Morning Glow of a Blow!

Thursday, July 19, 2018 – M.V.s Lukwa & Kuluta

Morning glow!

Today’s Sightings: Humpback Whales (Argonaut, Pisa, Ridge, Merge, unknowns), Fish-eating (Northern Resident) Orcas (A42 Matriline), Sea Otter, Pacific Harbour Seals, Steller Sea Lions, Dall’s Porpoises, Pacific White-sided Dolphins, Bald Eagles, Pigeon Guillemots, Black Turnstones, Northern Phalaropes, Rhinoceros Auklets, and Common Murres.

Almost as soon as we left the cove this morning, the blow of a Humpback Whale was illuminated by the morning sun in Johnstone Strait. Dall’s Porpoise fins danced near the surface every so often as we watched this whale travel. Pacific Harbour Seals rested on some rocks, including a young pup nursing. A treat was watching the A42 matriline of Fish-eating Orcas surface in a resting line while Pacific White-sided Dolphins sped through the water! The biggest surprise of all was watching a Sea Otter float by on his/her back, before disappearing into the depths.

An unknown Humpback Whale swims past Telegraph Cove.

Lunch time! This young pup spends some time nursing.

Growing up… this Bald Eagle Chick seems to be getting more active in the nest!

Guests enjoy how fast the Pacific White-sided Dolphins can move!

Surf and Chameleon, siblings in the A42 matriline of Fish-eating Orca, surface together.

Look at those feet! Pigeon Guillemots clamber onto Rock Kelp.

A raft of Rhinoceros Auklets!

The appearing rock; this rock pops up as the tide drops, allowing Pacific Harbour Seals a seaweed-y spot to rest.

Red-necked Phalaropes fly by.

Merge the Humpback Whale goes down for a deeper dive.

Argonaut the Humpback Whale swims by in the evening sun.

Photo credits: Johanna Ferrie and Chloe Warren. All images taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

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What a Wednesday!

Wednesday July 18, 2018 – M.V. Lukwa

A member of the A23 Matriline of Fish-eating (Resident) Orcas surfaces.

Today’s Sightings: Humpback Whales (Argonaut, Merge, Black Pearl, Quartz, and unidentified), Mammal-eating (Bigg’s) Orcas, Fish-eating (Northern Resident) Orcas (A23 Matriline), Pacific Harbour Seals, Steller Sea Lions, Dall’s Porpoises, Bald Eagles, Pigeon Guillemots, Black Turnstones, Rhinoceros Auklets, and Common Murres.

Today was whale-y wonderful! We started the morning off watching Argonaut and Black Pearl the Humpback Whales surface right near Stubbs Island, the island we are named after! We then took off in search of Mammal-eating (Bigg’s) Orcas, who we found socializing and even vocalizing, which is a rare sighting considering they are the quieter of the two types of Orcas we see in this area. The afternoon trip found the other type of Orca, the Fish-eating or Northern Resident Orcas. We watched the A23 Matriline travel along together and even pass right by Quartz the Humpback Whale! Pacific Harbour Seals dotted the rocks, a few mother seals were spotted right next to their young pups. In some of the strong currents, Rhinoceros Auklets dotted the surface and worked to school together Herring, which Bald Eagles and Gulls came to feed on! After the feast, the water glimmered with all the scales left behind. The highlight of the day was watching active Dall’s Porpoises in the sunset on our way home this evening.

Stunning scenery of one of many islands we travel past on our tours.

A Mammal-eating Killer Whale tail slapping.

Humpback Whales Merge and Argonaut surface together.

Two members of the A23 Matriline of Fish-eating (Resident) Orca travel down Blackfish Sound.

Well camouflaged shorebirds.

Black Pearl the Humpback Whale.

Quartz the Humpback Whale surfaces beside the A23 Matriline of Fish-eating (Resident) Orca.

Pacific Harbour Seals hauled out with a Black Oystercatcher in the background.

Who’s faster? Fish-eating Orca are going fast but those Rhinoceros Auklets flying close behind might have the advantage.

Breathtaking sunset lighting up Bald Eagles, Herring, and different species of Gulls.

Zoom! A very quick look at the speed and power of a Dall’s Porpoise.

Photo credits: Alex McDonald, Johanna Ferrie, Allison Parker and Carmen Pendleton. Images taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

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Amazing Variety!

Spot the whale!

