Tuesday September 26, 2017 – M.V. Lukwa
Today’s Sightings: Humpback Whales (Hunter, Squiggle, Tangent and Domino), Northern Resident (fish-eating) Orca (A34s) Pacific White-sided Dolphins, Steller Sea Lions, Bald Eagles, Ancient Murrelets and Common Murres.
It felt like summer today out there on the water. With the sun beaming down and so much activity going on, it is hard to believe we are nearing the end of our whale watching season.
We departed Telegraph Cove today in high spirits and looking forward to the adventure that laid ahead of us. We started by travelling to a known Steller Sea Lion haul out. There was tons of sea lions, both hauled out on the rocks, as well as rafter together in the water. In fact, there were Steller Sea Lions in many of the places we travelled today. They could be seen swimming in the water everywhere in Blackfish Sound and a few times we caught a glimpse of them whacking a fish at the surface.
With the gorgeous conditions today we could make out of the blows of Humpback Whales everywhere. It felt as thought no matter what direction we looked, these giants of the sea seemed to be present. In fact one guest on board mentioned how astonished she was to see so many Humpback Whales. We watched Squiggle as he/she surfaced and fluked a few times and then some bird activity in the distance caught our attention. We watched as Seagulls picked at juvenile Herring from above the surface. Then the tip off, all the birds took off at once and Hunter the Humpback Whale broke the surface in a lunge feed.
As we continued to watch Humpback Whales in the day’s amazing conditions, we were suddenly tipped off to the presence of Northern Resident (fish-eating) Orca. This was the same group we had observed yesterday and they had travelled far to the East over night. Thanks to a report from another whale watching company on the water, our guests were able to get a few good looks at these Killer Whales as they slowly travelled along.
Then it was time to start making our return to Telegraph Cove. Surprise! Some of the Pacific White-sided Dolphins we had seen off in the distance chose to ride on the bow of the Lukwa. Every single head was hanging over the bow to get a look at these beautiful marine mammals as they surfaced and swam just below us. The crystal clear water permitted great looks of these “smaller” marine mammals.
Today was a clear indicator of the fact that we just never know what might happen in nature and that my friends, that, is the true adventure to be had out there.
Photo credits: Alison Ogilvie and Jennie Leaver. All photos are property of Stubbs Island Whale Watching and were taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.