Monday, August 5
In Jim Borrowman’s words, it was a spectacular day for watching marine mammals today. The Dall’s showed up pretty much right outside Telegraph this morning and followed us down Johnstone Strait as we headed towards Blackney Pass. It was quiet for awhile, then in Blackney Pass a group of Pacific White-sided Dolphins joined us and stayed with Snug a long way up Blackfish Sound, swooshing around the boat and criss-crossing her bow. We had heard there were orca in Blackfish and we found them just north of Freshwater Bay on the Swanson Island side. There was a group of about six or eight milling around in mid channel, thrilling the people in the boats that were all shut down, just watching as the whales got close, moved away, then came back again. Gikumi had been there all morning and the whales kept back and frothing and circling around for hours, not seeming the least bit bothered at being the object of everyone’s attention. Ron put the hydrophone in the water and we could hear the whales call as we drifted and ate grilled cheese sandwiches.
Eventually we left them to head towards Weynton Passage to look for humpbacks. We soon met one coming toward us and swung around to parallel its course for a bit. It suddenly made a 90 degree turn ahead of us and surfaced again close against another whale. They rolled around together and eventually moved off. As we got underway again, a Steller Sea Lion came through Weynton against the current. Then the Dall’s were back, streaking along the surface of the water to dash around madly in the bow wave and around the boat. We crossed Weynton doing nine knots with the current and anchored in the cove in the Pearse Islands where we were two nights ago. David and Jesse rowed ashore to explore and the rest of us sat up on Snug’s bow, soaking up the sun and that great view to the east. I made a fish chowder with some cod Ron had jigged up yesterday and then we went back to Telegraph where our guests disembarked and headed down island. That was a wonderful day!