No better place to be!

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Monday October 2, 2017 – M.V. Lukwa

Argonaut the Humpback Whale exhales at the surface following a lunge feed.

Today’s Sightings: Humpback Whales (Frosty, Mini Wheat, Cutter, Ridge, Hunter, Moonstar, Claw, Yahtzee, Quartz, Ashes, Argonaut, Inukshuk, Meniscus, Piza, Sharpie, Blackula and Hilroy), Pacific Harbour Seals, Steller Sea Lions, Bald Eagles, Great Blue Herons, Ancient Murrelets, Red-necked Phalaropes, and Common Murres.

Going down, here is Frosty the Humpback Whale in a dive. Mini Wheat, her calf was already below the surface.

Frosty (mom) and Mini Wheat (calf) the Humpback Whales surface before a deep dive.

Water pours out of Quartz the Humpback Whale’s mouth as he/she lunge feeds on juvenile herring.

A Great Blue Heron is highlighted by the October sun as it fishes from the Bull Kelp.

The Pacific Harbour Seal surfaced in a small pass as we drifted through with our engines off. Ahhh the quiet!

You can’t hear them now, but these Steller Sea Lions were very vocal on their sunny haul-out this afternoon.

Spot the Gull with 2 herring in it’s mouth.

Hilroy the Humpback Whale was one of 17 individuals identified on this afternoon’s trip. All sightings are contributed to the Marine Education and Research Society (MERS) who are documenting the comeback of Humpback Whales into our area. Are they ever back!

We couldn’t get over the amazing conditions we had on our afternoon tour today. The waters were glass calm and the only thing close to clouds were the exhalations of so many Humpback Whales rising across the waters. We couldn’t think of any better place to be!

Humpback Whales were lunge feeding in every direction just minutes from Telegraph Cove. Watching the circling gulls feeding on herring at the surface, we can often predict where a Humpback Whale will feed on these same schooling fish. Today, however things were difficult, as at times there were over four different groups of gulls and several humpbacks in the area. We laughed as inevitably we missed some fantastic feeding as it happened out of the corner of our eyes, but we were fortunate to watch many more humpbacks feeding at the surface.

We slowly moved from one area to the next, while constantly in the presence of Humpback Whales. More and more individuals kept popping up and we were able to identify 17 different individuals, while many more surfaced in the distance. One of these known individuals was confirmed by the Marine Educations and Research Society (MERS) to be Blackula, an individual who has not been documented around North Eastern Vancouver Island since 2013!

We made our way over to the Steller Sea Lion haul-out and sat quietly watching these giants as the sound of their growling carried across the water. Great Blue Herons and Bald Eagles were spotted through the islands and were highlighted beautifully in the October light.

We can tell that fall is in the air but there is so much going on out here! You better come and see it for yourself!

Photo credit: Alison Ogilvie. All photos are property of Stubbs Island Whale Watching and were taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

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