September 13th - Logging humpbacks at Halibut Bank!

This morning, Cascadia left the harbour in Nanaimo on the lookout for whales. We’ve had some amazing success lately with humpbacks and what do you know? Today was a repeat! We didn’t have to look too far before blows were visible, two humpbacks just off of Halibut Bank. But first - we stop to see the harbour seals at Entrance Island. Very common to see them all together, while they usually forage and travel alone, you’ll generally find them in larger numbers when they’re resting on the rocks just above the waterline.

 Harbour seal haul out on Entrance Island. Photo by Alanna Vivani - 10:30 tour.

Harbour seal haul out on Entrance Island. Photo by Alanna Vivani - 10:30 tour.

We were lucky to spot two humpbacks milling together. Both blows very powerful, providing our guests with a deep sound of the water spraying from the surface. When we listened carefully you could hear the air travel through the windpipes, sounding just like wind blowing through hollow brass pipes. It was incredible!

 Both humpbacks surfacing together. So close! Photo by Alanna Vivani - 10:30 tour.

Both humpbacks surfacing together. So close! Photo by Alanna Vivani - 10:30 tour.

 Fluke comes up as the humpback dives down. Photo by Alanna Vivani - 10:30 tour.

Fluke comes up as the humpback dives down. Photo by Alanna Vivani - 10:30 tour.

One of the humpbacks was quickly identified as “Graze,” BCY0523. We’ve seen this humpback a few times the past few days, feel free to give our other blogs a peek! Graze (born in 2005) is the calf of another humpback nicknamed “Splash” (BCY0057). The other, a little tricky to identify. The fluke was primarily black, so we know it would be considered a BCX humpback.

 A familiar fluke, “Graze” BCY0523. Photo by Alanna Vivani - 10:30 tour.

A familiar fluke, “Graze” BCY0523. Photo by Alanna Vivani - 10:30 tour.

 During a close pass we all got an incredible view of the humpback blowholes. Photo by Alanna Vivani - 10:30 tour.

During a close pass we all got an incredible view of the humpback blowholes. Photo by Alanna Vivani - 10:30 tour.

The humpbacks spent their time milling around - moving in no particular direction. As well as logging, where they rest at the surface without moving too much, resembling a log!

 Trailing edge of a humpback fluke. Photo by Alanna Vivani - 10:30 tour.

Trailing edge of a humpback fluke. Photo by Alanna Vivani - 10:30 tour.

 Fluking! Photo by Alanna Vivani - 10:30 tour.

Fluking! Photo by Alanna Vivani - 10:30 tour.

On our way back to Nanaimo we stopped off at Gabriola Reefs to check out the Steller Sea Lions. From there, we travelled south through the Strait, heading into Trincomali Channel via Porlier Pass. We stopped for a bit at Porlier to get another look at some harbour seals, oystercatchers, and a cormorant! Check out the photos below.

 Stellers resting on the Gabriola Reef buoy. Photo by Alanna Vivani - 10:30 tour.

Stellers resting on the Gabriola Reef buoy. Photo by Alanna Vivani - 10:30 tour.

 Steller sea lion. Photo by Alanna Vivani - 10:30 tour.

Steller sea lion. Photo by Alanna Vivani - 10:30 tour.

 Harbour Seals at Porlier Pass. Photo by Alanna Vivani - 10:30 tour.

Harbour Seals at Porlier Pass. Photo by Alanna Vivani - 10:30 tour.

 Oystercatchers foraging on the intertidal in Porlier Pass. Photo by Alanna Vivani - 10:30 tour.

Oystercatchers foraging on the intertidal in Porlier Pass. Photo by Alanna Vivani - 10:30 tour.

 Cormorant perched up at Porlier Pass. Photo by Alanna Vivani - 10:30 tour.

Cormorant perched up at Porlier Pass. Photo by Alanna Vivani - 10:30 tour.

We’re excited to see what’s coming up for the rest of the season! Book your tour and come join us to see what it’s all about firsthand :)

Jilann LechnerComment