Wednesday, September 28, 2016 – MV Lukwa

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: 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: 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.

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

Photo Credit: Alison Ogilvie.

Imagine flat calm seas, brilliant sunshine and Humpback Whales everywhere you look. Those were the conditions that guests onboard today’s whale watch got to enjoy.

Just minutes out of Telegraph Cove and we had already spotted the first exhalations of Humpback Whales rising in the distance. Getting a closer look, we could see that it was Argonaut, Cutter and Ridge who surfaced in glassy calm seas. Our attention was drawn to a group of birds who circled over a group of small schooling fish (likely juvenile herring). When the birds lifted off, Argonaut very slowly came to the surface with his/her mouth open in a lunge feed.

Through the islands the sun shone down creating incredibly vibrant colours. Great Blue Herons fished from the kelp beds and Bald Eagles ate their catches perched in the trees. Steller Sea Lions were spotted surfacing everywhere and growls from Sea Lions at the haul-out echoed through the passes.

Looking across Blackfish Sound, Humpback Whale exhalations rose in every direction. Stingray and Inukshuk spent a lot of time at the surface traveling together and fluking often. Both of these whales have mainly white colouration on the underside of their tails, yet the shape and pattern on each is very different. Guests were able to easily compare the two whales and see the differences.

In the distance we could see a group of Sooty Shearwaters feeding on schooling fish and Humpback Whales nearby. Patience paid off and after a few minutes of observing these birds feed, we watched in awe as Conger and Moonstar, two Humpback Whales simultaneously exploded out of the water spraying schooling fish in all directions! Moonstar then returned, opening his mouth at least twice at the surface. Perhaps he had also engulfed a diving bird and was trying to get it out of his mouth. Since Humpback Whale throats are only about the size of a grapefruit, if any birds accidentally get into their mouthes, they have to let them out!

In total, we were able to identify 16 different Humpback Whales while out on the water today. We continue to contribute these sightings to the Marine Education and Research Society as they document the comeback of Humpback Whales into this area. This year we are seeing more Humpbacks in the area than ever and the activity is only getting better!

Come join us and be blown away by the activity that September has to offer!

Identified Individuals
Humpback Whales: Freckles, Inukshuk, Stingray, Slash, Ocular, Yahtzee, Conger, Muppet, Moonstar, Guardian, Cutter, Argonaut, Ridge, Galaxy and Ripple

Other Wildlife
Dall’s Porpoises, Harbour Porpoises, Steller Sea Lions, California Sea Lion, Pacific Harbour Seals, Bald Eagles, Great Blue Herons, Belted Kingfishers, Rhinoceros Auklets, Common Murres, Ancient Murrelets, Pelagic Cormorants, Fork-tailed Storm Petrels, Sooty Shearwaters, Pacific Loons, Surf Scoters and Red-necked Phalaropes. WOW!!

Captain Wayne’s Quote of the Day
“It is only possible to live happy-ever-after on a day to day basis”- Margaret Bonnano

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