Whale Watching Reports

Daily Whale Watching Notes

Each day we request one of our guests to fill out the daily Whale Watching Report. You could be next.

Here's a listing of our reports from the current season.

Date: 26/Sep/16

Report by: The Mackays

From: Port McNeill, BC Canada

 

Our whale watching season is now sadly over, but you can follow our fall/winter/spring adventures on Facebook and on Instagram soon. Thank you to all who came out on one of our trips! We hope you enjoyed the trip as much as we enjoyed taking you into our "back yard"!

Date: 24/Sep/16

Report by: Elizabeth Hindson

From: UK

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Humpback whales  Sea lions  Dolphins  marbled murrelets  Common murres  sooty shearwaters  great northern divers  Cassin auklets  Wilsons grebes  redneck grebes  bald eagles (2)  harbour seals. Additional Comments: Weather too rough to pursue possible orca sighting. Very good day all round.

Date: 22/Sep/16

Report by: Wendy Davis

From: Sointula, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Just before Alert Bay we saw a minke whale and several Pacific white-sided dolphins. The rest of the day was filled with humpbacks. We counted at least 17 individuals including Slash and her calf, Ocular, Inukshuk, Muppet and Squiggle. We were treated to a fabulous show when Slash breached at least five times! No orca, but beautiful weather and wonderful company. Additional Comments: Thank you Bill, Donna and Marieke for an amazing day!

Date: 20/Sep/16

Report by: Chanelle and Bryce

From: Adelaide, Australia

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We spent all day over-working our smiles because we were joined on the water by the most amazing local orca, humpbacks and even a few cheeky porpoises. I cant even come up with the words to explain the feeling you get when you witness these majestic animals. Didnt know where to look! Amazing setting amongst the gorgeous green islands. Additional Comments: The crew went above and beyond to make the day a unique and unforgettable memory we can take back with us. Did I mention the subtle jokes? Thank you again for the birthday cake. Turning half of 50 isnt so bad eh?

Date: 18/Sep/16

Report by: Stuart Carter

From: England

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 10 plus humpback, flukes and breaches. Sea lions, minke whale and 30 plus orcas!!! And dolphins. We really didnt know where to look. The trip was absolutely amazing. Spy hopping orcas; orca mother and calf; orcas riding a boat wash, orcas playing with seaweed. What more can be said!!! Additional Comments: Totally blew away any expectations. Traveled so far to find orca but the team certainly know their stuff. Positioned the boat fantastically. No rush to move out and the sitings must be unique. Oh, and lunch was great too! Many thanks.

Date: 16/Sep/16

Report by: Sally La Niece

From: London

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) A gray and rainy day but is a good that the whale dont care! We started out with guardian, one of the humpbacks, and then quickly saw several more. Some active sea lions were in the same area. Captain Bill then had to use everything the Naiad had to go far and find the A34 pod of orcas with A46. A wet but fantastic trip with happy passengers. Additional Comments: We first went out with Bill 24 years ago. Some of the jokes havent changed but the knowledge and enthusiasm shown by Marieke and Bill are fantastic. See you in two years.

Date: 14/Sep/16

Report by: Jordan Gatto

From: Canada

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Chanterelle Mushroom Soup!!! Had a good morning with the A30 pod of orcas. Lots of humpbacks, sea lions and Dalls porpoises. Found the A34 pod of orcas in the afternoon and had a great show from them. Sooty shearwaters everywhere! Thousands! Additional Comments: Bills jokes are the best! Always a great trip on the Naiad Explorer. Thank you so much.

Date: 13/Sep/16

Report by: Sue Julien

From: Summerland, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Saw loads of Orcas, including baby orcas playing slapping their tails on top of the water. Then we saw a spectacular display of humpbacks breaching full on, doing 360°s. Additional Comments: Delicious soup, very welcoming, informative tour! Thank you so much for an awesome day.

Date: 12/Sep/16

Report by: Helen Aitkin

From: Elora, Ontario

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Second time, oh so lucky! Mist came and went, then returned again as we got into orca country. There was a playful pod busy eating then frolicking. One big male  maybe big brother or an uncle. Good to see a baby and it tail-slapped and breached. Later came the humpbacks blowing and gliding. Three of them I think. Many happy photographers today. Oh, and for me, the highlight was the big orca who approached the boat, blew a spray, showed off his blowhole, then swam right under the boat. Additional Comments: What a wonderful experience. So emotional to witness this majesty. Soup was delicious too. Thanks Mackay team. Thanks whales. Ill be back!

Date: 10/Sep/16

Report by: Henk & Stephane

From: The Netherlands

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Lots of Orcas! First group were transient killer whales and later on we saw the A30 pod of residents with their youngsters. Saw a couple of humpback whales, got some beautiful pictures of tails going up. Couple of bald eagles, lots of sea lions. Also came across a group of dolphins fleeing from the transient killer whales; that was pretty impressive! Additional Comments: Very friendly staff! Thanks for a great day!

Date: 09/Sep/16

Report by: Sandi Murdock

From: Richland, WA

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) What a fantastic day on the water. We met up with the A30 pod of Orcas who were slowly traveling along in a resting pattern. Little A108 tried his best to wake up the adults by tail slapping and spyhopping his way along&no luck. We left the A30s and continued on to view numerous humpback whales foraging and fluking and putting on a tremendous show. We ended the day with a slow pass by a group of resting Steller sea lions, sunning themselves in the afternoon sun. Additional Comments: Thanks Captain Bill and Marieke for an amazing day on the water.

Date: 08/Sep/16

Report by: Daniel

From: The United Kingdom

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) The highlights were orcas and humpback whales, but with a strong supporting cast of Pacific white-sided dolphins, sea lions, phalaropes and petrels and, it must be said, the weather! Malcolm Island was the backdrop for our orcas, with one or more groups close to the shore traveling and fishing. And at Queen Charlotte Strait, we encountered a very percussive humpback  lots of tail slapping and even two or three part-breaches. Additional Comments: Captain Bill knew exactly where to go to find us interesting things to see and appreciate, and Marieke was a very competent deckhand and served up a fine lunch with a smile. The formula for the day worked well  starting with open sea and ending up amongst the islands of Queen Charlotte Strait with some lovely views of sun-basking northern sea lions as well as a small deer down on the shoreline. Overall, a most memorable day and a great insight to the marine wildlife of the Canadian northwest.

Date: 07/Sep/16

Report by: Annet Strietman

From: The Netherlands

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) The trip started with a few seals. Not that long after, cruising through a small canal between two islands, we cruised into a large pod of killer whales. A resident family with calves. Around forty orcas in total! Swimming around and under the boat. We even saw six jumps. In the end we saw a couple of humpback whales, sea lions and eagles as well. Additional Comments: Thanks Mackays for the unforgettable experience!

Date: 06/Sep/16

Report by: Kelly

From: USA

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We started in big fog heading east towards Robson Bight. The fog began to lift and with a bit of sun, we saw a group of 4 Orca; one male, two females and a juvenile! The juvenile received great cheers as there was lots of tail slapping and jumping! We met the rest of the clan and spent 2 hours with about 40 Orca! They made all sorts of fun! We moved on to see about 100 dolphins! AMAZING! We then saw a rook of about 80 sea lions and then one humpback with two huge tail displays! Additional Comments: It was sunny, gorgeous and filled with laughter from Captain Bill and great facts from Marieke! The best day ever!!

Date: 05/Sep/16

Report by: Ellen & Harry

From: Amsterdam, Holland

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) After a nice talk from the captain (he informed us well during the trip with humour), we saw many whales even some of them were jumping out of the water (humpbacks). After a really good lunch, we looked for orcas and, yeah, we found them! What beautiful swimmers. Finally, a great group of sea lions were spotted. Additional Comments: This boat tour was better than the Tofino trip because we saw more whales/orcas and sea lions. The boat was pleasant to travel on because my wife didnt become seasick (bigger and easier boat). Pleasant trip with good lunch, nice people and lots of wild sea life.

Date: 04/Sep/16

Report by: Shweta Rao

From: Oakland, California

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Oh my! Dolphins, Orcas, humpbacks, seals  what a treat to witness these mammals on a hunt, frolicking and playing around us. The best part was having a couple of orcas swim right under the boat. They take your breath away. Bills knowledge and patience in answering my every question was very much appreciated. Thank you. Additional Comments: If you really want to spend time out with the Orcas, go with Bill. You need to spend more than 3 hours if you want a chance to wildlife in their habitat!

Date: 03/Sep/16

Report by: Isabelle Beaudoin

From: Edmonton, Alberta

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Today we left Port McNeill under bright blue skies with high hopes, and were we ever in for a treat! Just 15 minutes into the trip, we saw two minke whales, racing alongside us in the glassy water. Soon thereafter, we were guided by he ever-knowledgeable Captain Bill to three humpbacks. The mother and calf were particularly entertaining, spouting together, with the calf giving us full breaches  whole tonnes of whale flying into the air! We kept going, and after some sea otters and sea lions, we came across the A30 orca group. This was a phenomenal and unforgettable experience  one of the older females came right up to the Naiad, looking at us and vocalizing at the surface. The orca surrounded the boat, breaching and playing with three young sisters rolling and the surface and racing alongside the boat. I didnt even need my camera or binoculars. I will never forget the green glitter when we could see their white patches underwater, or the beautifully haunting calls when Bill put the hydrophone down. Additional Comments: Marieke and Bill were incredibly knowledgeable and enthusiastic; the lunch was tasty, and I would recommend this trip 100% to everyone.

Date: 02/Sep/16

Report by: Viv, Marg & Maureen

From: Australia & Canada

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Redfern Island where we saw orca whales (transients  4 of them). We also saw sea lions and cheeky sea otters frolicking in the sea. Luckily it was a beautiful sunny day. (also several humpbacks). Additional Comments: We really enjoyed Bill and Mariekes interesting and happy chats. Also the lovely soup and cake. Great value and we highly recommend this experience. Big tick /

Date: 01/Sep/16

Report by: Joanne Futcher

From: Arizona

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Out from McNeill, past Telegraph Cove, along the coast and around some islands. First we saw a huge orca family and followed along with them for quite some time. After warms soup for lunch we came upon a number of humpback whales here eating their summer lunches. Some of these 10 were seen both nearby and in the distance. Squiggle was the first humpback sighted. It is so awesome to see them cruising then diving and immerging from the depths nearby. I loved seeing the little island filled with about 50 sea lions lounging and vocalizing. The Dalls porpoises loved swimming with our solid and swift seaworthy boat. It was definitely a great day with other marine animals and whale watching individuals. Additional Comments: Thanks! Staff is so helpful in knowing the marine mammals personally.

Date: 31/Aug/16

Report by: Yvonne & Graham

From: Comox, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Orca  A30 pod; humpback whales  tail slapping! Steller sea lions, bald eagles, murrelets, sea gulls, 3 dolphins. Additional Comments: Comfortable boat; excellent knowledge, excellent service. Will be returning for another outstanding trip. Would highly recommend this company.

Date: 30/Aug/16

Report by: Lena

From: Heidelberg, Germany

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Johnstone Strait, we went past Alert Bay, Telegraph Cove. What we saw: lots of killer whales (swimming along our boat), dolphins, sea lions, eagles and even humpback whales! (very impressive). Additional Comments: It was so amazing; great experience! The landscape is so impressive; we had excellent lunch and the guides were so friendly. Would do it again any time!

Date: 29/Aug/16

Report by: Lee

From: Sointula, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Saw A30 pod plus I15 pod of orca; mom and baby humpback; orcas swimming under the boat; just seeing any whale anywhere is so humbling and inspiring. Additional Comments: Love Bills informative talks. You guys have such respect for all sea life you encounter and great enthusiasm and integrity.

Date: 28/Aug/16

Report by: Victoria

From: Vancouver, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Orca, humpbacks and a bear on the beach! Additional Comments: Best whale watching because of the Mackays!

Date: 27/Aug/16

Report by: Jade deTrey

From: Courtenay, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) WOW! I had such a great time! We went up by Robson Bight (almost) and saw tons of orcas for at least 1-2 hours. Bill records the sounds the whales make underwater. They make beautiful sounds. We saw sea lions and the blow spouts of humpback whales. Additional Comments: Good lunch and great information about the whales from the hosts Bill and Marieke. Beautiful day with the whales!

Date: 26/Aug/16

Report by: Christy Whitmore

From: Port Hardy, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We started out our trip in the beautiful North Island mist and flat calm waters. Saw I15, I27 and A30 pods of killer whales. They put on a great show breaching and frolicking in the morning waters. Then off to see sea lions, then on to the majestic humpbacks; 5 of them including Squiggles and Argonaut. To finish it all off, we saw I4s around Stubbs Island. Additional Comments: Lots of fun with Bill and Marieke as ou hosts. The best in the North Island!

Date: 25/Aug/16

Report by: Leslie Brown

From: Victoria, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We started out in heavy fog but managed to see lots of sea lions lounging and bellowing on a rock. The fog did lift after an hour or so and we had the best scenery in the world to look at. Orcas at Robson Bight. Fantastic lunch while listening to their calls underwater. Porpoises, dolphins, eagles and humpbacks  lots. Additional Comments: Captain and crew were friendly, funny and fully of great information about everything. One of the best holiday decisions I ever made.

Date: 24/Aug/16

Report by: Echo & Zinnia

From: Sointula, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We left in the fog, and within minutes saw Dalls porpoises. After picking up more people, we set out to find orca. We found a few different families. I15 pod, a mother and young one swam right up at the back of the boat. We left them to look for humpbacks and saw 3! However, we were told there were some transient orca, so we went looking for them. We found them and they appeared to be hunting around Haddington Island. Additional Comments: In all, a wonderful and educational trip. Thank you!

Date: 22/Aug/16

Report by: Arielle Leva

From: New York

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) The trip was AMAZING!! We traveled all the way to Lizard Point. Today we saw 9 humpbacks! We got great views of the A42 and A30 pods of killer whales, and it was the most incredible thing I have ever seen! Bill and Marieke were great! Very knowledgeable, friendly  made the trip a blast! Additional Comments: Thank you so much! Will recommend to everyone we know that travels here!

Date: 21/Aug/16

Report by: Linda Wilson

From: Victoria, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) After picking up some more guests from Hidden Cove, we sped across the Strait and quickly found the A30s and A24s (pods of orca) in a huge group. They were feeding and interacting with one another. We were privileged to stay with them as we ate our delicious lunch (the hot soup was just what we needed.) Then off to find humpbacks. We saw several, including Guardian who was very acrobatic. To top it off we saw a group of northern sea lions and an eagles nest with a recent fledgling. Additional Comments: Donna, Bill and Jordan are superb hosts! I appreciate them sharing their knowledge and concern for this incredible marine area. Thank you.

Date: 20/Aug/16

Report by: Simon Agen

From: Sea Shepherd crew 'Martin Sheen', BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Johnstone Strait, Robson Bight: 2 pods of A clan orca; Steller sea lions, humpbacks breaching! Additional Comments: Incredible experience witnessing life on the coast. Very knowledgeable hosts. Thank you for protecting the coast and being more than just a business.

Date: 19/Aug/16

Report by: Kelly Yarbrough

From: Driggs, ID, USA

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Today the trip started with orcas (A30s and A42s); we had great orca sightings with multiple pods coming past the boat. Throw in a few humpbacks, dolphins, porpoise, eagles, sea lions, and more orcas. It was a fabulous day. Additional Comments: Traveling the seaways with Bill Mackay and crew is an unbelievable experience. Bill knows his orcas and makes sure everyone has a great experience. I cant thank you enough for allowing us to share your world.

Date: 18/Aug/16

Report by: Dirk Lange

From: Vancouver, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We left Port McNeill and headed for Hidden Cove. About a half hour outside of Hidden Cove we came across A42s and A30s pods resting as a group. We also saw a couple of humpback whales and several porpoises. On our way back in we came across a small group of transient Biggs killer whales T137s. Dropping some people off at Hidden Cove, we also saw a bald eagle. Additional Comments: This is my second time going whale watching with Bill and Marieke and just like last time, we had a fantastic experience. We will be back for sure!

Date: 17/Aug/16

Report by: Lseah Robinson

From: Port Hardy, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We headed down the Strait and found the A42 pod of orcas. It appeared as though they were foraging. We headed towards Weynton to see northern sea lions, where we hooked up with the T41s and T59s (transient orcas). They were travelling fast; on the hunt at every rock around the Plumpers. We had lunch in Blackney Pass amongst two humpbacks and the transients came by. Sadly, we think we saw a sea lion with a possible broken back; it was amongst the kelp at Cracroft Point. We finished off near Egeria Shoal amongst 5 humpbacks, including Slash and her calf. Additional Comments: As usual, Captain Bill and Marieke looked after everyone so well. Good laughs, good soup, good education and a warm welcome. There is no tour out there like on the Naiad Explorer with the Mackays in the most beautiful place in the world.

Date: 16/Aug/16

Report by: Sophie

From: Berlin, Germany

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We went straight to Robson Bight and watched the A42 pod of orcas slowly swimming out of the Reserve with a humpback at their tail tips. With the silent boat we could stay around and watch them together for about an hour, witnessing the orcas harassing the humpback  very unique. After lunch we were fortunate enough to come across a group of 5 humpbacks who put on a show for us. Swimming close to each other, breaching, tail slapping, feeding; you simply didnt know where to look. Dalls porpoise, sea lions, eagles and even fluking humpbacks were also spotted. Additional Comments: The 5 hours on board the Naiad Explorer with Captain Bill and the crew, Marieke and Ron was priceless, amazing and unbelievable. Bill knows his whales and their behaviour so that he takes you to exactly the right spots. The crew makes sure that everyone on board returns with a lot of knowledge about all the marine mammals. Thank you for an experience that I will never forget and for making sure that its always whales before humans when watching them!

Date: 15/Aug/16

Report by: Cathy

From: Switzerland

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We saw some resident and transient orcas with their young, lots of dolphins (but from far as they were most probably swimming away from the transient orcas), a few humpbacks were swimming around too. We also saw lots of sea lions, peregrine falcons and bald eagles. Additional Comments: All in all an amazing trip. Great to stand close to Donna & Bill&they have great stories and knowledge. Been a brilliant day!

