @ 9:00am & 1:00pm
Sunday, August 30 @ 9:00am & 1:00pm
Monday, August 31 @ 9:00am & 1:00pm

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Thursday, August 27, 2015 – MV Lukwa & MV Kuluta

Highlights:
Shortly after leaving Telegraph Cove in the morning we happened upon a sea otter! We have had very few sightings of Sea Otters this summer, so it was a great way to begin the day.
As we embarked on the afternoon trip, we got to see a Pelagic Cormorant fly by.
Kuluta and Lukwa were both fortunate enough to witness separate double lunge-feeds by Humpback Whales. One of the individuals involved was Argonaut, the other three Humpback Whales were not identified.
Domino the Humpback Whale lunge-fed repetitively as the tide was flooding, amidst hundreds of Common Murres and Rhinoceros Auklets. One individual was also seen trap-feeding!
We heard lots of vocalizations and echolocation from each matriline of the fish-eating Killer Whales that we got to see moving west near the Robson Bight Michael Bigg Ecological Reseerve. They managed to put on over 50km travelling east and back, in less than 24 hours.
Dall’s Porpoises bow rode the Lukwa! There was also a young Dall’s Porpoise present and its smaller size and darker dorsal fin were very apparent.
Steller’s Sea Lions were hauled out on the rock near the Eagle’s Nest again and luckily we did not smell them today! We did get to hear them though, as they were very vocal.

Individuals Sighted:
Humpbacks: Argonaut, Frosty, Ojos Blancos, Cutter, Quartz, Ripple, Domino, Ridge, Freckles, and many more unidentified whales
Killer whales: A30, A23, A25, A42, & I15 matrilines of fish eating Killer Whales

Other Wildlife:
Sea Otter, Pelagic Cormorant, Dall’s Porpoises, Bald Eagles, Rhinoceros Auklets, Common Murres, Red-necked Phalaropes, Pacific Harbour Seals, Steller’s Sea Lions.

Captain Wayne’s Quote of the Day
“Travel not only stirs the blood, it also gives strength to the spirit.” Florence P. Kahn

Next Available Tours:
Saturday, August 29 @ 9:00am & 1:00pm
Sunday, August 30 @ 9:00am & 1:00pm
Monday, August 31 @ 9:00am & 1:00pm

Photo Credit: Johanna Ferrie. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo Credit: Johanna Ferrie. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo Credit: Johanna Ferrie. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo Credit: Johanna Ferrie. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo Credit: Johanna Ferrie. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo Credit: Johanna Ferrie. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo Credit: Johanna Ferrie. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo Credit: Johanna Ferrie. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015 – MV Lukwa & MV Kuluta

Photo credit: Johanna Ferrie. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Johanna Ferrie. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Johanna Ferrie. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Johanna Ferrie.

Photo credit: Johanna Ferrie.

Photo credit: Johanna Ferrie. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Johanna Ferrie. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Johanna Ferrie. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Johanna Ferrie. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Captain Roger. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Captain Roger. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Highlights:

-A Tufted Puffin was spotted amongst a flock of Common Murres and Rhinoceros Auklets on the morning tour. During the summer season Tufted Puffins are generally found further to the north in dense breeding colonies so we were very excited and surprised to catch a glimpse of this one!

-Many matrilines including the A23’s, A25’s and I15’s were in resting lines this afternoon. It was amazing to watch their synchronous surfacing.

-Pacific White-sided Dolphins spent a few minutes surfing in the wake of the Kuluta, meanwhile Dall’s Porpoises bow rode the Lukwa!
-We heard lots of vocalizations and echolocation from all of the Killer Whale matrilines that we  observed today.

-The Steller’s Sea Lions are hauled out on the rock near the Eagle’s Nest. The smell from their haul-out is indescribable but smells somewhat like rotting fish and a sewage leak combined.

Individuals Sighted:

Humpbacks: Argonaut, Inukshuk, Guardian and many more unidentified whales

Killer whales: A23, A25, A42, I15, A30 matrilines of fish eating Killer Whales

Other Wildlife:
Tufted Puffin, Great Blue Heron, Dall’s Porpoises, Pacific White-sided Dolphins, Bald Eagles, Rhinoceros Auklets, Common Murres, Red-necked Phalaropes, Pacific Harbour Seals, Steller’s Sea Lions.

