August 7th - Humpbacks at every corner, just outside of Nanaimo!
What a week it has been at Vancouver Island Whale Watch! The weathers been fantastic, the guests have been fantastic, and the whales have been fantastic. What more could we ask for?! On another beautiful day out here in the Salish Sea, we had our boats filled with excited customers for some whale sightings - and boy did we deliver! As we took off from the harbour in the morning, we had a plan to meet up with humpbacks that were sighted in the morning. First, we showed our customers some of the other exciting wildlife that the coastal shores have to offer.
Snake Island and Entrance Island are two popular spots we make on the tours because of the haul-outs of other marine mammals there. We frequently see the harbour seals, all spotted and shiny, laying out on the rocks under the blazing sun. There they were, yet again! Taking a look up from their rest as the guests snapped some photos of their adorable faces. Both islands are quite close to the Nanaimo harbour and allow for some beautiful views of Vancouver Island's coastline. We then began to head south for Gabriola Reefs, on the way there you boat through some beautiful small islands off the coast of Gabriola Island. Just outside the reef we came upon a bunch of noisy Steller Sea Lions squished so closely together on a buoy.
Now - whale time! Two humpbacks were first spotted in the middle of the Georgia Strait, just north of Gabriola Island. One was easy to identify, "Anvil," who's fluke we've seen quite frequently the past few days, always a treat. The other, a bit harder to identify as the fluke surfaced so close to the waterline. After lots of zooming in and flipping through the catalogues, we could see that the other whale was "Phi," what's even more exciting is that this is the first time we've seen Phi! Not long after watching those two, another two humpbacks surprised us and joined them in some more diving and travelling.
In the afternoon, we took off from the docks and headed straight for Neck Point, a beautiful area just in north Nanaimo area where you have spectacular views of the Georgia Strait. We found a single humpback, with some help from shoreside sightings. The whale was fluking and engaging in some longer dives, and during our time on scene we heard of two more humpbacks so close to us who were a little more active. So off we went!
A little further south and into the strait we saw a couple Vancouver boats around two more whales. We were greeted with a giant pectoral wave as we came closer to the whales, and even a breach shortly afterwards! The humpbacks were engaging in very long and deep dives, so each surface was exciting - especially when our patience was rewarded with pectoral waves and half breaches!
As we left the two whales and head for Entrance Island to see the harbour seals, we saw a blow in the distance, close to Gabriola, and what do you figure it was? Another humpback!! We watched it fluke twice, giving us one final wave before we took off. No matter where we looked, we saw humpbacks! Once we finished visiting the harbour seals at Entrance Island, it was time to go back home and reminisce about a wonderful day on the water.
Check out some more shots from the days events below and don't worry if you missed these trips, there's still plenty more to come! Seats are filling up so book your tour soon :)