Date: 13/Aug/16

Report by: David and Karen Kern

From: Philadelphia, PA, USA

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We saw a family of 5 orca (A42s) and spent about 45-60 minutes with them. It was magnificent. We also saw 9 humpback whales  again, we spent great time with them in the midst of such beauty. We also saw 2 varieties of dolphin/porpoise, sea lions and great views of bald eagles and 2 nests. The chick in the 2nd nest has just fledged as of yesterday. Other birding was terrific with auklets, phalaropes, guillemots, oyster catchers, jaegers, harlequin ducks, black turnstones, and common loons all see. Additional Comments: The crew and captain were great. They provided much detail and understanding about all we saw and experienced. The passengers were wonderful  we all made for an amazing experience. We also watched a research boat employ a drone with high-resolution cameras to photograph and monitor the orca pod. And finally  the food was just what we needed  hot soup on a cool day!

Date: 12/Aug/16

Report by: Arwel & Mel

From: Wales, UK

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) WOW! What a day! It began as we emerged from the fog by Hidden Cove Lodge to find some Pacific white-sided dolphins behind us. We followed the A42 pod of orca to Robson Bight, then went off in search of humpbacks and more orca. We passed by and watched the humpback, found the A30 pod of orca way out in Queen Charlotte Strait; then, the best was saved until last&transient (Biggs) orca, playing, chasing/hunting birds, breaching, tail slapping and spyhopping. And we were so lucky to hear incredible and rarely heard vocals of the transients. WOW again! Additional Comments: Thank you Bill and the crew yet again! We have been on so many trips with you and every one has been amazing.

Date: 11/Aug/16

Report by: Poppy

From: Liverpool, England

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We saw lots of black orcas and also we saw humpback whales. And we went to see lots of islands. We saw big island and small. Additional Comments: I liked when the whales popped up and went down again. It was when I went to help Marieke and I liked the whales when they splashed in the water.

Date: 10/Aug/16

Report by: Karen, Carl & Jenny Hamilton

From: Northumberland, UK

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Whales  all over the place right from the start! Orca and humpbacks at the same time  we didnt know which to look at first. Excellent trip  wish I could do it endlessly (Jenny age 8). Additional Comments: Super crew, great lunch and fantastic cake! Thank you very much for a brilliant day  you even organized for the sun to shine!

Date: 09/Aug/16

Report by: Edie Church and Tabetha Newman

From: Bristol, UK

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We went down past Telegraph Cove and straight into a pod of 200 Pacific white-sided dolphins! We met up with the A42 pod of orca off Robson Bight, and watched the five head west along the coast, past a seine fishing boat catching salmon. Then we hacked over to see seals, sea lions and bald eagles. Additional Comments: Top day!

Date: 08/Aug/16

Report by: Cindy Vreeling

From: Edmonton, AB

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Blackfish Sound and Weynton Pass: Steller sea lion, A42 pod of orcas, 2 humpback whales, Dalls porpoises (multiple times playing around the boat), 2 adult and 1 juvenile bald eagle, and 2 deer on a rock face. Additional Comments: Wow, lots of sights, even in the cool air of Fogust. Great group of people to share the day with. Lots of smiles. Excellent warm lunch and friendly attitude from all aboard. Thank you! We had a great anniversary trip!

Date: 07/Aug/16

Report by: Daniel Wilson

From: Ohio, USA

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We saw quite a bit of marine life; orcas, humpback whales, sea lions and more. We also saw some bald eagles and many other birds. Additional Comments: The on-board crew was very knowledgeable and very helpful. They do whatever they can to deliver whale sightings or other marine life. Good job!

Date: 06/Aug/16

Report by: Oliver & Meagan Bobrowski

From: Williams Lake, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We saw sooo many orcas today! This is definitely a trip well remember for a lifetime. The captain invited us into the area where he drives the boat with his crew and told us so many interesting facts about the orcas and identifying them. A large male orca swam right up to the boat with a calf. We saw an eagles nest with 2 babies and a gray whale, and a humpback whale. Much more than what I had expected to see. Additional Comments: The staff was so friendly, answered so many questions and made this a very special experience. The food was amazing and the boat was comfortable. Cant say enough about what a great day we had. Olivers (4 yrs. old) words about the trip: Its a great day to be us today!. Thank you Mackay Whale Watching!

Date: 05/Aug/16

Report by: Jayne Tansley

From: Leicester, UK

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Out into the vast ocean, beautiful scenery, mountains, blue sky, calm sea, sunshine. We saw many pods of orcas  family groups diving, swimming, playing close to the boat. Three humpback whales and two went right under the boat! Also, sea lions and seabirds. Additional Comments: Highlights: six orcas spyhopping at the same time  stunning! Excellent lunch, especially the soup. Surpassed our expectations. Crew friendly and knowledgeable. Fantastic way to end our holiday in Canada. Thanks!

Date: 04/Aug/16

Report by: Steph

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Several pods of orcas, humpback whales and sea lions; various sea birds and eagles. Additional Comments: Stunning scenery and very knowledgeable staff. It was a great day out, thanks for the experience!

Date: 02/Aug/16

Report by: Mel Lawless

From: New Zealand

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We covered a lot of ground. It was fantastic! We saw 2 pods of transient orcas; one at Weynton Passage and one near Port Hardy. They were AMAZING!!! We also saw humpbacks off Weynton which was fun!! We also saw two sea lions (Leo & Lola) playing near Ksuladas (eagles nest) and a seal hiding in the kelp bed. Additional Comments: Really great trip all round. Was a delicious lunch, with excellent wildlife and fantastic company!

Date: 01/Aug/16

Report by: Caroline Terwee

From: The Netherlands

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We saw a humpback whale with a little one, very close! Then we went further out and saw a group of orca in a beautiful area with lots of islands. At first, it was grey and a bit cold, but with the orca also the sun came out. It was a beautiful day! Additional Comments: Thanks a lot for a great day!

Date: 31/Jul/16

Report by: Thijs Dooren

From: The Netherlands

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) From Port McNeill, we went into Johnstone Strait up to the Orca Reserve. On our way we saw a resting sea otter, several fluking humpback whales, sea lions, a nest with 2 juvenile bald eagles and many orcas. Truly a great trip into an environment that is close to heaven for any nature lover! Additional Comments: Together with Bill and Donna (who are terrific hosts and guides), we got the opportunity to determine the individual orcas based on our pictures. Especially for the children, a wonderful experience that I recommend to all families who are into wildlife!

Date: 30/Jul/16

Report by: Tim Bradshaw

From: Victoria, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Wow. Two different pods of killer whales; one group of about 10 swam past us fairly close. Remarkable. My favourite part of the journey, though, was when we stopped and listened to the two pods singing on either side of the boat. Additional Comments: Again, wow.

Date: 29/Jul/16

Report by: Louise Braybrooke

From: Bridgnorth, Shropshire, Englad

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Saw the first sighting of A30 pod of killer whales for this year, at Bere Point. Lots of whales playing in the waves, tail slapping, spyhopping and generally having fun. We rounded Donegal Head and cruised past Alert Bay. Choppy waters but sun, blue sky and whales! Additional Comments: Great soup; great skipper and deckhand. Great trip  as always. Thank you!

Date: 28/Jul/16

Report by: Amy

From: Hawaii

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Saw lots of orcas, couple of humpback whales from a distance. Porpoises alongside the boat and even a couple of bears along the shoreline. It was a beautiful day. Food was yummy. Soup hit the spot. Dessert was awesome. Captain and crew were friendly and fun! It was a great tour. Aloha! Additional Comments: Highly recommend this tour!

Date: 27/Jul/16

Report by: Elodie Jacquet

From: Vancouver, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Started off with transient killer whales, went on with a beautiful Minke whale sighting; Resident killer whales (A5s) having a lot of activity, from resting to foraging to spyhopping; Pacific white-sided dolphins, Dalls porpoises, and the grand finale with a nice humpback whale! Additional Comments: Perfect day! Lots of activity, beautiful weather, good company! Thanks crew!

Date: 26/Jul/16

Report by: The Power family

From: Australia

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Glorious day to be on the water! Spent the morning with 2 pods of orca (A25s and A23s). Watched 4 humpback whales with one baby trying out some leaps. Dalls porpoises, eagles, seals, a black bear and gorgeous scenery. Additional Comments: Captain Bill and Marieke looked after us with delicious soup and wonderful stories about the area. The work they are doing for the wildlife in the area is truly inspirational! Thank you for sharing it with us.

Date: 25/Jul/16

Report by: Marco, Rolanda, Nicu & Julia

From: The Netherlands

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We saw lots of orcs, a sea otter, humpback whales, sea lions, birds, Pacific-white-sided dolphins and Dalls porpoises. Additional Comments: The trip was great! Very nice staff. Great lunch. Nice education. Wish I could come and visit again. Thanks a lot!!!

Date: 24/Jul/16

Report by: Kyle & Connie Cassidy

From: Victoria, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We went to the northern tip of the Island. On the way, we saw 3 humpback whales, including a mother and calf. Then we saw a pod of orcas (Residents A24), sea lions, and after lunch, we saw more resident orcas. When we saw the humpback whales they were showing their tails and breaching. Also saw several Dalls porpoises that came alongside the boat. Additional Comments: Excellent trip; the boat is very comfortable, and the staff knowledgeable and helpful. Great value for the tour, and we appreciated how nice everyone treated us. If were ever back up this way, this will be a tour we would do again.

Date: 23/Jul/16

Report by: Nikki Slack

From: Courtenay

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Beautiful view of the ocean, saw whales and dolphins and eagles. Learned about the science of whales and was given plenty of time to take pictures and observe their wandering in their natural habitat. Lunch was yummy and staff excellent. Additional Comments: Would definitely recommend this tour!

Date: 22/Jul/16

Report by: Susan & Randy Slemko

From: Victoria, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Around Malcolm Island and south of Telegraph Cove  we saw 8 humpback whales, orca (killer whales), eagles, porpoises and a fish boat reeling in net, but caught no fish : ( Additional Comments: Enjoyed the trip. Captain and crew were friendly and informative.

Date: 21/Jul/16

Report by: Brad Zemla

From: Winnipeg, Manitoba

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Numerous areas to include Knight Inlet and Weynton Pass. Throughout the trip we had seen 8 humpback whales and Dalls porpoise swimming next to our boat. The scenery and wildlife was breathtaking. (The aboriginal history lesson was very good!) Additional Comments: Great Captain and crew. Thank you!

Date: 20/Jul/16

Report by: Tina, David, Carla & Mosha

From: Switzerland

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Weve seen two groups of orcas, one of them feeding very close, seven or so humpback whales and plenty of eagles and porpoises. Additional Comments: We really enjoyed the tour, also with the small children. The comments on the sea mammals and how the life here has changed in the last years were grim and gave a big extra to this wonderful experience. Thanks for sharing this with us!

Date: 19/Jul/16

Report by: Naheed Carrimjee

From: India

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We saw a sea otter, orcas and humpbacks whales. Additional Comments: This was a truly remarkable experience. We learned about these magnificent animals while we watched them in their natural splendor. This has made our holiday in Canada even more special. Thank you.

Date: 18/Jul/16

Report by: F. Nijland

From: Holland

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Trip went west today to avoid the dense fog around Port McNeill and the Strait. North of Port Hardy we saw our first Dalls porpoises and humpback whales. Then a pod of transient killer whales at the south end of the Millar group of islands. Even more humpbacks around Gordon Channel and almost on the way back, in front of Port Hardy a pod of Resident orcas of the A group, A34 pod and male A46. Additional Comments: A great day with lots of sunshine and none of the forecasted rain!

Date: 17/Jul/16

Report by: Anthony

From: Ireland

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) After a little fog, the sun came out for a lovely morning! We saw plenty of orcas and a humpback came very close to the boat! We also stopped to look at sea lions, seal, deer (with a fawn), eagles and a black bear cub. Additional Comments: The Mackays are very knowledgeable on whales and their environment. They gave out great information on the other wildlife as well. There is a lovely atmosphere on the boat; the trip is very smooth and the lunch was lovely. We could not praise them enough for their warm welcome. If you have one day on the north island, spend it on Mackay Whale Watching. We will be back!!

Date: 16/Jul/16

Report by: Ebonney

From: Australia

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Great orca sightings, plenty of time spent viewing the wildlife. Loved hearing the orca during lunch and when we could see them in the water. Great to see the humpback, eagle babies, sea lion and birds. The warm lunch was super tasty. We really, really enjoyed the trip  thanks so much! Additional Comments: Really loved the family flavour to your business and the little details. Felt super comfortable even with our 5 month old baby. Online booking was also super convenient and prompt. Thanks, Bill for all the knowledge you shared about the part of this world you clearly love.

Date: 14/Jul/16

Report by: The Chester family

From: Cobourg, Ontario

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Wonderful trip; four humpback whales, sea lion rookery (numerous in group), sea otters, and dolphins. Beautiful day, sun shining, bald eagles flying. Excellent, informative trip. Highly recommended; highlight of our 2 weeks out on Vancouver Island. Wonderful guide. Additional Comments: Like to come back again. Excellent shrimp bisque for lunch.

Date: 13/Jul/16

Report by: Holly

From: New Zealand

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We went right up to Queen Charlotte Strait on a beautifully calm day and saw more sea life than I have ever seen before. We encountered many humpback whales,, a sea lion colony, seals, sea otters and porpoises; it was magical! Captain Bill stopped the boat many times to allow enough time to enjoy these magnificent creatures and was able to answer any questions that we had about them. The absolute highlight though, was finding a pod of orcas off Alert Bay! Captain Bill lowered a microphone into the water so we were able to hear the orcas communicating while they swam by. It was, without doubt, an amazing moment. We were able to enjoy the gorgeous landscape from the top deck, as well as sit below and also enjoyed a lovely lunch of clam chowder  all of this made the entire trip an amazing day and something we will never forget. Additional Comments: I highly recommend Mackay Whale Watching  Bill and Donna are fantastic hosts and brilliant at what they do. Thanks for a wonderful day!

Date: 12/Jul/16

Report by: Shelley Fox

From: Hamilton, Ontario

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We went through Johnstone Strait. We were fortunate to see orca whales (both resident and transient), sea lion, eagle and the nest, dolphins, porpoises and humpback whales. The scenery was absolutely breathtaking. Additional Comments: The food was hearty, hot and comforting; the treats were a sweet surprise snack. Even though it rained, we were able to take spectacular pictures. We were also able to warm up below deck. Captain Bill was friendly, accommodating, welcoming and humorous. Marieke was also very friendly, enthusiastic and knowledgeable. My husband and I enjoyed our tour tremendously. Thank you for this amazing first time experience!

Date: 11/Jul/16

Report by: Ben & Claire Holloway

From: Northern Territory, Australia

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Sea otter by itself; two humpback whales (mother & calf); two minke whales at a distance. Additional Comments: Saw other marine mammals during the trip. Rainy, but overall was still a good day.

Date: 09/Jul/16

Report by: Jody & Mike

From: Toronto, ON

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Johnstone Strait and saw a pod of 9 transient killer whales and respectively followed them along back to the Port McNeill area. Had a satisfying lunch, then the captain heard there were 60 orcas about an hour away. Good sightings of whales, spyhop, breaching and whale tails. Additional Comments: Highly recommend tour. Great Captain and awesome crew. Well managed family business.

Date: 07/Jul/16

Report by: Lindsey Sullivan

From: Utah, USA

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We saw so much! Bald eagles, sea lions, sea otters and WHALES! Humpbacks, orcas and a minke. The orcas in particular took my breath away. It was a transient pod with all ages, even babies. Overall, a really awesome afternoon. Additional Comments: This trip was enhanced greatly by the hospitality and knowledge of the captain and crew. We really loved our time whale watching! Thanks!

Date: 06/Jul/16

Report by: Kate Rashbrooke

From: Cornwall, England

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We went north out from Port McNeill; first we saw a large group of sea lions sunning themselves on the rocks. Then came the humpback whales  a group of about six; two mothers with calf. We lunched on soup surrounded by these whales. Then moving on, we spotted sea otters and more humpbacks. Also loads of sea birds and bald eagles. Additional Comments: Bill and Marieke made the trip memorable with their knowledge of what we saw and where to see it. Very hospitable and friendly. The weather and sea conditions were perfect. Thank you!

Date: 21/Jun/16

Report by: Mackays'

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

Our first official trip of the 2016 season will be on July 4! We're really looking forward to the new season!

Date: 24/Sep/15

Report by: Wendy Davis

From: Sointula, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) What a wonderful wet, wild and windy day aboard the Naiad! We saw snow geese, quite a few humpback whales feeding on herring, sooty shearwaters and a large and boisterous group of Pacific white-sided dolphins. And to top it off, we spotted a mother black bar with FOUR cubs on the way home! Additional Comments: Thank you so much, Bill, Donna, and Nicole Mackay, Marieke and Amber for another wonderful season on the Naiad!

Date: 22/Sep/15

Report by: James Howard

From: California

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Within one hour of the start of our trip, we saw over a dozen humpback whales and a group of curious sea lions. We then encountered a young orca that spent a half hour close to the boat  amazing! We didnt think this day could get any better, but a pair of humpbacks approached the boat, rolling and swimming around us  so close that telephoto lenses became worthless. One swam upside down, under the boat! It took our breath away! Additional Comments: Completely exceeded our expectations. The crew was fun and informative.

Date: 19/Sep/15

Report by: Sara Girletz

From: Alberta

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We saw about seven humpbacks and countless sea lions. The humpbacks were very playful. Two humpbacks breached and had the crew in complete awe. Other activity included on humpback tailing for a couple of minutes. It was quite the show. Many sea lions popped their heads up for a bit as well. Additional Comments: Great trip, great crew who are very knowledgeable and ethical in their practices. Its almost as if Bill Mackay is a whale whisperer, knowing exactly where they are and what their habits will be. This was a once in a lifetime experience for me and Im happy I was aboard with Mackay Whale Watching for it.