Today’s Sightings: Humpback Whales (Argonaut , Quartz, Black Pearl and unidentified), Fish-eating (Resident) Orcas (A25 and A25 Matrilines), Pacific Harbour Seals, Steller Sea Lions, Dall’s Porpoises, Black-tailed Deer, Bald Eagles, Pigeon Guillemots, Surf Scoters, Black Turnstones, Rhinoceros Auklets and Common Murres.

Today started misty with wonderful views of many different Humpback Whales. Highlights of today’s tours included listening to the Fish-eating Killer Whales on the hydrophone, watching a Steller Sea Lion eating a fish, and the huge variety of bird species!

A Pigeon Guillemot floats past the boat

Argonaut the Humpback Whale surfacing in Weynton Pass

A Black-tailed Deer feeding on seaweed

Surf Scoters soaring overhead

Fish-eating Killer Whales

What a beautiful morning

The distinctive red feet of the Pigeon Guillemots

Photo Credits: Alex McDonald, Carmen Pendleton and Johanna Ferrie. All images taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

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Shake off those Monday Blues!

Monday, July 16, 2018 – M.V. Kuluta and M.V. Lukwa

Whoah! Argonaut the Humpback Whale cartwheels across the surface of the water

Today’s Sightings: Humpback Whales (Argonaut and Merge), Fish-eating (Resident) Orcas (A30 and A23 Matrilines), Pacific Harbour Seals, Steller Sea Lions, Pacific White-sided Dolphins, Dall’s Porpoises, Bald Eagles, Rhinoceros Auklets and Common Murres.

Today started misty but Monday maneuvered into marvellous territory soon thereafter! The morning trip saw Dall’s Porpoises from all angles and had a great look at the A30 and A23 Matrilines of Northern Resident (fish-eating) Orca. In the afternoon, we also caught up with the A23’s and watched Merge and Argonaut the Humpback Whale interact. Argonaut let out a few trumpets and cartwheeled across the surface of the water in an astounding fashion! We also had a look at a few small groups of Pacific White-sided Dolphins in the afternoon. The only Monday Blues to be had today were the bright blue skies above and the deep blue waters below!

Argonaut the Humpback Whale prepares for a deeper dive as Rhinoceros Auklets fly by.

A Dall’s Porpoise speeds by, showing off a “rooster tail” (the spray that comes off their back).

Beautiful Malcolm Island!

A72 (Bend) of the A30 matriline of Resident (Fish-eating) Killer Whale travels with a younger member of the family.

Two members of the A30 matriline of Resident (Fish-eating) Orcas travel west along Malcolm Island.

A60 (Fife) and a younger member of the A23 matriline of Resident (Fish-eating) Orca travel across Blackfish Sound.

The A23 matriline of Resident (Fish-eating) Orcas travel in a resting line.

Our motor vessel Kuluta ventures out for the 11 am trip.

Wait… who’s watching who?? Three Steller Sea Lions check us out while we do the same

Merge the Humpback Whale dives deep with the beautiful BC coastal mountains the background

A member of the A23 Matriline spyhops!

Photo credits: Chloe Warren, Ashley Nielsen, Alex McDonald, and Carmen Pendleton. All images taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

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Superb Sunday!

Sunday, July 15, 2018 – M.V. Kuluta, M.V. Lukwa

A member of the G clan of Fish-eating (Resident) Killer Whales spyhops.

Today’s Sightings: Humpback Whales (Barracuda and unidentified), Fish-eating (Resident) Orcas (I15 Matriline), Steller Sea Lions, Pacific Harbour Seals, Dall’s Porpoises, Bald Eagles, Rhinoceros Auklets, and Pigeon Guillemots.

A beautiful sunny day out on the water today! We saw Humpback Whales (Barracuda, Argonaut, and unidentified) swimming and diving along the shoreline with nearby swimming Steller Sea Lions. Many Pacific Harbour Seals were spotted, especially at the very low tide, including some mothers and their pups. Also some incredibly active Dall’s Porpoise gave us a thrill as they sped by us on the chase for fish. Northern Resident (Fish-eating) Orcas were seen, with more whales travelling up Johnstone Strait as the trip progressed. It was truly a sight to see the horizon lit up with the blows of their exhalations, while listening to their vocals over the hydrophone!

Baracuda the Humpback Whale goes for a deep dive.

A group of Steller Sea Lions swims by. This species is massive but can look quite small while in the water.

The incredible views we get to see as we travel through the Plumper Islands.

A mature Bald Eagle perched atop a tree.

A Northern Resident Fish-eating Killer Whale travels through Johnstone Strait.

