One must wonder if we can ever learn to expect the unexpected or if the wonders of the natural world will continue to amaze us until the end of time? As our season continues into the summer months we have seen some amazing new life and activity in the waters around Johnstone Strait and Telegraph Cove. Today’s trips were exciting and energizing for guests and crew alike.
The moments guests were able to take in on both tours had people delightfully startled at what was happening around them. A highlight and engaging moment on our morning tour as visitors watched a Bald Eagle pluck a Spotted Ratfish right out of the ocean. The Spotted Ratfish is named for it’s characteristic pointed rat-like tail. It is always a spectacular moment when we can observe these majestic birds hunting and feeding.
Speaking of feeding, on both trips today we were able to observe a Pacific Harbour Seal mom and pup pair. The two were resting on the rocks in the sun while the pup nursed on it’s mother. Seal mom and pups have been more frequent on our tours lately as June and July are active pupping months.
We have been very lucky lately to be seeing large numbers of Dall’s Porpoise. This smaller marine mammal is known for it’s characteristic white tipped triangular dorsal fin. Today, Dall’s Porpoises were seen all along our trips in ranging numbers. One group of them chose to ride on the bow of the Lukwa shortly after departure. Later in the afternoon we suspect the same group also chose to bow ride on the Kuluta. We suspect these two bow riding groups to be the same because of the presence of a Hybrid Porpoise who was riding along with the rest of the group. A Hybrid Porpoise is the offspring of a Dall’s Porpoise and Harbour Porpoise who bred at some point in the past. These two species are known to cross-breed but we do not frequently get to experience a Hybrid Porpoise swimming with a group of Dall’s Poropise like this one was.
We are also thrilled to report that we continue to see Humpback Whales on ever tour so far this season. Today our on board naturalists Carmen and Alison were able to identify five different whales. One of these whales, Doppleganger was seen for the first time on our tours this season. Before every tour our naturalist’s will give a presentation on the wildlife you might see. In this presentation you will almost always hear that a “Humpback Whale can be as big as a Yellow School Bus”. This became very evident today when The Humpback Whale known as Quartz breached in front of both Lukwa and Kuluta. This whale was huge folks and when it hit the water you could both hear it and see the splash left in its wake.
Nature never ceases to amaze us! Today we were able to see so many active animals form breaching Humpbacks to hunting Eagles and it was jaw-dropping to be able to observe the “wild” in wildlife. This is one of the unique offerings of the North Island. You can look out onto the horizon, take in the wilderness and feel like you just might be at the end of the earth. For lack of better phrasing, it is a true escape for the ordinary.
–Humpback Whales: Ripple, Doppelganger, Quartz, Conger and Argonaut
Other Wildlife Included
– Rhinoceros Auklets, Harlequin Ducks, Common Murres, Bald Eagles, Dall’s Porpoise, Pacific Harbour Seals and Pups.
Captain Wayne’s Quote of the Day
“What hunger is in relation to food, zest is in relations to life.” – Berttrand Russell