Date: 18/Sep/15

Report by: Nancy Fournier

From: San Diego, California

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We had an amazing day on the water. We saw 9 transient orca whales in the morning. And then the Captain found a nice smooth area and we had a nice lunch of warm soup, buns & butter and juice. We then saw 4 humpback whales who swam really close to the boat. On our way back to Port McNeill we encountered the same transient orca whales again. They were breaching and spyhopping and being very playful. Additional Comments: Super nice boat. Warm. Great crew! Nice lunch, desserts, etc. Feel like the captain went to great lengths to ensure all guests had a nice time. I definitely will be back again soon!

Date: 17/Sep/15

Report by: Elaine Rannie

From: Newcastle, England

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Donegal, Queen Charlotte Strait, through Blackney Pass  wonderful day. Saw numerous humpbacks and three transient orcas plus sea lions, lots of birds and a bald eagle. The highlight was one humpback breached near us. Additional Comments: Wonderful, knowledgeable hosts. Would highly recommend.

Date: 16/Sep/15

Report by: Marilyn & Roger Tarry

From: Nanaimo

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Humpback whales  unfortunately did not see any orcas or white- sided-dolphins this time, but still enjoyed the trip. Will be back when more visitors come to see us. Additional Comments: Keep the Naiad young. Happy 37th Anniversary, Marilyn & Roger!

Date: 15/Sep/15

Report by: Iwona, Sabine, Tim & Daniel

From: Germany

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Saw different groups of transient killer whales and accompanied them for a long time; the highlight was on big male with a huge sword (dorsal fin). Afterwards, we went for the humpbacks and saw them feed and fluking a lot. Also got a glimpse of a minke whale and a group of dalls porpoises. Additional Comments: We enjoyed the friendliness of the team and the breathtaking scenery. If we have the chance, well definitely come back!

Date: 14/Sep/15

Report by: Beth Hurst

From: Coombs, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Where to start&for starters then, what a beautiful, sunny day. Not long after setting sail we found a pod of transient orcas, complete with a mum and baby  gorgeous. We went on to find a group of resident orca who playing with us for some time. Highlight was a big, big male (G39). And an otter, humpbacks, orca, birds, Dalls porpoises  wow wow wow. Additional Comments: We have been out with Mackays before and will definitely be back. Today was a special trip for our family as we sadly lost our father earlier this year and this trip was on his bucket list, so we brought Mum to see all the wonderful sights. A massive thank you to you guys for an amazing day  see you all again soon!

Date: 13/Sep/15

Report by: Paul

From: Oregon

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Transient orcas right off Donegal Head. Sooty shearwaters  I shared sound of nesting shearwaters from Heron Island, Australia. Then we spent a long time with a resident orca pod (I-15s)  14-16 orcas, including one very small. Lunch at Hanson Island, then many sea lions on the rocks. After lunch, caught up with the I-15s again and numerous humpbacks. Many, many, many sea birds. Rockin and rollin homeward, stopping for another visit with the transients and a big humpback. Additional Comments: Great trip! Thank you Captain Bill and Amber!

Date: 11/Sep/15

Report by: Amanda Delisle

From: Comox Valley, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Seeing a big orca bull swimming in sync with small male (or female), came so close we saw them underwater. Seeing the bunch of feeding humpback whales near Knight Inlet. Additional Comments: Nice people, lots of laughs, perfect weather, lots of whales.

Date: 10/Sep/15

Report by: Danny M. & Don L.

From: Richmond, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We had the privilege of seeing transient orca. But the spectacular sightings came from the resident pod of I15s. More than once they came right up to the boat and passed back and forth underneath. But one of the moms babysitting two calves was the most wonderful to watch, playing for an hour; seeing that was an honour. Additional Comments: Not to mention countless humpbacks, sea lions, eagles and Dalls porpoise sightings, Donna looking after my dog, Bill driving the boat with expertise and fun commentary and with a great lunch served by wonderful Amber with snacks after. I mean I could go on and on how great the day was. Worth double what I paid and I thank the Mackay family for everything.

Date: 08/Sep/15

Report by: Lynda & Kate Eld

From: UK

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) First stop was to watch transient orca playing catch with the birds near Telegraph Cove. A pod of 5 with young being taught how to catch. Next we saw several humpback whales and one really big fellow who cruised past the boat several times. No resident orca today so we went back off the sea lion haul-out to see them all basking. Some large bulls were in residence. Additional Comments: The trip was recommended by Bruce of the Paddlers Inn and I have to say it has been a fantastic trip. Plenty of whales and good company. Well worth the early start and 3 ½ hour car ride to get to Port McNeill. I recommend this tour to all who have an interest in whale watching.

Date: 07/Sep/15

Report by: Penny & Nick

From: Yorkshire, England

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Well, we started with a bear and two cubs on a beach, then, a pod of transient orcas, one snacking on a little black bird; then  resident orcas. We moved along beside them for a while, then  humpbacks appeared  wonderful! Then  dolphins, then  sea lions and a few bald headed eagles too. What a day. Additional Comments: Thank you so much Captain Bill and Marieke for a wonderful day. A tick on the bucket list!

Date: 06/Sep/15

Report by: Ive Cryns

From: Brussels

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Saw orcas, humpback whales, sea lions and bald eagles! Additional Comments: And had great lunch in a beautiful setting!!

Date: 05/Sep/15

Report by: Jan and Jenny van Twillert

From: The Netherlands

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Today was one of those magical days that could happen here in Weynton Passage and Blackfish Sound. We saw this morning Pacific white-sided dolphins bowriding with the Naiad, at least 5 or 6 humpback whales feeding and showing their tales when they went for a deep dive and orcas chasing the dolphins away. We were with the A30s, I15s and A42s. The I15s showed an amazing resting line, consisting of more than 30 individuals, also spyhopping, tailslapping and breaching. Additional Comments: One trip and four different species in the area makes this trip very special.

Date: 04/Sep/15

Report by: Andreas Grass

From: Munich, Germany

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) It was one of the most amazing experiences Ive ever had as we pretty much saw nearly every whale species. Most impressive were the different groups of orca whales and the humpback whales; had Dalls porpoises directly in front of the boat. The captain was great in explaining all about the orcas and their habits. Fascinating! Additional Comments: We will definitely do the trip again and I would tell everyone who has a chance to do this trip as well.

Date: 03/Sep/15

Report by: Amandine

From: Paris, France

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We saw so many orcas!!! Even a baby jumping. We also saw humpback whales (2) and sea lions. It was amazing to see the orcas rubbing their bellies on the beach. And we were so lucky with the weather too; once the fog lifted, we had a bright sun. Additional Comments: The whale tour was magical, so THANK YOU!!!

Date: 02/Sep/15

Report by: Keiko Nakajo

From: Aiea, Hawaii

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We saw orcas, humpbacks, sea lions, dolphin, eagles&the scenery was breathtaking. Additional Comments: Captain Mackay and Amber were both knowledgeable and entertaining. Im so happy we chose to go on this trip with them. Thank you for a great trip! Aloha!

Date: 01/Sep/15

Report by: Bill McCaugherry

From: Gabriola Island, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) - Humpback breach - Numerous orca groups - Ragged and island-dotted coastline - Lots of different weather Additional Comments: Could have been a wee bit dryer! The crew was the best&very knowledgeable and passionate about their work! We will definitely return next year.

Date: 31/Aug/15

Report by: Javier Echevarria

From: Spain

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Me and my family had great hope that is trip was going to be nice. We were wrong. It got to be awesome! We saw several families of orcas with some huge bulls around them, humpback whales right by the boat, sea lions and a single but absolutely unexpected sea otter that didnt move a whisker even though we were really close to her. Additional Comments: Bill and his daughter were wonderful, knowledgeable and funny hosts. We had a ball of a time!!! If you are doubting whether to on this trip or not, dont hesitate. Best money every spent.

Date: 30/Aug/15

Report by: Lars Toft

From: Denmark

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We went south from Port McNeill. We saw lots of orcas, several groups, both big and small. A few groups of humpback whales. We saw Dalls porpoises, sea lions, harbour seals and even a few bald eagles. Additional Comments: Fantastic trip with lots of sightings during the entire trip. Very friendly and competent crew telling about the animals we saw. Thanks a lot for a once in a lifetime trip.

Date: 29/Aug/15

Report by: Gord Mooney

From: Surrey, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Today we saw a phenomenal show by the A and G pods. Incredible amount of spy hopping. This is our second trip with Mackay. The first was incredible. This was incredible to the 10th power. We winter in Maui where we enjoy the humpbacks with the Pacific Whale Foundation. We find that Bill and Amber are equally knowledgeable of the local orca population. Bills lecture on the local population was incredibly detailed and knowledgeable. Additional Comments: We brought six friends with us who have never experienced orcas in the wild. It was an unforgettable experience for all of us! We will recommend to all our friends!

Date: 27/Aug/15

Report by: Ro Davies

From:

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 30+ Orcas from Adam River west. Was our first major sighting. Glassy waters and no wind allowed for perfect viewing conditions, listening to each exhale and being blessed with an open window to these majestic beauties world. 8 Humpbacks in Weynton Pass showcased their massive flukes. Multiple Dalls porpoises and a quick Pacific white-sided dolphin were combined with dense northern sea lions and bird viewings. Whales in view for 80% of our day on the water. WOW! Additional Comments: Captain Bills animation and educational commentary was on, from the welcome handshake through the entire day. Deckhand Amber was filled with local knowledge and attentive service. Ive spent my life around the ocean and this has been one of the most memorable. My fiancée has just had her first whale watching experience, and her mind has been blown. I am very excited to recommend Mackay to everyone I know and convince folks of Port McNeills superb backyard. Keep doing your part to preserve this epic place. Cheers!

Date: 25/Aug/15

Report by: Allison Szicsak

From: London, Ontario

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We saw a ton of Orca families, several humpback whales, sea lions, seals, eagles, and even a black bear. I learned a lot about ocean life, particularly Orca and humpback whales. It was really interesting! Plus, it was a beautiful day on the water! Not to mention, lunch was great. I had two bowls! Additional Comments: Thank you so much for the amazing experience! It is something I will always remember. I hope to come out with you guys again in the near future!

Date: 24/Aug/15

Report by: Eva & Thomas

From: Austria & BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Orcas, dolphins, seagulls, humpback whales, all over. We went south, east, west and north. Vancouver Island is so awesome. The dolphins super close to the boat was our highlight. Additional Comments: Thanks a lot for the great mushroom soup; the chocolate cake is amazing. This tour is highly recommendable  we will tell all our friends in Vancouver and at home!

Date: 23/Aug/15

Report by: Natalie

From: Australia

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) " Orcas and dolphins together " Seeing sea lions/harbour seals " Hearing sounds through the hydrophone Additional Comments: Great skipper and daughter; made the experience lots of fun! Thank you!

Date: 22/Aug/15

Report by: Rebekah Barrick & Ann Barrick

From: Pittsburgh, PA & Newark, OH, USA

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We had a wonderful time! We saw northern sea lions, Orcas and humpback whales. All day! Additional Comments: We appreciated your knowledgeable staff that provided information on the local fishing community and area. Thank you for a wonderful trip! The food was yummy too!

Date: 20/Aug/15

Report by: Archer

From: Australia

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) I enjoyed seeing the orca up close, the sea lions were great and the humpbacks were amazing! Additional Comments: Thank you for answering all my questions!

Date: 19/Aug/15

Report by: Barb Kennedy

From: Armstrong, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Whale watching with Mackays today was a Kodak day! It was orca and humpback heaven for our entire tour. Everywhere you looked there was the fabulous A clan orcas. These mixed in with numerous feeding humpback whales. There were five humpbacks feeding in Weynton Pass all spouting and surfacing at the same time. But the prize was when one show off decided to come right out of the water within meters of the Naiad, to the oohs and aws of everyone on the tour. It was an Oscar moment. It was difficult to find the time to wat our most delicious lunch that was served with so much whale activity. Oh yes, we also saw Dalls porpoises and sea lions. In total, we saw 13 humpback whales! Additional Comments: Thank you Mackays for a fabulous day. Well be back!!

Date: 18/Aug/15

Report by: Silke Waese

From: Germany

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We went to Johnstone Strait and saw lots of orcas and humpback whales, furthermore, dolphins and sea lions. Our fantastic highlight was a jumping orca right in front of us!!! We also loved to see many pods of orca families that were all different in their behaviour and in their looks! Additional Comments: We were welcomed warmly on the boat and received lots of interesting information about the orcas. We would love to come back one day!

Date: 17/Aug/15

Report by: Liisa Gatenby

From: Williams Lake, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Saw lots of orcas; lots & lots & lots! 7-8 humpback whales, sea lions, Dalls porpoises, bald eagle, heron  was an amazing, wonderful day. Cameras clicking everywhere on all sides of the boat. At the end of the day an orca was playing in the wake of the boat!! So cool!! Additional Comments: Excellent trip; would recommend it to everyone. Super friendly, great beef soup and dessert!

Date: 16/Aug/15

Report by: Dawn Harlistad

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) To be out on the open waters with experienced and knowledgeable people, meeting people from all over the world and proudly talking to them of what we are seeking, orcas and two humpback whales, to hear their cameras clicking of what we take for granted. Additional Comments: The smiles on their faces as they wave goodbye to captain Bill and our beautiful Nicole for a job well done.

Date: 15/Aug/15

Report by: Leon & Victoria Woodford

From: Essex

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) The whole trip has been great, hugely educating as well. My favorite part was an orca chasing dolphin just meters away from the boat, and we got it on video! Its the first time weve seen a humpback whale which was incredible and the beauty of the surroundings are breathtaking. Additional Comments: Amber and bill were fantastic hosts. We loved the lunch and Bills information talk. Would love to come again.

Date: 14/Aug/15

Report by: The Wood Family

From: Texas

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We enjoyed seeing lots of orcas, several humpback whales, bald eagles, dolphins, sea lions. It was fun seeing the orcas surface together in a family group. It was fun seeing the humpback play in the kelp. It was amazing seeing another humpback feeding and seeing all the birds around him while feeding. Additional Comments: Thanks for a fun trip!

Date: 13/Aug/15

Report by: Carolyn

From: Fergus, ON

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Captain Bill! Delightful, educational, patient (I asked a lot of questions) and humorous. Loved learning about the different clans, A,G and R (also about transient orcas). History/facts  Orca 101  loved learning oldest orca 103 yrs. old. Today vs. yesterday with regards to govt practices. Saw roughly 17 orca and 8-10 humpback whales. Bald Eagle was on its nest. Dalls porpoises and sea lion. Hopefulness of return of orca and humpback whales to area and Victoria. Additional Comments: The soup was very tasty! Fresh bun too and dessert; WOW! Clean washroom  always an event to use while out on the water!! Great help from Amber & Uncle Ron. Had a wonderful day! Amazing, memorable day. Very happy Sandra & Dan at Hidden Cove Lodge recommended and booked this whale watching experience for us!

Date: 12/Aug/15

Report by: Brian Wolitski

From: Calgary, Alberta

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Went into Johnstone Strait and Queen Charlotte Strait areas and had spectacular outings 3 days in a row for me. Seen and photographed many beautiful orcas, humpback whales and other varieties of coastal wildlife; sea lions, eagles, sea birds, etc. and the most spectacular scenery as well! Additional Comments: This whale watching experience for me with Mackay Whale Watching was one of my ultimate (best ever). Great hospitality and service, very friendly folks who put in an extra huge effort to satisfy their guests. Thanks you all so much! And Im coming back soon! Im going to recommend Mackay Whale Watching to many other people.  Brian (BMW Wildlife photography)

Date: 11/Aug/15

Report by: Svenja & Claude

From: Switzerland

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Next to Cracroft Island, next to Robson Bight  I15 Orca pod (G clan). Cracroft Point  2 humpback whales. Eagle Island  3-5 humpback whales. Plumper Islands  sea lions and eagles, loads of sea gulls. And a jumping humpback! Additional Comments: Great cookies. Funny jokes!

Date: 10/Aug/15

Report by: Kai Franke

From: Germany

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) " Group of orcas chasing fish; " A huge group of least 20 dolphins passing underneath our boat; " A group of 6-10 sea lions; " Several humpback whales, a group of three coming with their mouth out of the water (eating); " Eagles; 4 adults and 2 chicks. Additional Comments: The cake was very good, the soup too. The crew is very gentle. We had a lot of fun.

Date: 09/Aug/15

Report by: The Coney family

From: Newcastle, England

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) " Orca  so many, so quickly; " Guides so attentive and pointing out the sights; " The humpback!! What a surprise  so majestic; " The soup! Additional Comments: Worth every dollar. Amazing trip. All done with excellent consideration for the environment.

Date: 08/Aug/15

Report by: Katie & Ben

From: Germany

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We saw a lot of orcas (both resident and transient), that was very beautiful. We saw many other animals like eagles, sea birds and humpback whales. Additional Comments: The staff and the captain were very friendly and funny! We enjoyed our trip and had a lot of fun! Thank you!

Date: 06/Aug/15

Report by: Carmen Mitchell

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) An amazingly lucky day  calm water, overcast light wet air. Found a pod of orcas west of Port Hardy, who nicely performed for us. Seeing them was greatly enhanced by Orca 101. We went to the end of the island to see humpback whales lazily flapping and islands of northern sea lions. We met up with the orca family again on our return journey. Additional Comments: We had a wonderful lunch en route  even dessert!! Very informed and informative, helpful staff.

Date: 05/Aug/15

Report by: Becky & Carrie

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Got to see an orca breach. Got to watch the A23s and 25s rub at the beach at Robson Bight We got to see lots of humpback whales. Additional Comments: Totally enjoyed the awesome hospitality aboard the Naiad Explorer. Bill, Nicole, Ron, Frank and Julie are always welcoming and sharing of great whale stories. Even though the orcas took off to the beaches of Robson Bight, it was a beautiful trip today. After all, how could you be disappointed when they (the whales) are having so much fun! It was pretty amazing to be idling alongside the reserve boundary line and seeing puffs of blows every now and then.

