Steller Sea Lions – Sutil Channel, Discovery Islands Archipelago

Big Animal Encounters

I joined a two hour tour with Big Animal Encounters in hopes to see humpback whales. Two hours isn’t enough time to travel north within the Discovery Islands archipelago, where whales are guaranteed to be seen. However, humpbacks have been swimming in the Sutil Channel, a location relatively close to the dock.

Fast Forward Zodiac

I joined a family from Toronto, visiting family here in Campbell River. Dressed in warm dry suits, we set off towards Mitlenatch Island with plans to then turn north and explore the Sutil Channel.

Mitlenatch Island – Bald Eagle and Harbour Seals

A Playful Pair of Juvenile Steller Sea Lions

A Buoy Load of Juvenile Steller Sea Lions

Humpback Whales

Weather was an issue. While the tour was only 2 hours, the window to explore the waters was on a tightrope as a result of forecasted winds. On schedule, the winds increased, as did the surface waves. Winds were blowing at about 20 knots, waves were white capping and swell was at least two feet within the Sutil Channel.

This made looking for humpback spouts difficult to see.

I spotted a spout off the bow, far off in the distance. Then suddenly in the white capped waves, a tail seemed to appear, then disappeared. That was it for whales!

It was time to zoom back to the marina! The wind and waves made the ride home a lot of fun! The zodiac bounced and flew over the waves, splashing everyone!

Everyone had a great time! It was so wonderful to be on the water!

S, 🐋

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Love your photos Stephanie! Looks like fun! I wish you’d seen more of the humpbacks though! Maybe next time!!

    1. Thank you Yvonne!! 🌻 Next time was the charm!!!! 🐋🐋🐋

  2. mama says:

    National Geographic should hire you.!!! 😘 Just to let you know I am living my senior years and experiencing my “BUCKET LIST” watching your adventures. 😳😳😳 I really hope you get to see some whales so you can share them with us. The Mitlenatch Island is a treasure indeed. What a…. no wonder you went again the next day. Glad you are in warm dry suits…enjoy the zodiac😘
    Love ya lots & lots …mama👵🏻💜 😷

    1. Thanks mama!!! Maybe someday we will go on a bucket list adventure together, such as getting you in a kayak, ‘eh!! Be fun!!!! Love you too!! 🌻💛🌻

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