Captain Wayne’s Quote of the Day
“Incomprehensible jargon is the hallmark of a profession.” Kingman Brewster Jr.

Next Available Tours:
Thursday, August 27 @ 9:00am & 1:00pm
Friday, August 28 @ 1:00pm
Saturday, August 29 @ 9:00am & 1:00pm

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015 – MV Lukwa & MV Kuluta

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

Photo credit: Raiza Ruiz-Kline. 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: Raiza Ruiz-Kline. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

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

Highlights:
Almost immediately after leaving the Cove this morning we came across members of the I35 matriline of Northern Resident killer whales; one large male member of the family was actively foraging.
Members of the large I15 matriline were travelling in a resting line. It was quite a sight to see ten or more whales travelling so close together.
Cutter the humpback was trap feeding this morning!
Argonaut the humpback breached once and tail lobbed four times.
Dolphins and porpoises were both interacting with killer whales.
We heard lots of vocalizations and echolocation from the A42 matriline as they were foraging.

Individuals Sighted:
Humpbacks: Argonaut, Inukshuk, Cutter, Freckles
Killer whales: A30, A42, I15, I35

Other Wildlife:
Mink, Dall’s porpoises, Pacific white-sided dolphins, bald eagles, rhinoceros auklets, common murres, red-necked phalaropes, Pacific harbour seals, Steller’s sea lions.

Captain Wayne’s Quote of the Day
“The wise don’t expect to find life worth living. They make it that way.” – Unknown

Next Available Tours:
Wednesday, August 26 @ 9:00am & 1:00pm
Thursday, August 27 @ 9:00am & 1:00pm
Friday, August 28 @ 9:00am & 1:00pm

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Monday, August 24 2015 – MV Lukwa & MV Kuluta

Highlights:
The A42 and I15 matrilines were right in front of Telegraph Cove; there was a Steller sea lion in front of the cove as well. The weather was absolutely spectacular as we were watching these whales- it was flat calm and incredibly warm.
Surf and one of the members of the I15 matriline were very physically active; these whales were rolling all over each other and pectoral slapping.
Inukshuk the humpback was swimming through massive groups of birds and visibly feeding underwater.
The A30 matriline were very vocal and active.

Individuals Sighted:
Humpbacks: Slits, Ridge, Inukshuk, Argonaut, Cutter
Killer whales: A42, A30, and I15 matrilines.

Other Wildlife:
Dall’s Porpoises, Pacific White-sided Dolphins, Bald Eagles, Rhinoceros Auklets, Common Murres, Red-necked Phalaropes, Pacific Harbour Seals, Steller’s Sea Lions.

Captain Wayne’s Quote of the Day
“One of the quickest ways to meet new people is to pick up the wrong ball on the golf course.” – Saying

Next Available Tours:
Wednesday, August 26 @ 9:00am & 1:00pm
Thursday, August 27 @ 9:00am & 1:00pm
Friday, August 28 @ 9:00am & 1:00pm

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

Photo credit: Raiza Ruiz-Kline. 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: Raiza Ruiz-Kline. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

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Sunday August 23, 2015 – MV Lukwa & MV Kuluta

Photo Credit: Carmen Pendleton

Photo Credit: Carmen Pendleton

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.

Highlights:
-The I15 matriline was foraging near the White Cliff Islets this morning. They formed a resting line this afternoon and we could see all members of this large family surfacing in a tight group.

-A Humpback whale who we did not identify breached multiple times. We also observed tail lobbing and pectoral fin slapping from Guardian the Humpback whale.

-A large group of Steller’s Sea Lions were hauled-out on the rocks this morning and were seen in the water around their haul-out this afternoon.

Individuals Sighted:
Humpbacks: Guardian, Humpless, Argonaut, Ojos Blancos
Killer whales: I15 matriline

Other Wildlife:
Dall’s Porpoises, Pacific White-sided Dolphins, Bald Eagles, Rhinoceros Auklets, Common Murres, Red-necked Phalaropes, Pacific Harbour Seals, Steller’s Sea Lions.

Captain Wayne’s Quote of the Day
“Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement” – Will Rogers

Next Available Tours:
Monday, August 24 @ 9:00am & 1:00pm
Tuesday, August 25 @ 9:00am & 1:00pm
Wednesday, August 26 @ 9:00am & 1:00pm

 

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