Date: 04/Aug/15

Report by: Noraly v. Weert

From: The Netherlands

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Highlights of our trip were the killer whales, of which we saw four. Next to that we saw humpback whales which came closer to the boat. Together with other humpback whales, we saw sea lions that came up to the back of the boat. From a distance we saw sea otters, which seem to have an extremely comfortable life! Additional Comments: The captain and his team were very enthusiastic about the species we saw and were willingly explaining what they were. We really enjoyed our trip. Thank you for the experience!!!

Date: 03/Aug/15

Report by: Aline & Olivier

From: Switzerland

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) It was a bit of fun today. Really amazing! Quite a lot of orca whales, some of them really close to the boat. We saw a couple of humpback whales, three sea lions, some eagles. The weather got really good during the trip. So it was really nice! Thanks to the whole team. Really nice, informative and funny. Additional Comments: The lunch was a nice touch. The lemon cake was excellent. We would definitely recommend your company!

Date: 02/Aug/15

Report by: Hawne, Elanor and Theodor

From: Germany

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Start at 10 a.m. We passed stones/rocks with a lot of gulls on them. First we stopped at a place where the humpbacks like to hang around. We saw them puff a couple of times. Next we went around a big island and we followed a group of orcas. It was a group with A73 (female called Springer) with her calf. It was amazing. Next a couple of dolphins appeared and crisscrossed the orcas. After lunch (it was a fantastic soup), we had an Orca 101. It was so interesting to hear about the history. On our way home we could watch the fishing boat counting the amount of different kind of fish. Last, but not least, we could see eagles, gulls and other birds hunting herring and a humpbacks huge tail and puffs. Additional Comments: Many thanks for that amazing day! It was gorgeous!

Date: 01/Aug/15

Report by: Siegfried

From: Belgium

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Lots of orcas, several whales breaching, and smiling young orcas, dolphins. Very good sightings at close range. Also spy hopping orcas. Additional Comments: Great trip! Captain is a great entertainer and very knowledgeable. It probably helps to be a wee bit crazy with all the tourists&

Date: 31/Jul/15

Report by: Sue Schoormans

From: Norway

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Orcas, orcas, orcas! Fantastic humpback whales, dolphins, porpoise, sea eagles including 2 chicks in their nest! Sea lions, salmon; the list is endless. Much easier to say what we did not see! Additional Comments: Bill and Amber were excellent. Lots of information shared about the beautiful wildlife that lies within the Johnstone Strait. We had high expectations of the trip and those were exceeded. Thank you all at Mackay Whale Watching for a wonderful day. This day will long remain imprinted in our minds. On last thing, so much to see, did not want to eat the homemade soup and cakes&which were delicious by the way! Highly recommended!

Date: 30/Jul/15

Report by: Reagan Lyle

From: Kansas City, Missouri

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) The territory that we covered had the most spectacular, breathtaking views in all directions. All the people that we experienced (captain and first mate) were very informative, and really interesting to talk to. Seeing the orcas was magnificent and hearing them communicate at the same time was amazing. The whole experience overall was amazing and very memorable. We loved seeing the orcas, humpback whales, Dalls porpoises, seals, bald eagle nest and adults. Additional Comments: Bill, thank you so much for letting me go in your cabin and look for orcas! I loved getting to talk to you and hear about your perspective and knowledge about the wildlife! You are really awesome and Im very glad I got to meet you!

Date: 28/Jul/15

Report by: Myranda Mongeling

From: The Netherlands

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) - This was an amazing trip. Not only did we see killer whales, softly moving along the shore, a little family with calves, we could follow them for quite a long time. Also we saw humpback whales in three different spots. Showing their backs and their tails. In an eagle nest on the shore there was a big young eagle. Additional Comments: Of course, seeing these amazing animals is a moving experience, exciting! But to hear all the stories about their history, which is partly great, partly horrifying, is very impressive. They know so much about these animals and they know how to tell a story. The weather was fantastic, always these blue far away mountains as the background. Great lunch too! There is not one word to describe this fantastic experience. SO I will use three: moving, exciting and unforgettable!!! Thanks, and youre a great family.

Date: 27/Jul/15

Report by: Sophie & Leah

From: Germany & Vancouver

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) - A group of sea otters north of Malcolm Island; - Sea lions sunbathing and jumping in front of the boat to get attention; - A number of humpback whales surfacing; - Two groups of Northern Resident Orcas (A30, A34, A46) close to the boat, with a calf, fishing, surround the boat close to Port Hardy. Additional Comments: Wow, what an experience seeing orcas up close in the wild! The boat is quiet so they arent scared away, and I was stunned at how Bill was able to find these groups. Amazing! You cant really put this amazing experience into words; it will become a very precious memory. Thanks, Bill!

Date: 26/Jul/15

Report by: Rolf Frey

From: Switzerland

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We had a lot of fun on this boat, and a lot to see! Whales (humpbacks) and killer whales (6 of them with a baby!), seals, eagles and a lot of other birds. Thanks to the unbelievable captain Bill Mackay. For sure we would do a second time, as we went already yesterday! Thanks to you, Bill, and your nice members of your crew! Additional Comments: The boat is just fantastic! Fast, stable, reliable and perfect for whale watching!

Date: 25/Jul/15

Report by: Julie

From: Columbus, Ohio

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We made a special stop at Alert Bay to pick up the chief and his wife. So interesting to hear his stories about life in the area! We loved the bird feeding frenzy and watching the bald eagles with their young. We saw a handful of feeding humpbacks spread about and of course, orcas. There was a handsome family of orcas traveling about with a male with a somewhat shredded dorsal. Also Pacific white-sided dolphins! Additional Comments: Beautiful scenery with orcas! Delicious soup and even more delicious desserts. Fun staff and interesting orca lesson by Bill. Thanks for sharing the beauty of your area!

Date: 24/Jul/15

Report by: Jessica and Marc

From: New Zealand

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Had an awesome day on the water! Saw lots of orcas from the A and G clans. Also saw humpback whales, porpoises and bald eagles and their chicks. Highly recommended! Additional Comments: Fantastic crew and delicious lunch! The Naiad is a great fast vessel, so more time spent watching whales and less time in transit.

Date: 23/Jul/15

Report by: Rob & Deb F.

From: Ontario

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Saw lots of orcas! Lots of playful sea lions, followed a humpback whale as it dove and surfaced. Additional Comments: Had a blast! Very good trip.

Date: 22/Jul/15

Report by: Migan

From: The Netherlands

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) On this beautiful day, we went on this boat to see the orcas, and we did! A lot of them, for hours! The environment is beautiful. We also saw some sea lions and a lot of eagles. A great trip! Additional Comments: Very kind and good captain and his daughter knew a lot, and told a lot about the animals and environment. Nice lunch : ) Thank you!

Date: 21/Jul/15

Report by: Hemrika family

From: Amsterdam

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Started with a group of fish, which attracted eagles and more. Beautiful! After that: humpback whales, orcas, minke whales and sea lions. 1 word: WOW!! The hydrophone (underwater microphone) was a really cool extra. Mackay really took the time to make this an unforgettable day, and to make sure we saw what we hoped for. Additional Comments: This made our last days of our 3 week holiday really something to tell everybody at home! And the cake! ; )

Date: 20/Jul/15

Report by: Helen & Ravi

From: Nottingham, England

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We started the day seeing a sea otter frolicking in the middle of the sea. It was a great start as it was an unusual find. It was followed by a spectacular sea lion colony. They were basking on rocky outcrops and playing in the waters edge. Just further rout, we spotted several humpback whales. The highlight soon followed with two pods of orcas (killer whales) traveling alongside the boat. Amazing photo opportunities from the inquisitive orcas! Additional Comments: Fantastic hosts! Everything was well explained, interesting local knowledge and animal information. Great father/daughter team, made the whole trip a pleasure. Surpassed all expectations, a brilliant day! (Also best lunch ever!) Thanks!

Date: 19/Jul/15

Report by: Christine

From: Switzerland

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Heading down the Johnstone Strait direction south. Soon we were meeting 2 humpback whales hanging around and feeding. On the shore I spotted 3 northern sea lions and way off there were some Dalls porpoises. Soon after, we could well observe 2 adult male orcas (Orcinus orca) and more near the shore, there were two females with a calf. Additional Comments: I appreciate the guidance from Bill; nice job with assisting with information. The passengers desires are well anticipated. Thanks a lot!

Date: 18/Jul/15

Report by: Susan Rhind

From: Australia

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Orcas, orcas, orcas! Spread out and close by we saw about 12 orcas including a couple of males. We found them off Malcolm Island then fogged along (as the fog lifted) towards Johnstone Strait. Added bonuses were a few humpback whales, white-sided dolphins (some came right to the boat) and Steller sea lions. Total time with orcas around was about 4 hours! Additional Comments: Great boat and nice to know that the motor is a special design that is quiet so doesnt create noise pollution in the water. Glorious weather conditions made it a perfect day.

Date: 16/Jul/15

Report by: Edward Capstick

From: St. Albert, AB

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We saw a lot of different types of marine mammals. When we first went out, we saw a minke whale from a distance. We were chased by some Dalls porpoises. After a great clam chowder lunch, we followed a pod of seven orcas for 30 minutes, then the captain identified them as the A30 pod; it was the first sighting of them for the Naiad this year. On the way back, we saw three humpback whales feeding in the rip tide. Two of them slapped their flukes. As we left, we were chased by about 10 Pacific white-sided dolphins that were jumping out of the water in our wake. We also saw a bald eagle. Additional Comments: I really liked the captain and his helper who was a great cook and very knowledgeable. Thanks for the great experience!

Date: 15/Jul/15

Report by: Jeanine Cook

From: Las Cruces, NM

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) This was truly an amazing day! We went from Port McNeill over to an area west of Port Hardy. There we saw a large group of humpback whales. They came so close to the boat I felt like jumping on and taking a ride! We then saw lots of birds feeding on a school of small fish. Ive never seen so many bald eagles in one place before. We then went over to some other bay and saw a pod of four orcas. There was a very playful baby in this group that was delightful to watch. Was a really great day! Additional Comments: This crew is really magnificent. Super friendly, super nice. The lunch was great. This is probably the cleanest boat Ive ever been on in my life! Would definitely recommend this trip with Mackay as a must do!

Date: 13/Jul/15

Report by: Nichola Calcutt

From: Preston, UK

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) - Humpback whales  - Minke whale  - Pod of dolphins  - Sea lions  - Porpoises  - Seals  - Bald eagles  nesting & babies Additional Comments: Fantastic trip. Friendly crew with great knowledge. Lovely lunch and afternoon cake. Well worth the trip and highly recommend. Thoroughly enjoyed by my family, especially my two boys age 10 and 16. Thank you so much!

Date: 12/Jul/15

Report by: Robyn

From: Victoria, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Today we spotted a graceful Minke whale and eight humpbacks! We got quite close to the humpbacks and watched them emerge from the water to chow down on fish. We also saw sea lions, eagles, a sea otter, porpoises and rhinoceros auklets as we glided through the mystical islands. Additional Comments: The warm soup and Nanaimo bars hit the spot!

Date: 11/Jul/15

Report by: Boris

From: Belgium

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We went off to the west, past Port Hardy and saw 7 humpback whales, hundreds of bald eagles and sea lions. Additional Comments: Good lunch!.

Date: 10/Jul/15

Report by: Fredrik

From: Germany

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Sea lions, humpback whales and beautiful landscape. Additional Comments: No killer whales; nice people on board.

Date: 09/Jul/15

Report by: Norm Farrell

From: North Vancouver, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Heading northwest, we enjoyed smooth seas and blue sky. We encountered sea lions and 3 humpback whales, but no orcas. Fast boat covered much area with comfortable inside seating or on deck viewing places. Friendly, informative staff. Good value, great time. Learned some folks on board had repeated voyages with Mackay numerous times and always loved it! One German group had sailed six times!

Date: 06/Jul/15

Report by: Melina Hoodle

From: Grand Forks, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Most importantly, we set out to search for whales and had the most spectacular luck of finding six humpback whales all together in a gorgeous section of water. We were even fortunate to see a baby humpback whale with her mother! After watching the sea lions play with the whales, we travelled over to an incredible rock point to see a few male sea lions getting their tans while their large harem laid around. We had a wonderful lunch and then went out to search for orca whales. Although we didnt see any, we felt very happy with our day on the ocean! This was our first boat ride (excluding the ferry) ever on the ocean! Oh, and I cant forget the little sea otter who was just chillin out on his back and allowed us to circle around him while he continued to hang out! Additional Comments: Thanks Mackay Whale Watching for an amazing day!

Date: 05/Jul/15

Report by: Carolyn

From: Oro-Medonte, Ontario

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 6 orcas (transients), in the vicinity of a minke whale, which we didnt see. 2 humpback whales, although there had been sightings of a 3rd. Bald eagle nest with a young one, parents and siblings. 2 more orca (transients), dolphins. Additional Comments: Great commentary/crew. Yummy food. Calm seas. It doesnt get any better.

Date: 04/Jul/15

Report by: Kelly Yarbrough

From: Driggs, Idaho

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Humpback whales, dolphins, sea lions Additional Comments: Very nice people working on the boat  great food  delicious desserts  amazing whale encounters and Amber is my favourite.

Date: 02/Jul/15

Report by: John Beck

From: Peachland, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Wonderful time with good company  time well spent  wild life was plentiful  humpback whales, eagles, sea lions. Good lunch; interesting company. Additional Comments: Thank you for a great day!

Date: 22/Jun/15

Report by: Laura Budd

From: Red Deer, AB

 

Trip Highlights: Dall's porpoises - we understand they are usually shy, but today they surfaced over and over near the boat! Got excellent pictures of porpoises, humpback whales, eagles, seals and totem poles. Soup & buns were great - best of all wonderful squares! Additional Comments: Our visit was awesome - beautiful day, nice boat and great host and hostesses. Keep up the great job!

Date: 09/May/15

Report by: Donna Mackay

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

Mackay Whale Watching in Port McNeill requires a deckhand/naturalist for our upcoming whale watching season! Duties include conversing with passengers, serving lunch, cleaning and ensuring safety at all times. If youre an outgoing, reliable individual with knowledge of our local area and its wildlife and you hold (at a minimum) a valid first aid certificate, we invite you to email your resume to us, detailing your qualifications and expected remuneration. Our email address is mackaybd@telus.net.

Date: 21/Dec/14

Report by: Mackay's

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

We wish everyone a very merry Christmas and all the best of the holiday season with loved ones and friends! May the next year bring you joy!

Date: 30/Sep/14

Report by: Mackay family

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

Today was our final whale watching tour for the 2014 season and the wildlife viewing was fantastic! Sea lions, Pacific white-sided dolphins, Leach's petrels, fork-tailed storm petrels, common murres, lunge-feeding and "fishing" humpback whales and then, on the way home, to put the whole day over the top, a group of six transient killer whales just off Port McNeill! Thank you to all who came out with us this year, and we look forward to seeing you all in our 2015 season! If you look back in our archived reports, you can see that the resident killer whales have been arriving somewhat late (around July 7) and leaving earlier than usual (this year, on September 17, last seen at 9 pm exiting from Malcolm Island to the west). If they don't have their prey of choice (Chinook and Chum salmon), they won't stay. The one constant we've had are the glorious humpback whales! And the increasing sightings of transient killer whales. Every day is different, and every year is somewhat different - let's hope that 2015 is better for the resident killer whales and their prey!

Date: 18/Sep/14

Report by: Carol Sykes

From: Port Moody, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We saw sea lions chillin on the rocks and the first humpbacks of the day, 3 of them breaching. We then zoomed over to another spot where whales were all around us! We saw jaws poking up, tails, and big backs and blowing. We could hear them before seeing them. The highlight was two tails flapping in time with each other. Then we had lunch and zoomed off to find orca. We listened but didnt hear them. But then suddenly there were Dalls porpoises all around the boat, playing in the waves! Yahoo! A great day! Additional Comments: The soup was great and Captain Bill was terrific leading up into the whale places. Thank you.

Date: 15/Sep/14

Report by: Mireille

From: Quebec City, Canada

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We saw two groups of orcas, at least 4 humpback whales, many dolphins bugging the whales. At the end of the trip we saw sea lions hauled out on an islet; they smell bad. And just before getting back to Port McNeill we saw a young black bear on the beach. Additional Comments: The day was amazing, sunny and funny. The crew, Donna and Bill, are friendly and awesome.

Date: 14/Sep/14

Report by: Janice Caton

From: Courtenay, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Had an amazing day  saw many playful dolphins  jumping and frolicking through the water. Also saw a group of Steller sea lions; but the highlight was the time spent watching a group of orcas; saw them breaching, playing and rubbing themselves on the beach. We were able to hear their vocals and also rubbing against the pebbles. Additional Comments: As we left the dock, the weather was calm and sunny; shortly we hit a patch of short-lived fog; it lifted to an amazing family of orcas. The hosts are awesome (Bill and Donna), extremely knowledgeable about the history of orcas; lunch was great. The northern part of Vancouver Island is a must to visit  the scenery is beautiful. And I would definitely recommend a day on the water with Mackay Whale Watching.

Date: 13/Sep/14

Report by: Scarlett Stafrace (10)

From: Malta

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We saw killer whales that came fairly close to the boat and you could see all the different markings on their bodies. We also went next to this sea lion haul-out where we heard all the snoring coming from them. We also saw harbour seals hauled out. We also saw majestic humpback whales which popped out right next to the boat scaring us all! Additional Comments: (editors note: we also saw transient killer whales.)

Date: 12/Sep/14

Report by: Christine Knight

From: London, England

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Queen Charlotte Strait/Blackfish Sound and islands  Humpback whales, orcas, 100+ dolphins (seen yesterday), sea lions, bald eagle, various sea birds. Additional Comments: We have traveled on Mackay trips for the last 6 years. This family firm are knowledgeable, committed to marine biology and the environment. Its fun and the 5-6 hours spent on the Naiad Explorer is never enough for us. We will always make the journey to Port McNeill especially to join the best whale watch company anywhere.

