An Incredible Day in Whale Soup! – 22/8/15

A group of us, on a reunion trip to Bamfield headed out on one of our friends boats (GPO Charters) for a trip around the coast.  It was a beautiful sunny calm day and we were excited to spend some time together on the water and hopefully see some wildlife.

Even before we had left Bamfield Inlet we heard on the radio a report of a whale at the head of the inlet.  We headed up there, stopping near a whale watching zodiac in from Ucluelet.  We didn’t see anything for a while but then spotted a blow in the distance near Helby Island.  We watched the whale for a bit seeing the fluke but lost track of him after his deep dive.  The whale watch boat did not seem to notice this fluke and continued to move around trying to find the blows!

About 5 minutes later the whale was spotted again behind us.  He headed toward us slowly and the whale watch boat finally did spot him.  A few more blows and another shot of his gorgeous fluke and we left him with the whale watchers as we headed off to find marine birds and sea lions!

A Humpback shows his fluke! Photo credit: A. Caron
A Humpback shows his fluke! Photo credit: A. Caron

Later on the trip near the mouth of Kia beach we saw several lone Greys then two spotted together.  We watched them for a few minutes but then lost sight of them.

Grey Whale near Kia Beach Photo Credit: A. Caron
Grey Whale near Kia Beach Photo Credit: A. Caron

Shortly after I spotted what looked like pec slapping in the area they had been.  We putted over (maintaining a 100m distance) and watched while the whales’ pec and tail slapped together.  At this point most of us had gone up to the roof of the boat to watch andrightafter the roof was full a “sea carrot” was launched out of the water! The people on the roof got a full show of just how weird looking these appendages can be in whales while the group who remained below only thought we were yelling obscenities.  We have no way of knowing if the whales were actually mating or just practicing but it was an amazing thing to see.

Shortly afterwards we left these two animals and headed closer to Cape Beale, our final destination of the trip.  Once again we had to stop as there was a Grey whale near the beach and then a humpback right in front of us!

Humpback Whale near Cape Beale Photo Credit: B. Ramshaw
Humpback Whale near Cape Beale Photo Credit: B. Ramshaw

 

We sat on the roof again, eating our sandwiches while we enjoyed the whale soup all around!  More greys appeared near the beach (up to three at one point) blowing and doing some shallow dives while the humpback off the starboard had a few blows then showed off his picturesque fluke on a deep dive!  It’s always an amazing thing to see!

A Humpback flukes near Cape Beale Photo Credit: B. Ramshaw
A Humpback flukes near Cape Beale Photo Credit: B. Ramshaw

By that point we had to head back.  As we slowly drove around the rocks we kept an eye out for whales as well spotting at least two more greys heading out to sea.  A truly incredible day on an incredible trip!

-Lindsay

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