Saturday September 30, 2017 – M.V. Lukwa
Today’s Sightings: Humpback Whales (Freckles, Argonaut, Apollo, Hunter, Yahtzee, Cosmo, Meniscus and Ridge) Pacific Harbour Seals, Steller Sea Lions, Bald Eagles, Ancient Murrelets, Red-necked Phalaropes, and Common Murres.
As we say goodbye to September, we certainly did so with a bang. With a full boat and the rainy morning giving way to a sunny afternoon we were in good shape and good spirits for whale watching.
Great looks at Steller Sea Lions once again as we visited a local haul out. Here we could see hundreds of the world’s largest sea lions both swimming in the water and on land. Some of the individuals on the haul out appeared quite restful, while others growled and battled for territory with other sea lions.
Speaking of smaller marine mammals, there were multiple sightings of Pacific Harbour Seals today. At times we got a glimpse of their full figure as they hauled out on land. At others times we could only see their little noses and heads poking out from the bull kelp. Great opportunity for all on board to see how deceptive size can be when both seals and sea lions are seen in the water compared to on land.
The highlight today, as has been the trend of late, was feeding Humpback Whales. There are three photos included on our sightings report page of this awesome feeding behaviour and we missed a bunch of times too. This tells you how much feeding is going on out there right now.
There was also a very interesting moment when we watched Apollo the Humpback Whale, as he/she travelled with another Humpback Whale whom we have yet been able to ID. Then off to the left we spotted Hunter in the same vicinity. An exciting moment as there appeared to be what looked like a collision, when Hunter came into contact with the other two whales. There was some rustling at the surface and some trumpeting just prior to seeing Hunter fluke and the whales then separate.
We were just starting our return to Telegraph Cove when we were surprised by a big splash behind our boat. Apollo the Humpback Whale whom we had been previously watching, was now surface active. We watched as he/she cartwheeled a few times and then continued to slap his/her tail against the surface. Always amazing to see these huge whales become active.
We are in a countdown to the end now folks, so make sure if you’re not visiting us this season to stay tuned into the amazing activity that is going on out there. Also, in case you’re thinking of joining us last minute, our last tour will be October 9.
Photo credits: Jennie Leaver and Alison Ogilvie. All photos are property of Stubbs Island Whale Watching and were taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.