Date: 11/Sep/14

Report by: Verrall Feeney & Dee Brookwell

From: Qualicum Beach, BC & Devon, England

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Humpbacks feeding, Minke whale, A30 and A42 pods of orca whales. Huge gathering of Pacific white-sided dolphins, lions mane jelly fish, Steller sea lions and 2 eagles. The humpbacks flipped their tails for us; the dolphins performed side rolls and raced our boat for fun, then surfed in the waves. The water was so clear, you could see them underwater! Additional Comments: The most magical day. Blue skies. Captain Bill and Donna Mackay treated us to a day to stay in our memories forever. (Dee): Our first trip to Canada  we dont think we can top this day, just awesome. Thanks  big thanks! The weather was perfect as well.

Date: 09/Sep/14

Report by: Sulagna Hati

From: Bangkok, Thailand

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) The highlight of the trip was definitely viewing the orca up close  two whales surfaced right next to the boat and swam past us in seconds; that validated the entire experience for me. Additional Comments: The orca were exceedingly playful today and we got to see quite the show! Additional sightings included dolphins, porpoise and humpback whales.

Date: 08/Sep/14

Report by: Mark Bauman

From: Rochester, MN, USA

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Saw lots of orcas and humpbacks, sea lions and seals and eagle. Additional Comments: Humpback slapped the water about 20 times. Leah was very knowledgeable. Accommodations very comfortable. Happy, energetic captain. Windy and cool, but sunny.

Date: 06/Sep/14

Report by: Valerie Wright

From: Yorkshire, England

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) It was misty when we set off. After 20 minutes travel, sun came out and we we saw Transient orcas (ie. Killer whales that eat mammals). Also saw a couple of humpback whales. Then mist came down and no whales to be seen. After lunch, out came the sun and we found two pods of Resident orcas, approximately 10 in one pod and five in the other close together. Lots of photo opportunities as they swam within 30 yards from us. Then another humpback close by. Additional Comments: Lovely chowder lunch. People very friendly and helpful with my walking disabilities. Our third consecutive day with lots of photos of whales to remind us of a fantastic time. Hopefully will be back again in September 2015.

Date: 05/Sep/14

Report by: Anni & Stephan

From: Germany

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) First we had a couple of humpbacks with tail slaps because they were surrounded by orcas feeding on salmon (Bill said they are the A30s and the A42s, with obvious A72 and her calf). These orcas stayed with us for quite some time, jumping, spyhopping, turning upside down and showing off their young calves while we enjoyed delicious soup for lunch. After watching sea lions on the rocks, we ended the tour with another six humpback whales feeding and showing their flukes. Additional Comments: Apart from the gorgeous scenery, sunny and calm weather, great acoustics with clear orca whistles and echolocation clicks, we had the best crew you can imagine. Thanks, Bill and Donna for another highlight on our trip! Knowing you since 1999 nothing really has changed and wed love to come back again!

Date: 04/Sep/14

Report by: Val Jeske

From: Comox Valley, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We saw pods of orcas, including a mother and her baby; dolphins leaping out of the water, pestering orcas and having a great time; humpback whales feeding with their huge mouths gaping open and screening fish; Steller sea lions sunning themselves on the rocks; stops at Telegraph Cove and Hidden Cove; steaming soup and a bun with goodies to follow. It was a beautiful sunny day in a very relaxed environment. Great day! Great fun! Additional Comments: Thank you, Bill & Donna!

Date: 03/Sep/14

Report by: Michael

From: Sointula and Vancouver, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Orca family reunion; Humpback breach (just saw the end of it); Dolphins harassing orcas Additional Comments: A first class operation. High quality, great value. Learned a lot!

Date: 02/Sep/14

Report by: Claire Russell

From: Belfast, UK

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We started by following a large orca, accompanied by its sisters offspring. They gave a group of kayakers a close view. This was followed by another large orca and some cute juniors. After lunch we headed off in search of humpbacks  with great results. There was one humpback in particular who gave us a whale biology lesson on how they eat. Very impressive! Along the way we saw harbour seals, Steller sea lions and a black bear right near the end. Additional Comments: We had a brilliant time. The hot, tasty soup at lunchtime was great for warming our chilly fingers. The dessert was a lovely surprise. Many thanks.

Date: 01/Sep/14

Report by: Terry Stewart

From: Bristol, England

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We went out from Port McNeill and saw four pods from the A clan of orcas playing. Humpback whales putting on a great display of jumping out of the water and flipping their tails. There were also dolphins in the distance but they decided not to come and play with the big boys!! This was the second time for us and it was just as good as the first time  10 years ago. Fabulous day out!! Additional Comments: We had a wonderful day  the captain was very informative and the lunch was tasty. Photographic opportunities were many and even the weather behaved itself. Donna arranged the cakes beautifully.

Date: 31/Aug/14

Report by: Tom, Val, Dean & Madelaine

From: Chemainus, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) A humpback whale did a full breach! Orcas swam under the boat and swam right next to us. We saw lots of orcas and dolphins. There were seals and sea lions. We were so lucky with the weather, nothing but sun. The kelp filled the passages, floating through the whirlpools. Lunch was great followed by tons of desserts. Oh, and we saw a bird napping on the water. Additional Comments: The captain and first mate made the trip so enjoyable. They both were very knowledgeable with the different pods of orcas and they managed to identify one of the humpbacks as Guardian. Such a great adventure. Thank you!

Date: 30/Aug/14

Report by: Sharon McPhail

From: Sooke, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We saw humpbacks galore and also the A30 and A42 pods of orcas. The orcas were surrounding the boat and A72 and her calf swam by upside down so we could see the baby nursing. When we picked up passengers in Sointula, Alexandra Morton was there to say hello and pick up some smelly fish. Additional Comments: The Orca Live group has had a wonderful week with the Mackays and we thank them. Always a treat to be out in this beautiful place. The whales are the icing on the cake.

Date: 29/Aug/14

Report by: Roger & Brenda

From: England

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Wow what an incredible day  beyond all our expectations. We saw two pods of orcas, some of which were spy hopping, and while the adults were trying to rest, the juveniles were playing it up, turning on their sides and tail slapping. Three juveniles came in quite close to the boat. And then, loads of humpbacks  one slapping its tail on the water for several minutes, and another scaring the heck out of us, as it came up and blew air right next to the boat  what an experience. Then to top this, we saw another humpback come up underneath seabirds that had rounded up a group of fish  the birds scattered and the whale downed its lunch. Which brings me to the other highlight  our delicious lunch of spicy vegetable soup and a fresh bun, topped off by homemade cakes early afternoon. Additional Comments: Finally, a mention for the skipper who kept us entertained all day  a great team with his wife  as the caption on his door reads I am the captain of this vessel, and I have my wifes permission to say so!  sums up the humour of the day. Thanks for a great day, Bill and Donna.

Date: 28/Aug/14

Report by: Rosie Rickards

From: Stratford-upon-Avon, UK

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We saw humpback whales, Dalls porpoises, orcas, Steller sea lions, harbour seals, Pacific white-sided dolphins, bald eagles, fork-tailed storm petrels, common murres, (guillemots!), rhinoceros auklets, surf scoter, pigeon guillemots, marbled murrelets northern phalaropes, lots of gull species, black bear on the beach and Bonapartes gull. Additional Comments: Thank you so much for a fantastic trip! Lunch was delicious, as were the cakes! Great to hear the orcas on the hydrophone. Hopefully well visit again in the future!

Date: 27/Aug/14

Report by: Brad & Lisa

From: Australia

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) It was hard to top the cakes&but, the breaching humpback, bubble-netting and being surrounded by orcas came pretty close. The day completely exceeded our expectations and couldnt ask for more! Additional Comments: Super friendly, great atmosphere. Cheers mate!

Date: 26/Aug/14

Report by: Suan Tan

From: Malaysia

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) It was an amazing trip and we saw sea lions  they were surprisingly noisy and magnificently huge  as well as porpoises. And then magic: we saw humpback whales! Im so full of joy at being blessed enough to see these majestic animals that I can barely find the words. Truly awesome. Thanks a million! Additional Comments: We had a witty and warm welcome aboard the boat, and delicious lunch. Absolutely worth the three flights and 35 hours to get here from Malaysia. Thank you so very much.

Date: 25/Aug/14

Report by: Jacqui Golsby

From: Vancouver, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Watching Pacific white-sided dolphins harass orcas; witnessing the humpback named Inukshuk, one of the now 40 humpback whales in the area! Huge breach by Inukshuk! Watching the A30 pod of orcas surfing the bow wake of a fish packing boat, being true to their dolphin nature. Listening to Captain Bill and first mate Leah giving us deeper insight into the area and its inhabitants. Additional Comments: Delicious pink salmon chowder! Calm water; learning about Seymour the seal and his kayak encounter! Sea lions, common murres, Dalls porpoise, bald eagle, Cassins auklets, fork-tailed storm petrels. A beautiful, calm day on the water!

Date: 24/Aug/14

Report by: Tayler Luck

From: Nanaimo, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Incredible scenery to be seen; with Mackays we saw everything I hoped to see, breaching orcas, dolphins, a diving humpback whale. My first time with Mackays and my partners 10th time and I quickly realized why. With the witty staff and good food they provide, I definitely enjoyed every minute of it!! Additional Comments: Keep up the good hard work, it goes a long way and is definitely noticed.

Date: 23/Aug/14

Report by: Hannah Bragman

From: London, England

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) There was a little baby orca who was playing with a dolphin! It was breaching and flapping its tail. This was at Johnstone Strait. Also, our first whale was a humpback which was slapping its tail onto the water. It was very funny and the fog on the water made the perfect picture. This first sighting was at Weynton. Additional Comments: The soup world record was broken today by Sam eating 11 bowls! The staff have been really fun and friendly. The best whale watching tour ever!

Date: 22/Aug/14

Report by: Ann, Stephen & Marcus

From: Emeryville, CA

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Orcas  seeing I15s and A30s; Humpback whales  great tail lobbing; maybe 30; Eagles  near their nest, first day on a branch for the baby; Sea lions  one on land and three in the water; Additional Comments: Beautiful day. Great tail slapping by a HB! And fun times. Great to see the orca that was freed from a net just yesterday, swimming along with its pod.

Date: 21/Aug/14

Report by: Stephanie Rose

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) What a day! We saw the following pods of killer whales today off Round Island: I15s, I31s, A23 and A25. One of the I15s got tangled in a fishers net and thankfully we saw it freed. We also saw 3 humpback whales and A36s near Donegal. Beautiful day; started out foggy but cleared right up! Additional Comments: Best whale watching in the world! Thanks for the amazing day!

Date: 20/Aug/14

Report by: Lauri Doucette

From: Grand Prairie, AB

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Humpback whales lunge feeding, A30 pod of orcas swimming up to, and under our boat! Additional Comments: Just another fabulous day on the Naiad!! This is our 6th trip and it keeps getting better; we always think the last trip was the best but it always keeps getting better and better. Just missing our oldest daughter, Kailey and nephew, Ryan.

Date: 19/Aug/14

Report by: Sarah Aslan & Family

From: England

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We saw lots of orcas, naughty dolphins chasing them. Humpbacks gave us a good view of their tails. Sea lions were a surprise and lots of seals. Close up view of fishermen and boat. Additional Comments: A wonderful trip, we saw lots of whales, the scenery was gorgeous and the soup and cake was very good!

Date: 17/Aug/14

Report by: Maxine

From: Brighton , UK

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Wow! I15 pod from G clan - the big boys! Five humpback whales, beautiful show of tail flukes; Dalls porpoises playing off the bow of the boat, diving under and circling us; harbour seal and her pup; eagles. Plus, yummy hot soup for lunch and calorie free cakes! Oh, and the sun shone throughout, warming our faces and spirits. Additional Comments: Crew were great too. Lots of humour and laughter and they really knew their whale stuff!

Date: 16/Aug/14

Report by: Emily

From: Port McNeill

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We started our morning in wisps of fog in Johnstone Strait with 2 groups of orca; it was absolutely stunning! After a hearty bowl (or 5) of soup, we watched humpbacks feeding. We ended our day with a tour by Alert Bay, where we learned about the area. Magnificent! Additional Comments: Best tour by far!!!

Date: 15/Aug/14

Report by: Jo Holba & Kass Leclair

From: Hinton, Alberta

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We saw 3 pods of orcas, 7 or 8 humpback whales, a minke whale, some 5 or 6 Dalls porpoises, and some seals. It was quite foggy and rained. It was hard to see the humpbacks at times, but could hear them quite well. It was amazing! Some baby whales jumping out of the water and waved their tails in the air. Additional Comments: The crew were great. Skipper and 1st mate, Kaia, were amazing as was Nikki and Uncle Ron. Lunch was good as always. We met lots of people from all over the world.

Date: 14/Aug/14

Report by: Miriam

From: Germany

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We saw two different pods or orcas and some came so close, they dived under the boat. After lunch we went to two different spots for seeing humpback whales. In addition, we saw seals and birds. Additional Comments: Good lunch and cakes and very interesting explanation.

Date: 13/Aug/14

Report by: Britt & Per

From: Denmark

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Lots of humpback whales and orcas! Additional Comments: Nice crew. Lots of information. Nice soup!

Date: 12/Aug/14

Report by: John Freeman & friend

From: Sasebo and Hiroshima, Japan

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We went to Robson Bight, Cracroft Island, Johnstone Strait and off Mitchell Bay. Saw many orcas, porpoises and humpbacks. The baby humpbacks did over 7 breaches! Additional Comments: Great experience for a former local (Sointula). Bill, Nikki and Uncle Ron were great!! Would totally come back again.

Date: 11/Aug/14

Report by: George Fraser

From: Cold Lake, Alberta

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Loved watching the humpback feed; mom, calf and escort. The orcas were amazing, seeing 10-15 at a time was fantastic. Spy hopping, rolling and one amazing breach  what a splash! We even got a fluke shot. Additional Comments: Thanks to the crew and captain for observing the safety of the whales!

Date: 10/Aug/14

Report by: John & Phyllis Harding

From: Bainbridge Island, WA

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Queen Charlotte Strait  gorgeous weather  20 orca!! 11 humpbacks, and 1 minke whale; orca tail slapping. Additional Comments: Our 4th trip with Bill & Nicole  they are the best!! Lunch was delicious as always! Thank you for a perfect day!

Date: 09/Aug/14

Report by: Kim Klein & Brittany Gililland

From: Minneapolis & Denver

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We saw 11 humpback whales and 2 impressive breaches. The also gave us several spectacular tail waves. We saw too many orca to count! Additional Comments:

Date: 08/Aug/14

Report by: Paul Simmons

From: St. Paul, Minnesota

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) North side of Malcolm Island, first was the humpback whale, then it was orca after orca; mother, baby (4 yrs. old) and brother travelling together. The juvenile put on a real show, spy hopped, tail slapping. Amazing day, sun, calm seas and a lifetime of orcas! Additional Comments: Good day yeah bettcha!

Date: 07/Aug/14

Report by: Ruth

From: London, England

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We have seen a pod of orcas including a mother and calf and followed them for a while. We saw many humpback whales flute their tails and one breach. There was also a humpback which was bubble net feeding  it was circling so you could see its white underbelly. Apparently this is not all common in Johnstone Strait and occurs usually in Alaska. So we were very lucky! I loved seeing the sea lions swimming together (about 6). We watched an eagle perch in the tree tops so we could clearly see its profile. I also loved seeing the many beautiful smaller birds, including the storm petrels dancing on the water. Additional Comments: Thank you very much; my family and I will never forget it. A memorable experience for us to take home.

Date: 06/Aug/14

Report by: Kai & Stella

From: Victoria, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Watching humpback breaching, tail slapping, pectoral slapping, feeding at surface! Orcas just outside Robson Bight  A23 and A25 pods Additional Comments: Captain Bill and First Mate Nicole were wonderful. Thank you!!

Date: 05/Aug/14

Report by: Kayla Brady (11)

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) I saw orca whales and humpbacks; Desserts We saw baby whales; theyre cute. Additional Comments: Awesomeness.

Date: 04/Aug/14

Report by: Kim Gray

From: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Insane day! Started in a dreamy morning mist  felt like we were witnessing the birth of a whole new world. Orcas everywhere, more than any of us imagined wed see! Knifing through nearby waters, blowing loudly, impressing us all with their athleticism. Baby was a huge hit! And this, all before the breaching humpback  a lone hunter blowing bubbles for his dinner. Northern sea lions  a gang of them  wee a bonus, the icing on the orca cake! Husband loved the birds; what birds, I ask!?!? Additional Comments: Fantastic crew, food, lunch, school session. Thanks for a most memorable day. www.toqueandcanoe.com

Date: 03/Aug/14

Report by: Dennis, Inge, Maryn and Timo

From: The Netherlands

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We went on to the ocean and found orcas right away. We could see them very well, thanks to Bills excellent steering. We went and found a humpback whale that breached beside the boat 3 times! Also saw one Minke whale and lots of birds! Additional Comments: AWESOME!!! Perfect Day! Good finds by Bill and perfect positioning of the boat for us. Lunch was soup and buns; very good. We enjoyed the day very much! Thank you very much for showing us all the great things of your wonderful ocean!

Date: 02/Aug/14

Report by: Lyn Cridland

From: Sydney, Australia

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) A dream come true, to see orca in their natural habitat, ranging from a 2 month old baby to her mum who apparently has a baby every 5 years. I cried when I first saw them, but have smiled all day. Thank you so very much, some interesting facts about the pods that live in the area. Please keep it up. Additional Comments: Delicious soup and cake for lunch. A truly knowledgeable family that so obviously adore orca. Thank you.