A Pacific Harbour Seal hauls out at high tide with her pup in the gorgeous evening light.

Argonaut the Humpback Whale flukes with the coastal mountains in the distance.

Photo credits: Allison Parker, Ashley Nielsen, Carmen Pendleton, and Chloe Warren. All photos taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

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Spectacular Saturday Sightings!

Saturday, July 14, 2018 – M.V. Kuluta

A juvenile Bald Eagle prepares to scoop up a meal of juvenile Herring.

Today’s Sightings: Humpback Whales (Quartz, Conger, Pisa, Black Pearl and unidentified), Steller Sea Lions, Pacific Harbour Seals, Dall’s Porpoises, Black-tailed Deer, Bald Eagles, Rhinoceros Auklets, a Sea Otter and Pigeon Guillemots.

With an extremely low tide this morning we were able to see a lot of life that usually rests just below the surface, with a bed of colourful Sea Urchins visible on the morning trip. As the day went on we saw even more life as the jumping fish provided a feast for Bald Eagles, Pacific Harbour Seals, Steller Sea Lions and Humpback Whales. We even got a glimpse of a Sea Otter, which is a rare sighting in this area! A Black-tailed Deer was also spotted on the rocks, grazing on kelp. Low tide leads to high spirits for staff and guests alike!

A Black-tailed Deer forages up along the rocky shoreline.

Flying fish! A mature Bald Eagle takes a big scoop of juvenile Herring as it flies by.

Quartz the Humpback Whale flukes, about to go for a deep dive.

Two Pacific Harbour Seals haul out on the kelp.

A rare sighting of a Sea Otter!

A great look at the tail fluke of Quartz the Humpback Whale

The beach is that-a-way! A Steller Sea Lion warms his/her flippers in the sunlight

Parents on board strongly identified with this mature Bald Eagle who was not pleased to be sharing the log with an assertive juvenile Bald Eagle

Photo credits: Ashley Nielsen and Alex McDonald. Images taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

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Bad Day to be a Fish!

Friday, July 13, 2018 – M.V. Lukwa

Fast food! This juvenile Bald Eagle eats a talon full of fish on the wing

Today’s Sightings: Humpback Whales (Argonaut, Conger, Merge and Unknown),Steller Sea Lions, Pacific Harbour Seals, Dall’s Porpoises, Bald Eagles, Rhinoceros Auklets, and Pigeon Guillemots.

Today the tidal exchange was massive! That means huge amounts of food pushed to the surface and the wildlife did not miss a beat, capitalizing on the feast. A giant group of Bald Eagles (called a convocation!) circled a bait ball that was so close to the surface, we could see the silver ripples of fish as they tried to escape the grasp of talons. A large Steller Sea Lion amazed us with his agile fishing skills as he captured multiple Pacific Spiny Dogfish from the depths and ate them at the surface, with the Gulls supervising and cleaning up the scraps. Dall’s Porpoises chose to cruise alongside the boat as the wind pushed us along Blackfish Sound and multiple Humpback Whales were spotted surfacing in the waves as they cruised the area in search of juvenile Herring for lunch. Great day for whale watchers… bad day for fish!

Simply stunning, the classic profile of a mature Bald Eagle

Argonaut the Humpback Whale lifts his/her tail flukes as they dive to deeper depths

A huge male Steller Sea Lion surveys his sunny rocky haul out spot

Can you see why a nickname for the Dall’s Porpoise is the “Spray Porpoise”?

In the fashion world, the Pigeon Guillemot is super trendy! Awesome black and white colouration highlighted by those bright red feet.

Whack! A Steller Sea Lion breaks apart a Pacific Spiny Dogfish into some tasty morsels

Pacific Harbour Seals hauled out in the sunshine

Get it while it’s fresh! This Bald Eagle grabs as many fish as possible from a tightly grouped together ball of fish

Photo credits: Rebecca Scott, Allison Parker, and Alex McDonald. Images taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

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Bluebird Day for Birds (and More)!

Thursday, July 12, 2018 – M.V. Lukwa and M.V. Kuluta

A mated pair of Bald Eagles surveys the sea.

Today’s Sightings: Humpback Whales (Argonaut, Conger, Moonstar, and Hunter), Fish-eating Orcas (A23s), Steller Sea Lions, Pacific Harbour Seals, Pacific White-sided Dolphins, Dall’s Porpoises, Bald Eagles, Rhinoceros Auklets, Cassin’s Auklets, Common Murres, Northern Phalaropes, Black Turnstones, Pigeon Guillemots, and Harlequin Ducks.

