Friday, October 2, 2015 – MV Lukwa

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Photo credit: Jackie Hildering. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jackie Hildering. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jackie Hildering. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jackie Hildering.

Photo credit: Jackie Hildering. Image taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Photo credit: Jackie Hildering.

Photo credit: Jackie Hildering.

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.

Blustery and beautiful! Today, we had gusts of wind which added to the adventure AND the activity. Some Humpbacks seem to be especially acrobatic when it’s windy. The waves moving over them appears to be a trigger. Such was the case with Conger this morning, he/she breached again, and again, and again in amongst the waves. It was spectacular to witness and we were so glad that this happened while local school children from Fort Rupert Elementary were aboard. We also watched Conger’s huge pectoral fins slap the surface of the water. Guardian the Humpback was also active in the waves, tail slapping while Cutter was very near.
The blustery bliss continued into the afternoon. This time it was Ridge the Humpback Whale who was so active. Ridge slapped his/her tail on the water several times in the sheltered waters of Blackney Pass before moving into a more blustery section of water and breaching completely out of the water! Having previously only observed Ridge’s back and dorsal fin, guests now fully understood how large Humpback Whales really are. Huge splashes could be seen across Blackfish Sound all afternoon as Humpbacks continued to leap out of water. Humpback Whale ballet, it really is the best!
Among the waves, we spotted some taller, blacker dorsal fins. Some of the fish-eating orcas had returned! Although the Chinook Salmon have now run up the rivers, this group of Orcas has likely returned to the area to feed on Chum Salmon. Chinook Salmon is the preferred prey of these Orcas, but Chum Salmon is also an important part of the Orca’s diet at certain times of the year. These Orcas were also very active in the waves. They surfed, charged and pushed one another around, while constantly changing directions. As exciting as these Orcas were, some guests chose to watch the Humpback Whale lunge feeding frenzy taking place on the other side of the boat. If only we could have torn ourselves in two, there was just so much going on.
It really was just that kind of day: wild, windy and wonderful!!

Individuals Identified
Fish-Eating Orca (Northern Residents): G15 and G22 Matrilines
Humpback Whales: Guardian, Conger, Domino, Cutter, Ridge, Freckles and Frosty.

Captain Wayne’s Quote of the Day
“All things come to him who waits, provided he knows what he is waiting for” -Woodrow Wilson
Other Wildlife Included:
Steller Sea Lions and Pacific Harbour Seals
Pelagic Cormorants, Western Grebes, Sooty Shearwaters, Bald Eagles, Rhinoceros Auklets, Common Murres, Belted Kingfishers, Great Blue Herons, and White-winged Scoters.
Next Available Tours:
Saturday October 3 @ 1:00 pm

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