Date: 01/Aug/14

Report by: Mary, Dan, Clayton & Jasmine

From: Oakville, Ontario

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) The sleeping orcas the mother humpback and her calf, and the spyhopping orcas at the end. A fantastic tour! Additional Comments: Personable and knowledgeable crew were very informative of geography and sea life; accommodating our 10 and 8 year old kids to sit on the bridge. Tasty Lunch. Took us to numerous locations where we saw great natural animal habitat (black bear, stag and doe, eagle, porpoises, numerous birds, fish and 3 varieties of whales! I had a fantastic time whale watching (Jasmine) It was awesome! (Clayton)

Date: 31/Jul/14

Report by: Suzanne & James Hunter

From: Calgary, Alberta

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Saw 2 humpbacks playing and breaching; lots of orcas too! Scenery was amazing as well! One orca surprised us by coming up very close by! Also 2 minke whales, dolphins, 6 humpback whales, porpoises galore. Additional Comments: Very friendly crew. Very safe tour! Thank you so much for the great day!

Date: 30/Jul/14

Report by: Tracey Hoehl

From: Litchfield, Illinois, USA

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Several pods of orcas; humpback whales close to shoreline; humpback sleeping near islands; Dalls porpoises; red jellyfish. Additional Comments: Just got back from Alaskan cruise where I paid $100s to view both types of whales on 2 different excursions. Saw more today than imagined. Wonderful to enjoy with my kids. Lunch was terrific! Captain and crew were extremely informative with their wealth of knowledge. Educational as well as worth the $$ because so much was seen. Loved the senses of humour of Captain.

Date: 29/Jul/14

Report by: Karen Hedley/Wagner

From: Victoria, BC/Switzerland

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) A wonderful boat trip up to the Port Hardy area!! Bill and Nicole and crew made sure we saw incredible pods of whales. Most respectful of the beautiful whales, they got us close with all angles to see the most and the best! At least two full hours of whales!, their sounds and moves. Breath-taking and heart warming views. Additional Comments: Extremely knowledgeable, warm and friendly! Best tour ever. The wonderful chowder warmed our tummies and the cake warmed our hearts (cakes at the end awesome)! Cant wait to come back!!! Mackay family truly do this tour from their hearts!

Date: 28/Jul/14

Report by: Geoff

From: Cambridge, UK

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) A misty start, traveling to Hidden Cove to pick up guests. Orcas seen almost at once after Hidden Cove  emerging from the mist. Different orca groups came and went. Mist finally cleared by 12:00. Picked up 2 more groups of orcas after lunch  one quite large. Headed off to see humpbacks  a few. Bald eagles seen with nest in a tree. Various porpoises  Dalls and others. Some group members saw sea lions in the distance. Interesting group  Germans, Dutch, UK and Canadians. Additional Comments: Captain Bill is extremely knowledgeable and good to listen to. Good cake. Lunch was great too. Glorious sunshine once mist cleared.

Date: 27/Jul/14

Report by: Frank Thomsen

From: Germany

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Killer whales (I15s and A36s), Dalls porpoises, Steller sea lions playing in the kelp, harbour seals and humpback whales (up close!). Additional Comments: Great day on the water! Super crew and weather, lots of marine life! Good to be back!

Date: 26/Jul/14

Report by: Mrs. M. v. Duin

From: The Netherlands

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Nice introduction by the captain! 4 deer ashore on the beach; seals, just regular harbour seals on the rocks, 4 bald eagles in the trees. We saw so many (over 40) orcas. My husband saw A46, residents and transients which was cool. Also saw humpback whales. Additional Comments: We had fun (plezier)! We taught Janny two famous Dutch words: bruinvis (porpoise) and bultrug (humpback whale) From, Kool and the gang!

Date: 24/Jul/14

Report by: Patti Wilder

From: New Westminster, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We luckily came across the I15 pod of killer whales, who were very busy foraging most of the morning. Very close to them was the A42 pod, or so I thought. We later stumbled upon a small pod of 3 individuals. After both orca and humans were fed and watered, we then enjoyed a few spyhops, roll-overs and a little bit of play. Two humpbacks were also spotted on the way home. They moved on quite quickly. Food was definitely the top priority of the day for all sea-life. On that note, I had 2 pieces of dessert (shhh). Additional Comments: Overall a good day and no rain. Cheers to Bill & Crew!

Date: 23/Jul/14

Report by: Cristyn Ashley

From: Wales, UK

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Orcas, humpback whales, Dalls porpoises, harbour porpoise and a black bear!!!! Career advice!! Had a great day  thanks a lot. Additional Comments: Great team, yummy food.

Date: 22/Jul/14

Report by: Chelsea & Averie Ladouceur

From: Calgary, Alberta (Yahoo for the stampede!)

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) With the sun always poking through, Captain Bill guided us to the famous Johnstone Strait. We saw resident A and G pod families of orcas  biggest of the dolphin family. An adult male came to within 30 feet of our boat!! Almost 15 orcas in total. A hearty barley soup lunch and it was off to see 2 humpbacks and 2 whale tail flukes to boot! 2 eagles in trees on the way. It was a whale tale of a day; make that Whale Tail of a day! Additional Comments: Captain Bills stories and personality are an engaging part of the tour. &And Nanaimo bars!! A good day to be and feel alive. Thank you Captain Bill and daughter! In wildness is the preservation of the world  Henry David Thoreau.

Date: 21/Jul/14

Report by: Hanne & Lars

From: Denmark

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We saw a humpback eating while the gigantic mouth was all above sea level, sea lions swimming by and then, of course, a lot of orcas, especially a baby orca with mom was a beautiful sight. Additional Comments: It was an awesome trip and we really appreciated that this trip was about whale watching and not just another tourist trip. We will recommend this to everyone.

Date: 20/Jul/14

Report by: Deborah Freeman

From: Nanoose Bay, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) What an amazing day. An overused word  but truly applicable in this case. The orcas were on crystal clear water with reflections of dorsal fins. Fish jumping in between the whales surfacing. The humpback whales were a total surprise, breaching and showing their magnificent tales (picture perfect). Eagles, so many gorgeous birds. This was a day of magic! Additional Comments: The group, family that run this company are warm people who enjoy these sites as much as people who never have seen them before. Thank you, thank you, thank you. This was all and more of what I dreamed to see!

Date: 19/Jul/14

Report by: Stephanie Rose

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We travelled just west of Port Hardy where we saw over 60 orcas! Among these whales was Springer with her baby close by. We also saw many resting orcas off by the Port Hardy airport. Additional Comments: A great time was had by all. Amazing lighting today and as always, amazing staff.

Date: 18/Jul/14

Report by: Jim, Martha & Katie Ford

From: California

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Caught up to the A38 pod of orcas, plus one more male, at the south end of Blackfish Sound. Followed them down Johnstone Strait before turning back towards Port McNeill. Visited Eagle Island and saw 8-10 juvenile and adult bald eagles roosting glumly in the rain. After a brief visit from a sea lion, we found ourselves surrounded by 3-4 humpback whales! Also saw a small pod of Dalls porpoises, rhinoceros auklets, common murres, and a boatload of jumping pink salmon! Additional Comments: Gray and drizzly day, but nice flat water for spotting whales and our spirits were buoyed by the delicious chanterelle soup. Thank you!!

Date: 17/Jul/14

Report by: Heather Smith

From: England

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Fantastic trip yet again! Amazing sighting of humpback whales, some even breaching! Eagles feeding, catching fish. Sea lions swimming and seals sunbathing. Yet again, a lovely lunch in a stunning location. Additional Comments: Third trip this week, sixth trip over the years and still cant get enough! Best whale watching trip by far. Thank you all for an amazing time and stories you had to share. A lovely friendly family. Cant wait to come back.

Date: 16/Jul/14

Report by: Peter Palmer

From: San Francisco

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Great trip!! Classic images of orcas close to the shore in Johnstone Strait (5 orca all day, a pod called A8), several humpback whales, and a surprise treat on the return trip of 2 minkes whales (one of which swam very close to the bow of the boat). Lots of soaring bald eagles and one perched beautifully in a tree. Good conditions: calm at times, windy at others, foggy and cold, then warm and still. Blue water passages and kelp! Additional Comments: Perfect bowl of hot soup and bread on board for lunch, followed by some delicious baked goods for dessert. The boat is fast, so it can get to the whale action quickly. Crew is fun and knowledgeable. First time out, first orca of the season!! Highly recommended.

Date: 15/Jul/14

Report by: Lesley

From: Florida

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Beautiful day on the water! Quite foggy all morning, which burned off and we had blue skies. We saw many eagles, sea lions, Dalls porpoises and lots of Pacific white-sided dolphins. There were several humpbacks in the area too. So much fun watching the dolphins feed and play in the wake. Additional Comments: Great crew, thanks!

Date: 14/Jul/14

Report by: Kelly Wall & Billy Wall

From: Los Angeles, CA

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Today was exciting J! We saw two humpback whale breaches, were regaled with First Nation stories about burials and potlatch with Captain Bill (hes the best story teller). We saw a pod of energetic dolphins bouncing across the ocean, several sea lions too, bald eagles soared from above, minke whales were particularly energetic rising and falling in the fog. Additional Comments: It was an unforgettable day. Thank you for your wonderful stories, expert knowledge and for sharing your beautiful home on the ocean with us. You made such a fantastic impression on my brother and I!

Date: 13/Jul/14

Report by: Erika Gaugh

From: Australia

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Ten reasons why today was a great Mackay day!: 1. Humpbacks  we saw several of these gentle, graceful giants. 2. Pacific white-sided dolphins  a mother and calf happily circling, once swimming under our boat! 3. Birds feeding on a bait ball  a cacophony of birds gorging at the Fife buffet. 4. Sea lions galore making rude noises on some large rocks, the male making his presence known. 5. Porpoises happily jumping near the boat throughout the morning. 6. The eerie fog, enveloping us in a blanket of mystery. 7. The sun, which gratefully invited us towards the end of the day. 8. The delicious hot soup  which came just at the right time! 9. The bald eagles  adults and young displaying their might all around. 10. The amazing hosts  the dynamic, knowledgeable, not to mention, humorous (!) father and daughter duo.

Date: 12/Jul/14

Report by: Melody

From: Powell River, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We went into beautiful areas, saw seals, sea lion families, eagles, humpback whales, minke whale, sea birds. The scenery was inspiring, serene, lush, and the ocean was calm, yet powerful Although it was foggy at times, the sun also shone brilliantly. Additional Comments: The hosts were friendly, informative, welcoming and funny. Very enjoyable trip! The other participants were great as well, and it was enjoyable sharing the experience with you all.

Date: 10/Jul/14

Report by: Willy Rens

From: Kanata Adventures, Clearwater, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 40 bald eagles diving for fish is like watching National Geographic live! Slowly looking between the small islands observing sea lions and birds and the strange sea kayakers (rare species!). Five humpback whales, a minke whale and some porpoises! Additional Comments: Great soup! Relaxed pace due to a relaxed, smiling crew ---Way to go! Will be back!

Date: 09/Jul/14

Report by: Volker Baumer

From: Germany

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 2 humpback whales, pod of transient orcas, 4 Steller sea lions, group of bald eagles hunting fish, harbour seals, dolphins and First Nations settlement and pictograph. Additional Comments: Excellent trip and excellent fish soup. Very comprehensive explanations.

Date: 08/Jul/14

Report by: Judy Ryles

From: Port Hardy, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Started out on relatively calm seas with high clouds and light marine fog. Headed up to Fort Rupert to see the First Nations canoes (14 of them) gathered for the Tribal Journey north to Bella Bella. In the beautiful calm sun, ate a wonderful lunch near Gods Pocket. Dozens of noisy sea lions basking and swimming. Salmon jumping, sea gulls standing on kelp beds. Additional Comments: No whales, but a fabulous sunny day and a great lunch with fabulous captain Bill and his daughter as crew.

Date: 05/Jul/14

Report by: Peggy Varnedoe

From: Savannah, Georgia

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We left the dock under overcast skies with spirits high  excited about our adventure. Bill Mackay is delightful, his daughter, incredible and Uncle is fascinating; a wonderful crew aboard an amazing boat. We saw whales galore  humpbacks  breaching  showing off as we watched in awe. We saw huge sea lions, smaller seals, and more eagles than I could count. Additional Comments: Our passengers were an international mix  Holland, Germany, The Netherlands. All thrilled to be aboard. Lunch was delicious and I cannot imagine a more wonderful way to spend a day. This trip was a perfect 10!

Date: 06/Apr/14

Report by: Mackay's

From: Port McNeill, BC Canada

 

Getting ready for the new season! Resident killer whales usually arrive in early July! In the meantime, we have a wildlife viewing tour available on June 12, should have some humpback whales around the area then.

Date: 30/Sep/13

Report by: Patricia Wilder

From: New Westminster, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Its the season finale for the Naiad as Bill and Donna Mackay are wrapping up season 2013. After an interesting windstorm the previous day, today the winds ceased, the skies had intermittent sunshine and the humpbacks took over the day. Wow  you know youve got a good shot when you can see a humpbacks tongue and what could be tonsils! Open mouthed lunge feeding was the definite highlight. Actually, it appeared to be more of an alternate form of lunge feeding; mouth wide open, sometimes twirling in a circle as herring tried to avoid being eaten. Some humpbacks merely kept mouths open  trolling along like a live fishing net, closing their jaws when their version of a net was full. It was quite amazing to see. Also managed to see the sea lions who were quite active today as some may have been fishing, taking cues from the humpbacks. Also a wide array of birds but Ill let an expert describe which species since Im not an expert in that category. Lots of British visitors on board who I believe had an incredible humpback whale experience. Now where have those orcas gotten to?? Road tripping, I guess. Additional Comments: Thank you to Bill and Donna Mackay for their wonderful trips, hospitality and knowledge of our ocean friends. So thats a wrap for whale season 2013 as the Naiad has a slight rest from hauling around the devoted whale and dolphin people of the world. Blessings to all! Stay tuned for season 2014!

Date: 24/Sep/13

Report by: William & Carol McCarty

From: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Mystery voyage commanded by Captain Bill & The Boss! Saw: 25 humpback whales, infinite number of dolphins, harbour seals, Steller sea lions, birds  eagles (4), sea gulls (mucho), ducks, many kinds. Additional Comments: Had a great adventure, and really enjoyed the mushroom soup! Happy with the amazing sun and cloud-scape. Thank you for the memories and photos!

Date: 21/Sep/13

Report by: Mary Bluhm

From: Corpus Christi, TX, USA

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Out to Weynton Pass and Blackfish Sound and beyond. Saw sea lions, and one ostracized one who was apparently on time out for bad behaviour. A harbour seal, lots of sea birds and humpback whales. The humpbacks performed wonderfully, teasing us with blows and tails in the air. Saw an eagle nest but no eagles. Saw Pultney Point Lighthouse on Malcolm Island too. Additional Comments: Had chanterelle mushroom soup and bun for a great lunch. This is the only place we can eat chanterelle mushrooms  cant get them fresh at home, only dried. Thanks for a lovely day!

Date: 20/Sep/13

Report by: Theatre Group

From: Finland

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Best things were definitely all animals  sea lions, dolphins, bald eagles, and humpback whales! Weather was a bit rainy, but not too bad. No heavy wind. Additional Comments: Soup excellent! As well as cakes! Thanks to friendly crew.

Date: 18/Sep/13

Report by: John & Mary Whittaker

From: UK

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Steller sea lions, bald eagles, many, many orcas, humpback whales and a sooty shearwater. Additional Comments: Fantastic day  plenty of time to watch the wildlife. We were lucky to have Marie on board; she and Bill gave us so much information. The food was so good and most welcome. A very friendly tour.

Date: 17/Sep/13

Report by: Natascha

From: Australia

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) The whole trip was a highlight! It started before the tour actually took off with 2 bears! Then, of course, the orcas stole the show and there were more than I could have hoped for. The white-sided dolphins surfing on the waves of the boat and jumping by the hundreds were fantastic. The humpbacks were very majestic and the sea lions great to watch arguing on the rocks very loudly! Additional Comments: Very friendly crew. All I can say is thank you for the magical day; I will treasure the memory for many years!

Date: 14/Sep/13

Report by: Sally

From: London, England

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We started out with whales by braille as Bill says. Thick fog everywhere! Bill still managed to find orcas (As and Is), humpbacks, dolphins and sunshine. A fabulous day enjoyed by everyone on board. Additional Comments: Our third trip this visit and every trip was superb. Thank you to Bill, Nicole and Donna and all of their willing helpers. See you soon  we hope.

Date: 13/Sep/13

Report by: Hal Bopp

From: Bakersfield, CA, USA

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We had a pretty foggy day  it never really lifted, although we had a few glimpses of the beautiful scenery. There were plenty of orcas from two different groups, Pacific white-sided dolphins, Dalls porpoise and sea lions. We hear a distinct humpback blow, but, darn that fog! Additional Comments: I appreciate Capt. Bills great sense of humour and the crews respect for this wonderful environment. Hope you continue to have happy sailing!

Date: 12/Sep/13

Report by: Rochelle

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) - A group of a couple hundred dolphins; - Orcas breaching; - Interactions between orcas and dolphins; - Group of sea lions sun bathing; - Humpback whales, which was cool because you could hear them before you saw them; - Neat to see the towns, houses, mountains and islands from the water. Such a beautiful view! Additional Comments: Captain and crew were very welcoming and kind. Definitely a wonderful experience and a perfect way to spend a sunny day; looking forward to returning next season.

Date: 11/Sep/13

Report by: Julia Thoms

From: Whale and Dolphin Conservation, UK

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Orcas, humpbacks and Pacific white-sided dolphins  what a morning! Ive worked as fundraising and communications manager at WDC for 13 years and today I saw my first orcas! Ive been working to protect these guys for so long and now Ive got to say hi on their home territory. They were pretty busy fending off the dolphins who were staging an ambush with salmon-theft on their minds, but I can return to my desk in the UK with renewed passion after visiting their beautiful home. We just have to make sure that logging, fish farming and oil and gas dont drive them away  these waters belong to them.

Date: 09/Sep/13

Report by: Tino & Ans Poels

From: The Netherlands

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We saw a big group of dolphins (more than 300), a lot of orcas which were breaching (jumping), and big sea lions. The fishing boats were very interesting, now we have seen how they work. And last, but not least , we also saw humpback whales. Oh, nearly forgot, we also saw two black bears in the morning on the way to Hidden Cove Lodge. Additional Comments: Bill and Nicole give an excellent explanation. The soup was delicious! We are looking forward to the next time!