We were greeted by warm sunshine as we left Telegraph Cove on each of our trips today. The huge tidal currents swirled brilliant blue and Humpback Whales could be seen feeding. One Humpback Whale, Conger, became quite active and began tail-lobbing and breaching. Still such an awe-inspiring sight! Dancing on rocks above the currents, Black Turnstones and Surfbirds could be heard and occasionally seen when they lifted their wings. Bald Eagles circled overhead in the dazzling sky. Different kinds of Gulls almost appeared to glow, they were so bright white. On our evening tour, we were treated to the sight of the A23 matriline of Fish-eating Orca accompanied by Pacific White-sided Dolphins. What a great way to end the day!

Conger the Humpback Whale becomes active!

A single growl let out by this male Steller Sea Lion.

Black Turnstones and Surfbirds nearly blend into the rocks.

The huge pectoral fin of Conger waves above the surface.

Now you see me, now you don’t…a mature Bald Eagle comes in and out of sight between branches.

Some Pacific Harbour Seal pups are still visible with their mothers.

Get that itch! This Steller Sea Lion soaks up sun and scratches its head.

A60 (nicknamed Fife) of the A23 matriline of Fish-eating Orca bucks against the waves as he travels up Johnstone Strait.

Photo credits: Rebecca Scott, Ashley Nielsen, Allison Parker, Johanna Ferrie, Chloe Warren, and Alex McDonald. Images taken with a telephoto lens and cropped. 

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Whales a Plenty, Whales Galore!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018 – M.V. Lukwa

Spectacular mountain scenery behind Merge the Humpback Whale as he dives.

Today’s Sightings: Humpback Whales (Argonaut, Merge, Black Pearl, Moonstar, Ripple and Obsidian, Unknowns), Fish-eating Orcas (A23 Matriline), Steller Sea Lions, Pacific Harbour Seals, Dall’s Porpoises, Bald Eagles, Rhinoceros Auklets, Common Murres, Northern Phalaropes, Black Turnstones,Pigeon Guillemots, and Harlequin Ducks.

What an exhilarating day! Wildlife and activity seemed to surround us everywhere we looked. Multiple Humpback Whales could be seen and heard throughout Blackfish Sound, including some that we couldn’t identify. A big highlight of the day was seeing Ripple’s calf, Obsidian, rolling around in kelp and occasionally resting at the surface with its mouth open! We also got to see the A23 matriline of Fish-eating Orcas moving quickly up Johnstone Strait. Varieties of seabirds surrounded us, and we got an amazing look at Harlequin Ducks and a young Bald Eagle.

Two Humpback Whales: Moonstar diving behind Black Pearl as she surfaces to breathe.

A Ring-billed Gull touches down to try to pick up food.

A member of the A23 matriline of Fish-eating Orcas.

The lungs of the world, Bull Kelp produces a large portion of our oxygen and looks so beautiful in the currents.

What kind of bird is that? A juvenile Bald Eagle!

Soaking up some sun! Pacific Harbour Seals.

Did you know that a group of Common Murres is called a Bazaar?

Fife (A60), a member of the A23 matriline of Fish-eating Orcas.

Hello again! This male Steller Sea Lion, recognizable by some of his scars, returns to the same rock frequently.

Pacific Harbour Seals scope out this Mature Bald Eagle.

Photo credits: Johanna Ferrie, taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

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Wonderous Wildlife!

Monday July 10, 2018 – M.V. Lukwa

Juvenile Bald Eagle looking out

Today’s Sightings: Humpback Whale (Argonaut, Unidentified), Fish-eating Killer Whales (A23 Matriline), Pacific Harbour Seals, Dall’s Porpoises, Pacific White-Sided Dolphins, Steller Sea Lions, Bald Eagles, Rhinoceros Auklets, Common Murres, Northern Phalaropes, Black Turnstones and Pigeon Guillemots.

This Steller’s Sea Lion recovering from what looks like a scrap!

Today we were lucky enough to see the A23 matriline of Fish-eating Orcas! They were surrounded by very active Pacific White-sided Dolphins and Dall’s porpoise. Earlier we saw a Steller’s Sea Lion, that looked as if he may have been in a fight, resting on a rock. We also had great sightings of Humpback Whales on both of our trips!

A look at Argonaut the Humpback Whale’s fluke!

Fife the Resident Orca Whale takes a breath!

 

Photo credits: Allison Parker and Carmen Pendleton. Images taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.

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