Wild West Coast Weather!

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Friday, September 21, 2018 – M.V. Lukwa

Humpback Whales Inukshuk and Guardian double lunge on small schooling fish! See the Herring coming out of her mouth?

Today’s Sightings: Humpback Whales (Guardian, Inukshuk, Merge, Argonaut, Ridge, many more!), Steller Sea Lions, Pacific Harbour Seals, Common Murres, Rhinoceros Auklets, Bald Eagles, White-wing & Surf Scoters, Great Blue Herons, and Belted Kingfishers.

This morning the rain couldn’t dampen the spirits of the wonderful group of students who joined us from K’ak’ot’lats’i School. The sharp-eyed students spotted a large group of seabirds feeding on the surface before… a Humpback whale lunge fed on all the small fish underneath! The Steller Sea Lions and the Harbour Seals didn’t mind the rain as they hauled out on their favourite rocks. The afternoon brought more rain but some of the best Humpback Whale feeding action we’ve seen all season! Guardian, Inukshuk, Argonaut, Merge and 2-3 other unidentified Humpback Whales were lunging out of the water unpredictably as they fed on bait balls scattered all throughout the bay. Our perseverance through the crazy weather paid off and we got lucky near the end of the day, catching up to some Northern Resident Orcas being pursued by Pacific White-sided Dolphins. You just never know what the rain might reveal out here!

K’ak’ot’lats’i school children stay dry as they watch Humpback Whales.

A wee patch of sunlight illuminates these Steller Sea Lions.

A Bald Eagle surveys us in the rain.

Stunning West Coast scenery and loads of feeding activity, what more could we want!

LUNGE! Guardian (right) lunges right out of the water while the Pectoral fin of Inukshuk is all that is visible.

A Gull flies overhead towards one of many bait balls!

Naturalist Carmen grins from the bow of the Lukwa as children from K’ak’ot’lats’i school watch the wildlife action.

The underwater organizers of small schooling fish – Common Murres.

A Steller Sea Lion attempts to chomp the neck of another sea lion.

A Humpback Whale lands on its back after breaching!

One more of this spectacular lunge-feeding, check out the expansion of those pleats!

Photo credits: Alex McDonald and Johanna Ferrie. *Photos taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.*

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