Date: 07/Sep/13

Report by: Kate Brauer

From: Sointula, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Fogged in with sea lions and dolphins, then off to the north side of Malcolm Island to catch the A34s, A36s, A30s and I15s as they made their way past Lizard Point and on to Bere Point. We left before any rubbing occurred. All kinds of activity  baby breaches, 5 in a row! Fishing, tail lobbing, the works! Additional Comments: Amazing food and fun company as always!

Date: 06/Sep/13

Report by: Mark & Felicia Chandler

From: Houston, Texas

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) This was our 5th trip and it was as expected  fantastic! We first encountered heavy fog and then we were suddenly surrounded by about 300 white-sided dolphins! Captain Bill knew we needed to go close to shore after that to find Orcas, as thats where they like to hide from the dolphins. We spent several hours watching the A30s and I15s play snooze and just being generally beautiful. There might have also been some X-rated activity going on, but as it was taking place underwater, it remained a family friendly viewing event. We also saw lots of sea lions sunbathing and several humpback whales up close. Additional Comments: Lunch was great, especially loved the Nanaimo bars. We enjoyed Captain Bills colourful adventure stories! See you tomorrow. P.S. Keep up the good work Nicole, I know youll make a difference!

Date: 05/Sep/13

Report by: Kim & the clan

From: Bowser, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Beautiful weather  clearing up just to watch the beautiful whales and the rest of the wildlife (sea lions, eagles). Enjoyed the info from Nicole  very enlightening! Youre so interesting, Nicole. Additional Comments: Thank you so much Nicole and Captain Bill!

Date: 04/Sep/13

Report by: Chantal and Thierry

From: Paris, France

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Wonderful day on this boat! We saw two family groups of orca (I15s and A30s), hundreds of Pacific white-sided dolphins, nine humpback whales, and sea lions. Additional Comments: The lunch was very good. The dolphin ballet was fantastic!

Date: 01/Sep/13

Report by: Alex Shorre

From: Port Hardy, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Lots to see! Lots of whales, eagles, sea lions, humpbacks, fish. Superb viewing, great way to see and enjoy our coast for a day trip. Second trip for some customers, just as good as first time. Great hosts, informative and relaxed atmosphere. Enjoyed the food, it was just perfect. Informative about the area, which was great. Tons of time to take great shots of the wildlife. Additional Comments: Recommend highly to people wanting to do something on the North Island. First time for myself, will definitely do again. Great for family; everyone had a great time! Thank you!

Date: 31/Aug/13

Report by: Kimberly Madore

From: Los Angeles, California

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We followed 2 clans of orcas to the orca reserve. Then joined a pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins as we headed west and met up with 3 or 4 humpback whales near Queen Charlotte Strait. Steller sea lions sunbathing on the rocks greeted us noisily while we waited for the humpbacks to resurface and fluke. Additional Comments: We had such a great time! The staff was friendly, informative and entertaining. Lunch was great and the wildlife and scenery magical. We came to Vancouver Island to see orcas and the entire trips was completely worth it!

Date: 30/Aug/13

Report by: Sandi Murdock

From: Richland, WA

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) It was a glorious day on the water! We met up with the A30 pod of orcas working their way down Johnstone Strait, who soon joined up with the A8s. The combined group traveled in a resting pattern with a bit of foraging along the way. We left the A30s and A8s to stop for lunch; we enjoyed our meal and watched while a variety of wildlife passed by. We traveled down to Robson bight where we met up with the I15s who were foraging and getting fairly active. We saw a few spy hops, some tail lobs and socializing behaviour before they turned on the speed and stared porpoising back up the Strait. We ended the day looking at a group of Steller sea lions hauled out on an outcropping, then watched 5 humpback whales fluking and foraging in the calm afternoon light. Additional Comments: What a great day of whale watching! Thanks Bill and Leah for a spectacular trip!

Date: 29/Aug/13

Report by: Becky West

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) In Weynton Pass, we saw 14 humpback whales and 30 Steller sea lions. In Blackfish Sound, we saw two pods of orcas, the A8s and A30s (about 15 orcas in total), and a handful of dolphins. Perfect whale watching weather, a couple of sunny breaks to start and no rain, except on the run back to the dock. Lots of noisy sea birds; common murres, rhinoceros auklets, fork-tailed storm petrels, phalaropes, marbled murrelets and more! Additional Comments: Today was a totally awesome day aboard the Naiad Explorer. It was like the whales were popping up all around us saying weve been everywhere man&, then, next thing you know another one is popping up somewhere else. Great entertainment, great company, great food and a lot of new, special moments. Thanks, Bill, Nicole and Leah for sharing your knowledge and experience!

Date: 28/Aug/13

Report by: Jennifer Vogt

From: Errington, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We had an amazing day! We stayed near where Johnstone Strait meets Queen Charlotte Strait most of the time as there was so much activity! We saw many humpback whales and 2-3 pods (approximately 40 in total) of orca, along with Pacific white-sided dolphins all together in the same area! We got to see some really cool social behaviour when 2 unrelated pods met up and lots of humpback tail splashing and breaching, orca spy hopping and baby calves having fun jumping and tail splashing! Beautiful to see. Additional Comments: It was a dream comes true for me! Ive lived on Vancouver Island for 14 years and never seen dolphins or orcas before! The Mackay family are fantastic hosts, I highly recommend their tours. It was the best whale watching tour Ive ever been on!

Date: 27/Aug/13

Report by: Christina Matchett

From: Comox, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Today I went on an amazing whale watching adventure. It wasn`t long until we stopped to watch a passing male orca (A55) and many others along Johnstone Strait. We also saw lots of different types of birds like petrels and auklets. After watching orcas and jumping pink salmon at Blinkhorn, we stopped and watched more orcas and humpback whales at Bold Head. Bill taught us all about the history of identifying orcas and the sounds that all of the different clans make. Later on we saw bald eagles, male sea lions, Dall`s porpoises, and more birds! Nikki was always there to share more interesting facts about what we saw. Additional Comments: What an awesome day and a great way to spend my allowance (11 years old)! I`ll be back!!

Date: 26/Aug/13

Report by: Nicole

From: Germany

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We went southeast to Stubbs Island where we saw humpback whales. Then we went to the west near Port Hardy and took a break from searching to have lunch  a lovely seafood soup. Then we saw them  a family group of 9 lovely orcas. The family group was the A34s. We followed along with them. Jumping, playing, look-around spy hops. Bill told us everything about these beautiful animals. On the way back to Port McNeill, we also saw sea otters and a black bear on the shore. Additional Comments: It was a lovely day with a lovely family. Thanks for this nice birthday trip. I hope we will come back. No minute on board the boat was a lost minute. Thank you so much for this amazing day.

Date: 25/Aug/13

Report by: Neil, Rhonda & Morgan Amundson

From: Calgary, Alberta

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Had a great day on the water. Spotted a black bear on the beach en route to our first stop at Hidden Cove. Next we came across a sea otter, which was followed by our first encounter with the A34 pod, family of 9 orcas. We then travelled to another island to watch 3 transient orcas; then stopped for lunch next to a few seals who were casually swimming close to shore. After lunch, we headed to look for more orcas but were delayed by stops due to humpback, sea lion and porpoise traffic. Typical& We then came back near the pod of orcas. As we approached, a group of 4 orcas that had been apparently surfing in the waves, began surfacing directly behind the boat. Outstanding views and photo ops! Finally headed to see a large group of Pacific white-sided dolphins&stopping once more on the way to watch several more humpback whales! Watched the dolphins for a while as they swam, fished and jumped (along with a sea lion). As we left the reef area ALL of the dolphins began chasing the boat. Additional Comments: Awesome day! Many thanks!!

Date: 24/Aug/13

Report by: Fabian Merle

From: Germany

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Today our trip started by picking up a tribe of First Nation people, who were very kind and invited us to visit their village. It was very interesting and informative to learn about their views of life and habits. So we started our trip from the village out on to the sea. We saw a lot of humpback whales making nice moves and scaring the sea gulls. In addition, we saw a pod of orcas swimming by and doing their nap. We made some beautiful pictures and enjoyed the lovely scenery! The hot soup gave us warmth back to resist the healthy sea air. Additional Comments: Talking and eating with the First Nation people was beautiful. They were very kind and we talked a lot about each others way of life and exchanged email to stay in contact Thank you very much! It was a great trip!

Date: 23/Aug/13

Report by: Peter & Susan Rowley

From: Corbridge, England

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Close up viewing of orca, humpback whales and Pacific white-sided dolphins. Nicoles knowledge about the birds was invaluable to a rookie like me. Rhinoceros auklets, fork-tailed storm petrel, etc. were seen. Additional Comments: Fabulous voyage with great leadership and advice. The food was great and very welcome on a not so warm day. Thanks very much.

Date: 21/Aug/13

Report by: Sue & Bob Brown

From: Nanaimo, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) The weather is gorgeous today and bill and Nicole Mackay were so hospitable and great teachers about all whales and marine life. We had soup, buns, dessert and drinks (complimentary). We saw so many orca, humpbacks, and porpoises that we lost count. A fledgling bald eagle took his maiden flight. Oh, what a wonderful day! Thank you Donna, Bill and Nicole Mackay. Additional Comments: Thank you, Donna, for arranging a ride to the boat for me. It really meant a lot. See you all again next year!

Date: 20/Aug/13

Report by: Janet Waines

From: Vancouver, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Light fog lifted to brilliant, warm sun. Off Malcolm Island and Swanson Island we were treated to a spectacular display of orcas and humpbacks. The herring were leaping, petrels feasting and Dalls porpoises playing. What a fabulous, memorable day. Sea lions too! Additional Comments: Bill and Nicole Mackay provided loads of interesting information about all that we saw in a low-key, friendly manner. Thanks for the laughs, Bill! Lunch was yummy. I would highly recommend this tour.

Date: 19/Aug/13

Report by: Brett Miller

From: Los Angeles

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Orcas, porpoises and humpback whales! Big male orca just off the side of the boat  beautiful seeing it below the surface of the water. And a bear upon request, especially for Mrs. Miller! Additional Comments: We love Bill! Super fun and informative. Bills got a real knack for finding the wildlife!

Date: 18/Aug/13

Report by: Magda Barron

From: San Francisco

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) In Queen Charlotte Strait  what didnt we see?! Pods of orcas with a number of glorious males, humpback whales  all approached our boat; the underwater calls were special. They all stayed with us during our entire excursion. A very special, fun-filled, satisfying experience. The best, far beyond all expectations!! Oh, and did I mention the mama bear and her cub on the beach and the three bull sea lions huddled on a slab rock& And on top of this unforgettable experience, we had a gourmet lunch with home-made soup and delectable pastries. Additional Comments: There is no other option for whale watching than to do it with Bill Mackay  if you want the best! Ill be back again! Thank you.

Date: 17/Aug/13

Report by: Monia & Lars

From: Germany

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We went out with no reports of orcas, so it would be a challenge to find them. But after we encountered a few humpbacks, sea lions and a sea otter, Capt. Bill found the A30 pod of orcas in Gordon Channel. They were very playful and active. Breaching, spy hops and they were very vocal underwater. Orcas and whale watchers had a great time. Additional Comments: We enjoyed the whole time with Mackay Whale Watching. They are always friendly, so that you feel very welcome. Soup and snacks are very delicious. It was a very great day and it was a pleasure to be on the Naiad. Thank you very much!

Date: 16/Aug/13

Report by: Kim Dixon

From: San Franscisco area, California

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We saw a lot today. First we traveled east and met up with the A30s orca group who were foraging in the tidal current. After that, we welcomed Helena & Paul Spong aboard, and they showed us where Springer was released at Don Chong Bay aka Springers Bay. Then we witnessed humpback whales lunge feeding; we also found northern sea lions hauled out on the rocks. We also came upon numerous humpbacks that were roaming about. Additional Comments: It was a beautiful day out with the Mackays today. Thanks!

Date: 15/Aug/13

Report by: Barbara Kennedy

From: Armstrong, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) It was an Award Winning Day with the Award Winning Mackay Team! We found the A30 pod of orcas in Johnstone Strait; after lunch we headed to Blackfish Sound where we were treated to a display put on by about 100 white-sided dolphins, where they harassed one poor, unsuspecting humpback! In all, 7 humpbacks provided us with entertainment as they do what humpbacks love to do in a totally calm environment. We encountered many different species of seabirds; to include a huge bait ball of gulls feasting on some unsuspecting small fish. Additionally, we saw a group of Steller sea lions (Northern). Oh yes, a black bear and cubs lurked on the beach as our totally international group oohed and ahed. All in all, there was a WOW around every corner on todays trip. The weather was spectacular and added to the atmosphere. Additional Comments: A very big Thank You to the terrific Mackay pod for this splendid trip. From the lovely Donna who greeted us on our arrival to skipper Bill who imparted his expert knowledge, charm and humour and his first mate, Nicole  Thank You. You have provided us with a fabulous day and some terrific memories. Well be back!

Date: 14/Aug/13

Report by: Maria Dielmann

From: Winnipeg, MB

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Weynton Pass  10 humpback whales (breaching, jumping, etc.); 11 orcas, Northern sea lions, birds, eagles, rhinoceros auklets, etc. Additional Comments: The crew was GREAT; so very friendly. The captain is so funny (love that); the service was best ever, the food was fresh, the boat was nice and clean, warm. Thank you. The kids loved it too.

Date: 13/Aug/13

Report by: Stephen Tabor, Dakota Hofmann & Linda Tabor

From: Westbank, Kamloops & Port Hardy, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We saw lots of Orcas and Humpbacks. Orca 101 was very educational. The whole day was fun, no rushing around, took our time. The weather turned out great. Food was very yummy! We got some good pictures. Crew was wonderful. All in all, we had a whale of a time! Additional Comments: We will definitely be recommending this tour to others. Three cheers to Bill, Nicole and Ron. Thanks a lot!

Date: 11/Aug/13

Report by: Daisy Rosenblum

From: Berkely, California

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We saw humpbacks, orcas (both resident and transient), sea lions, seals, eagles and had a truly wonderful day with the magnificent wildlife around northern Vancouver Island. But what made the trip really special was the deep knowledge of Bill and Nicole Mackay about the wildlife and especially about the orcas, which they shared with us  both in orca 101 and in casual conversation. Additional Comments: I have traveled on the Naiad several times on my trips in and out of Kingcome for work (as a linguist) and I know how beloved the Mackays are by the First Nations people of this area. Id never had a chance to take a whale watching trip on the Naiad though, and I am so happy my family and I got to have this very special experience. Cant wait to come back and do it next year! Thanks so much. PS: I really love that Bill knows the Kwakwala name for orca, and that Donna uses the First Voices Kwakwala app!

Date: 10/Aug/13

Report by: Michele Wassell

From: California

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Went east down Johnstone Strait to Hanson Island and Robson bight observing four separate pods of orcas including transients (1 group) over 3 hours. Lots of Pacific white-sided dolphins and Dalls porpoises. Then headed up Queen Charlotte Strait to the north side of Malcolm Island to see another group of orcas. On the way we saw a humpback. Additional Comments: Awesome crew, lots of knowledge. Enthused with what they do. Good lunch. Another amazing day on the water  definitely be back next year. Very accommodating to everyone.

Date: 09/Aug/13

Report by: Valdez-Stewarts

From: Santa Fe, New Mexico

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) The tail flips by the humpbacks and the pod of orcas. It was awesome to watch the orcas break the surface. They move through the water so elegantly. And to discover that they are actually sleeping while they rise and descent was really a surprise. We learned a great deal and took great pleasure in witnessing these beautiful animals in the natural environment. Additional Comments: We really appreciated the vast knowledge and overall outgoing personalities of our guide and captain. Thank you so much!

Date: 08/Aug/13

Report by: Tyanna Masterman

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We saw the A30 pod of orcas out by Port Hardy and learned all about how the whales got identified. Additional Comments: This is my 3rd trip with Mackay, as I come for my birthday. I love Orcas and would like to be a marine biologist someday. I am excited for next year!

Date: 07/Aug/13

Report by: Jan Polodna

From: Olympia, WA

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We saw the A30 pod of orcas right away after we picked up some guests at Hidden Cove. There was some spy hopping and what looked like feeding behaviours. We also saw two humpback whales, bald eagles and Dalls porpoises. We had a delicious soup (clam chowder) while looking out at pristine scenery. Then, as I am writing this, we saw a bear on the beach! There were also two huge jellyfish that swam by while we were hanging out with the A30s. Additional Comments: Overall, a great trip. One we will do again!

Date: 04/Aug/13

Report by: The Bennetts

From: Port Hardy, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Loved the trip. There were so many orcas, we didnt know where to look. Many of the orcas were feeding and playing so we got to see different behaviours. We also saw one humpback whale and a couple of dolphins (I think!) Additional Comments: Great job!

Date: 03/Aug/13

Report by: Giles Roberts

From: London, UK

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Orcas seen very quickly; two pods travelling near to the shore. Humpbacks also seen feeding in rip currents. Highlights  Orca breaching, spy hopping, swimming under the boat; young orca playing with kelp. Humpback raising its head out of the water as it fed on a bait ball of fish. Additional Comments: Excellent all round. The guide gave a very informative talk. The biologist on board was friendly and answered many questions. 10/10

Date: 02/Aug/13

Report by: Jen

From: Edmonton, Alberta

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Today we had the incredible fortune to spot orcas and humpback whales  both of which we saw breaching out of the water! The orcas attempted to fend off playful dolphins, while one of their calves frolicked with them. At one of our stops, three curious sea lions swam and rolled along our boat, while the seals played shy along the shoreline and a bald eagle soared to its perch in the trees. What a fabulous adventure! Additional Comments: Thank you so much for not only the incredible trip and food, but also for your obvious passion for the wildlife and people of the North Island. What a treat to spend some time learning from and laughing with the Mackays!!

