The morning’s trip was full of wildlife to excite and delight us. Our first encounter was with a few Dall’s porpoise which swam parallel to us. Around the Plumper Islands a big bait ball attracted the attention of a flock of bald eagles. They swooped and dove in amongst the fish. The trees were so densely packed with eagles that according to captain Wayne, it looked like a snow covered Christmas tree with all the bald heads. Harbour seals were seen at two haul out points as we cruised by.
As we continued on our way the air was punctuated with the sound of humpback whales breathing near and far from us. The air was still and calm and their sonorous sounds echoed through Blackfish Sound. Our on board naturalist Kyle was able to identify the whales. Horizon was the first whale spotted of the day, followed by Black Pearl and Cutter. Conger was seen on the way back in to port.
The whales made their presence felt on the afternoon trip too. They were not the only cetaceans to escort us on our way. Some playful Dall’s porpoises bow rode and leapt around us as we headed out from port. On entering Blackfish Sound, the blows of the humpbacks were seen ahead to our starboard side. Two whales swam in unison, breathing and diving in near synchronicity. On surfacing some tail (fluke) slapping was observed and one of the whales trumpeted loudly at the surface! A harbour seal peered up from the water, possibly wondering what all the fuss was about?
The afternoon continued with the whales fluking and providing us with ample opportunities to photograph their flukes for identification purposes. Our afternoon naturalist Sophia identified Black Pearl which made a reappearance along with Conger. At least two other whales were seen in the Sounds, with one doing a magnificent breach that leapt too fast for our cameras. The Dall’s came back to leap about the bow. For the bird enthusiasts, common murres, bald eagles as well as rhinoceros auklets flitted, swooped and swam around us throughout the day.