‘A virtual feast for your eyeballs!’ is what Captain Wayne exclaimed today and boy was it?!
Our resident orcas and humpbacks provided us with mind blowing experiences on both our morning and afternoon trips. Clear weather gave us lovely views of the orcas this morning. A30’s and A42’S babies were playing in Johnstone Strait . The excited whales spy hopped and tail slapped to our delight. The A23’s and A25’s were also seen transiting the area.
The weather and the animals changed as we approached Bold Head. The mist rolled in and we began to see some bait balls ahead of us. Humpbacks could be seen in the gloom lunge feeding. A couple of the whales hit the bait ball simultaneously. We recognized two of them as Ripple feeding with her calf. In the distance we could hear another whale trumpeting and the thunder clap of a breaching whale.
The charismatic Steller sea lions were seen swimming in the kelp. Six of them eyed us as we passed by and gave us a gruff salutation as we continued on our way. It was great to see so many different species of babies this morning and we were lucky to see a Dall’s porpoise with her wee one as we went towards Telegraph Cove.
This afternoon we cruised out to Blackfish Sound. A couple of humpbacks swam off to our port side and descended rapidly to their watery lair. As we passed through Blackfish Sound the A30’s reappeared ahead of us. Whether they were fishing or simply goofing around, we spent the next half hour enthralled with this phenomenal family. The whales sped through the water, tail lobbing and spy hopping. Occasionally they would rest in a line before something would fire them up again and more high jInks would occur.
We were sated from our encounters with the orca but thought it would be even more fun to go and see if some more humpbacks were about. Our wish came true faster than anticipated with six humpbacks surrounding us on all sides! Ripple and her calf were feeding in a bait ball and in the distance there were signs of more activity. A large flock of birds drew us further along and in the milieu we realized a feeding frenzy was rapidly unfolding. Not one, not two, but five humpbacks were vying for space in this glut of food. The whales lunged at the fish and over each other in their attempts to gulp down as much fishy goodness as possible.
The whales appeared to be frustrated with their neighbours and some trumpeted and exhaled forcefully while pushing past. One whale made an even stranger sound which almost was akin to a snarl. We were ecstatic to see these gargantuan gluttons feasting on the fish.
We left the whales to their banquet and started towards home. In the distance a lone humpback was doing some spectacular tail lobbing in rapid succession. The whale did vertical tail lobs over 20 times and smashed the water forcefully on each attempt. We watched awestruck as it made mincemeat of the water around it. This forceful fluker was identified as Yahtsee by our staff and guests together.
Our eyeballs were well stuffed on our way home!
Source: Stubbs Island