Today was a bittersweet day as we departed Telegraph Cove for the last time this season. It could not have been a better day to end on, we had great Humpback activity, Dall’s Porpoise, Steller Sea Lions and then an unexpected surprise near the end of the tour that we will tell you about a little bit later.
Consistent with the last two weeks, we immediately set out in search of Humpback Whales. It did not take long for guests on board to spot the first blow. So off we went, as Captain Wayne adjusted the course of Lukwa to take us into a good viewing position. We watched as the Humpback Whale known as Galaxy surfaced in amazing light and calm conditions. The whale fluked and guests patiently awaited for it to resurface. When Glaxay resurfaced, we watched her/him blow. Then, surprise! A second Humpback Whale known as Muppet surfaced close by. The whales were surfacing directly towards each other. Then at the next surfacing we watched as they adjusted course and began travelling together. We imagine these types of meetings happen often but we have never been witness to it before. It was a truly fascinating moment.
Humpback activity continued throughout the afternoon as we made our way North, in a direction where there has been a lot of activity as of late. Everywhere we looked there were Humpback Whales. Blows could be heard in all directions and tail flukes seemed to be happening everywhere we looked. Amazing to see so many of these giants all in such close proximity.
Then, bird activity began to pick up. We could see Sea Gulls who were previously soaring above, begin to congregate in specific areas and pluck at the surface. This indicates that small groups of herring were forming into tight balls just below the surface. Then the feeding started. We watched Humpback Whales lunge feeding both in close proximity and off in the distance. Their huge mouths could be seen ripping through the surface scooping up huge mouthfuls of fish.
Then when things started to die down and we were just about to make our move, a guest on board yelled out, “BREACH!” Everyone on board turned their heads to watched in the distance as the giant whale leapt from the ocean and left a huge splash in it’s wake. Then the crackle of the radio sounded, the unexpected surprise we spoke of at the beginning – Transient (mammal-eating) Orca and not far away – we were off!
We caught up with them as they were making their entrance into the Pearse Island group. They were the T010s, a matriline consisting of mom and her two mature sons. They were displaying typical Transient behaviour, taking long dives and being very stealthy. They were difficult to keep track of at times but guests keen eyes kept us on track and within sight. We worked our way along through a small passage watching mom travel in between her two sons. What a wonderful way to end off the afternoon.
Hard to believe the season is already over. Thank you to everyone on our team for their dedication and hard work. Another huge thank you to all our guests who travelled from both near and far. It is a delight everyday to be able to adventure onto the waters just outside Telegraph Cove and share this remarkable area with you. It has been a wonderful season and we look forward to many more in the years to come.
Humpback Whales: Muppet, Galaxy, Inukshuk, Freckles, Pultney, Slash and Ocular (calf), Domino and Stingray
Transient (Bigg’s) Orca: T10s
Dall’s Porpoise, Harbour Poropise, Steller Sea Lions, Pacific Harbour Seals, Bald Eagles, Rhinoceros Auklets, Ancient Murrelets and Common Murres
Captain Wayne’s Quote of the Day
“He who foresees calamities suffers them twice over.” – Belby Porteous