Date: 01/Aug/13

Report by: Chantal Niquette

From: Quebec

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Ocean: we saw orca, humpback whales, Dalls porpoises, sea lions (phoques!), bald eagle and nests. Water, lots of water! Very nice scenery including Telegraph Cove seen from another view where everything is so peaceful. Additional Comments: Awesome crew! Nanaimo bars for my sweet French tooth! Very entertaining with the explanations funny and friendly! Merci Bill and Nicole.

Date: 30/Jul/13

Report by: Al & Eve

From: New York City

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) At least 13 orcas; maybe more  so many we lost count; 4 humpback whales; 4 bald eagles and mother at the nest; Dalls porpoises (plenty) and sea lions. Additional Comments: 100% satisfied  well worth the price! We lingered at all sightings to thoroughly enjoy the moment! The boat was not in a rush to get us back to the dock and off the boat to replace us with more customers. Rather, the Mackay family take you in and display some pleasant, genuine hospitality. We will be back!

Date: 29/Jul/13

Report by: Cerys Savory

From: Wales

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We headed out and first saw some seals; I then saw my first whale which was a humpback, then we some orca whales with two large males. We parked up and had some lovely soup, whilst watching whales swim by. Additional Comments: I really enjoyed this trip, I didnt think I would as a 14 year old, but it turned out great. The crew are very friendly and chatty! Lovely people! Highly recommended!

Date: 28/Jul/13

Report by: Keith

From: San Diego, California

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We went to the big ocean and saw amazing things! We spent the day with a large group of orcas, the A30s. They were extremely active with breaches, spy hops and tail slaps. It was a beautiful sunny day and the captain of the Naiad always had us in the best position for photographs. We saw bald eagles and I even placed my hand on my heart and saluted&I shed a tear! We also saw a large humpback whale. Additional Comments: The staff was amazing and very knowledgeable. We received a very educational talk about the history of the area and the orcas. The boat was very clean and seemed faster and safer than other boats around us. The soup was warm and filling and the desserts were a nice way to finish the trip. We have taken many tours all over the world and this was by far the best!

Date: 26/Jul/13

Report by: The Fourniers

From: San Diego, California

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Our trip started off great when we saw a black bear, deer and bald eagle on the beach just outside of Port McNeill. We then went to Johnstone Strait where we saw the A23s and A25s pods of orcas who were initially in the reserve, but then came out and were traveling quickly. We saw one of the orcas tail slap and spyhop on several occasions. We then saw bald eagles with a baby in their nest and then several different humpback whales. We saw one without a dorsal fin and one with what appeared to be two dorsal fins. Additional Comments: Great day out on the water with the Mackays. Super comfortable, warm boat with plenty of seating available for all. The warm soup lunch was delicious and filling. The dessert platter was delicious as well! The captain and crew were super nice and very informative. The check-in process was super easy. We are so glad we booked with the Mackays. If there are whales to be found, Bill will find them. He really went the extra mile to ensure all visitors had a good time and lots of wildlife was observed. We will definitely be back and definitely book with Mackay Whale Watching! Thank you!

Date: 25/Jul/13

Report by: Cat Miles

From: Bournemouth, England

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Johnstone Strait and Queen Charlotte Strait where we saw orcas, humpback whales, minke whale, porpoises, eagles and black bears! Humpbacks diving and minkes lunge feeding were the highlights! Additional Comments: Very informative guides! Answered all our questions. Soup and cake was great too! A friendly, funny and factual adventure!

Date: 23/Jul/13

Report by: Erik Theunissen

From: The Netherlands

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We went up north and we saw orcas, orcas and orcas! This was our fifth trip with Bill and Nicole, and it was awesome again. We will come back again, for sure! Additional Comments: Everything was perfect again, even the weather! Thanks a lot and see you again!

Date: 22/Jul/13

Report by: Arnstel Augsburg

From: Denmark

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Great storytelling and info by captain! Baby (ok, 3-year old) orca with mom was beautiful. Humpback whale with baby looked incredible when diving and we could see the tail. Highlight was seeing orca while listening to them! Additional Comments: Thank you for an awesome trip! It actually brought tears to my eyes when seeing several orcas close to the boat while listening to their vocals. An unforgettable day!

Date: 21/Jul/13

Report by: Dirk & Heike

From: Germany

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) - Family of orcas - Humpback whales - Sea lions - Harbour seals - Bald eagles (flying & nesting) Additional Comments: Thanks for this special trip and warm welcome. See you soon for some jumps and breaches!

Date: 20/Jul/13

Report by: Hunter

From: San Diego, California

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Today, we headed out to Malcolm Point to find the A36s. They were so amazing to watch! After spending a while with them, we had lunch as we looked for Pacific white-sided dolphins and Dalls porpoise. We watched the dolphins playing in the wake, which was really awesome to see! Before heading back, we watched two humpbacks, some sea lions and bald eagles all at once. It was a really beautiful day! Additional Comments: What an awesome week this has been! Its been so beautiful out on the water. This really is the best whale watch Ive ever been on. Looking forward to coming back up in September!

Date: 19/Jul/13

Report by: Irene & Coen

From: The Netherlands

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Unbelievable!! We went east to the protected area, where orcas come to rub their bellies and saw 6 orcas (2 different pods) just outside the area. On big male turned up just behind the boat! We watched the whales for a long time; from a distance we saw the little ones breach several times. We also heard the beautiful mi-auw noise with the hydrophone. When we went back, 2 of them came close by. Amazingly, the little one even popped up just beside the boat several times!! Then the big one decided it might be fun to have a look and they showed up together. It was awesome! On the way back, we saw several humpback whales, sometimes showing their tail; you could hear them breathe. We saw seals, 2 sea lions, porpoises and eagles. Additional Comments: The skipper told us so much about the animals and how they are now protected. It was the most amazing day, thank you so much!!

Date: 18/Jul/13

Report by: The Fournier's

From: California

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Saw two killings by Transient killer whales! They ate Dalls porpoises  its the food chain. We also saw eagles, sea lions and humpback whales. Was a busy day, everywhere we looked, something was happening whether it was a humpback rolling about or killer whales on the hunt! There was hot soup, great desserts and a very friendly crew! Additional Comments: Loved it! We had such a great time and will definitely be coming back!

Date: 17/Jul/13

Report by: Nadine Baumann

From: Switzerland

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We went up north to the end of Vancouver Island. First we saw an eagle catch a fish, then saw a lot of sea lions on the rock and in the water. Just before lunch we saw two big humpbacks chilling around. Amazing! Saw a third humpback right at the lighthouse and we also saw sea otters! Already on our way back, we turned around and saw two awesome groups of resident orcas with two babies! Absolutely amazing! Additional Comments: Thanks to the good spotters (Nadine and Luca) and to the fabulous crew, who were really flexible and generous to have us more than 7 hours on board and make us so happy! Thank you soooooooooooo much!!

Date: 16/Jul/13

Report by: Susan Abbot

From: Langley, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We boarded the boat and were given interesting info by Captain Bill. We headed north and saw incredibly beautiful scenery, mom and dad and baby sea lions. It was great to watch the young sea lions playing together in the water with their mom occasionally telling them to put on a good show for us. We saw a humpback whale gracefully gliding on its quest for a tasty meal. On two different occasions we watched dolphins playing. For a short while we watched eagles swooping down to catch their meal while the sea gulls and rhinoceros auklets kept a respectful distance. Additional Comments: Captain Bill is such a great source of info and was willing to share some of his experiences in the last thirty years trying to make this area a safe habitat for some of Gods amazing life. From the morning fog making distant islands appear mysteriously, to the snow-capped mountains highlighted in the afternoon sun, it was a delightful day. Thank you.

Date: 15/Jul/13

Report by: Stephanie Rose

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) In Johnstone Strait we saw 2 resident killer whales, then off of Bold Head we saw many humpbacks, and throughout the trip we also saw white-sided dolphins, seals, eagles and Dalls porpoises. Another highlight was Bills awesome stories!! Additional Comments: Beautiful day; thanks for the awesome trip! The crew and my co-passengers thought the seafood chowder was totally deelish!

Date: 13/Jul/13

Report by: Peter Kroeker

From: Ladner, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We went up past Port Hardy and saw the A36 killer whales. After lunch, we saw Steller sea lions and some humpback whales with their calves. Additional Comments: Overall, an awesome experience!

Date: 11/Jul/13

Report by: Hanna Norlin

From: Sweden

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We saw one (or two) humpback whale(s) and believe it or not, 100 dolphins or so playing in the wake from the boat, jumping around. Fabulous! We also saw two seals resting on a cliff. Additional Comments: This was a nice day. Thank you!

Date: 10/Jul/13

Report by: Meg Withers

From: Atlanta, GA, USA

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) A family, 2 orca whales (A36 brothers); 2 humpback whales; 1 minke whale; pod of dolphins; sea lion; harbour seals. I learned a lot! Additional Comments: Celebrated my 17th birthday (July 9). The desserts were fantastic!!!

Date: 09/Jul/13

Report by: Shalini, Aruta & Navin

From: Vancouver, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) The weather was great. Not a lot of wind. The sun came out in the afternoon. We saw humpback whales  breaching; about six humpback whales. Saw sea lions and we saw at least 10 orcas (killer whales), and one baby orca. We saw eagles and hawks. Additional Comments: I enjoyed my conversation with our hosts (Nicki). The soup was good and so were the desserts!

Date: 04/Jul/13

Report by: David Baumgart

From: Bellevue, WA, USA

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We headed north, northwest of Port Hardy, all the way to Pine Island, just east of Cape Scott. Sunny skies, fleecy clouds, cool northerly breeze. The first humpback, just off of Port Hardy appeared to be injured  we observed for about 15 minutes, then we headed to the crossroads with Bates Passage. We saw about 6 humpbacks in the passage  singles, plus mother and calf pairs. Searched for sea otters while having lunch (steak and potato soup  deelish!). Then we turned east and spotted another pair of humpbacks. Across the main navigation channel, we came to sea lion rock  about 6 big males with one dominant bull, overseeing a harem of about 40. Then a smaller colony. For me, the highlight was eagle rock (10 adults and juveniles) and then a classic scene of a swarm of gulls, a flock of ducks diving below and an eagle, all in a furious scrum of life and death fighting over a school of herring (herring ball). Additional Comments: Nicky and her dad, Captain Mackay were skillful and delightful hosts, taking excellent care of us passengers. Thank you!

Date: 27/Jun/13

Report by: the Mackay's

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

We had the "Grand Circle Tour" today with the staff from Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw School! Within 15 minutes of leaving the dock in Port Hardy, we encountered the A36's; two resident killer whale brothers! During this day, we also saw a sea otter, a lot of sea lions, Dall's porpoises and nine humpback whales! Visited Blunden Harbour, and went by Gwayasdums, Mimquimlees and New Vancouver. A fully wonderful day!!

Date: 15/Jun/13

Report by: the Mackays

From: Port McNeill, BC Canada

 

We're getting ready for a new season of whale watching! We eagerly anticipate the arrival of the northern resident killer whales! And, if you've been wondering what we've been up to since last season, please check out our Facebook page (button at the bottom of this page)!

Date: 30/Sep/12

Report by: Terry Goble

From: Naturetrek

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Its hard to pick a highlight. The orcas were superb, we were able to watch a variety of behaviours, such as wave riding, spy hopping and breaching. However, seeing the head and mouth of a humpback whale was also special  great trip!! Best bit however was the fork-tailed storm petrel! Additional Comments: It was great to have the background information to the orca studies and hearing the vocalizations also enhanced the experience. Just want to end by saying the group enjoyed the trip very much; somehow, five hours just flew by. And this from John & Pam (Naturetrek clients): The whole experience was absolutely mind blowing and was the best day of our holiday.

Date: 25/Sep/12

Report by: Barbara Keeler

From: Plano, Texas

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Orcapalooza! Whales to the left, whales to the right, whales under the boat. Marvelous sun, mysterious fog  we had it all. A humpback breached behind members of A pod chasing fish. Dalls porpoise streaking around, shearwaters buzzing by. Seals, sea lions, auklets, fork-tailed petrel, loons and murres and great company. Additional Comments: The corn and crab chowder topped it off. Bill & Donna know how to bring em back happy!

Date: 18/Sep/12

Report by: Pete

From: UK

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Many sightings of orca; very large males and numerous family groups. Listening to their calls was fascinating. Tail slapping was a special highlight and one youngster went under the boat! Later, 6 or more humpbacks, some very close, put on a great display. Corralled fish; humpbacks sounding off at (probably) sea lions. Additional Comments: A very misty day, but that in no way spoiled a magical trip. Commentary was good fun and hospitality was excellent too.

Date: 16/Sep/12

Report by: Dan, Laurel, John, Jari & Shawn

From: Beaumont, Alberta

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Whale watching tour in Johnstone Strait with Mackay Whale Watching. We saw humpback whales, Dalls porpoise, orcas, dolphins. There were sightings throughout the whole tour. An indescribable experience was when we saw a humpback whale breach several times. Additional Comments: Captain Bill and his crew were outstanding. We have done several whale tours with other companies and this was the best. Well be back!! Mackay Whale Watching is outstanding. The crew are knowledgeable, friendly, and clearly passionate about what they do. An amazing trip. Highly recommended!

Date: 15/Sep/12

Report by: Sarah Powell

From: Victoria, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) As we left the dock this morning, overcast skies cleared, to a blue sky sunny morning. Our first stop of the day took us to the top of Blackfish sound. Here, we encountered a large pod of about 40 orca whales. They put on a great show, playing with Pacific white-sided dolphins and feeding on salmon. Among the orca were also feeding humpback whales. After a great show from the whales we moved on to the Plumper Islands and saw a magnificent group of Steller sea lions, harbour seals and also a few bald eagles along the shore. It was a beautiful day of great wildlife viewings and breathtaking scenery. A great day on the water!

Date: 14/Sep/12

Report by: Sharlene Shaikh

From: Abu Dhabi, UAE

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Sea lions, orcas (resident, multiple groups mucking about, spyhopping); bald eagles (2 stern looking), seals, chinook salmon, humpback whales; not entirely sure where we went&basically kidnapped&. Additional Comments: Really great, informative tour, friendly and funny!! Delicious soup provided with other goodies. So much to see and Ill definitely recommend to oil folks in Dubai and Abu-Dhabi. Thanks for the great tour!!

Date: 12/Sep/12

Report by: Lee Morgan

From: England

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Transient and resident orcas on the same trip!! Humpbacks feeding! And a dolphin spectacle we will never forget. What are you guys on! We even managed a few porpoises too. A truly perfect day on the water. Additional Comments: A fabulously fun boat, great food, great fun. And loads of great information too. You guys really know your stuff. Thanks!

Date: 10/Sep/12

Report by: Jo McFarlane

From: Edinburgh, Scotland

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Surrounded by lunging, foraging! Humpback whales, mouths agape, herring flying out of the water, birds clustered all around and a boat full of amazed whale watchers, mouths equally agape, with nothing to say but Wow! Never to be forgotten. Note from Captain: We also saw 3 transient killer whales (T-10s) that eventually made their way past Port McNeill, heading west.

Date: 09/Sep/12

Report by: Josh McInnes

From: Victoria, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Amazing show with A38 (male killer whale), he approached the boat and was actively foraging. Amazing show of the A30, I 15 and G3 pods of killer whales. Amazing calls were produced thank to Captain Bill. We had Steller sea lions and 6 humpback whales that were very active. One of the best whale watching experiences!

Date: 08/Sep/12

Report by: Joel

From: Miami, FL

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) This is the top trip you can take. The crew, the boat, the food, etc., etc. We saw numerous orcas, some seals (a lot) and many humpback whales  several up close and personal. Additional Comments: This is the outfitter you need  dont need to look elsewhere. I came all the way from Miami and the four hour trip was worth it!

Date: 07/Sep/12

Report by: Tom & Lamorna Smith

From: London, UK

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Foggy morning cleared to clear blue skies from lunchtime onwards. An amazing start with hundreds of Pacific white-sided dolphins surrounding the boat. Onwards to the whales  we saw so many orcas  so exciting. They were all around the boat and some even popped up beside the boat to surprise us. Breathtaking! All capped off with two enormous humpback whales who dived three times for us displaying their huge tails! What a treat for our honeymoon! Additional Comments: Top lunch too! Expert commentary and fun from the team. Thanks so much.

Date: 06/Sep/12

Report by: Alisha Fuller

From: Jamaica

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) There are no words to describe the utterly extraordinary experience that has been whale watching with Mackays. Hailing from Jamaica, we researched for over a year to find the best whale watching company in the world. The reputation of Mackay precedes the company, and we were not disappointed. On possibly the most tranquil day I have experienced, we were surrounded by a pod of around 15 majestic orcas. We watched with awe as they hunted, frolicked, relaxed and basked in the crystal clear waters. The background of island and islets added to the perfection. In addition to orcas we were mesmerized by sea lions, seals, humpback whales and eagles. Additional Comments: The captain and crew were also a pleasure. Without a doubt  one of the most fantastic days of my life!

Date: 05/Sep/12

Report by: Sandra Steuri

From: Switzerland

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) - The A30 orca family - The humpback whales who made fun with us (constant breaching!) - The dolphins jumped out of the water - The stinky sea lions on the islets Additional Comments: Thank you very much. It was an amazing trip with a great crew.

Date: 04/Sep/12

Report by: Christine & Stuart Beresford

From: London, England

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) From Hidden Cove, we headed into Weynton Passage and met some spunky white-sided dolphins. They left us to bother a humpback whale. We then headed into Blackfish Sound and found A38 (male killer whale). We saw some Steller sea lions at the Plumpers and then found the I31 pod of killer whales and the rest of the A30s. After a scrumptious lunch, we went out into Weynton again and saw more orcas, dolphins and humpbacks, 3 sleeping whales in a resting line until the dolphins caught up with us and woke them up. We also saw a lone Steller sea lion swim by. Additional Comments: We really enjoyed the whole day and look forward to coming out again tomorrow. Thank you so much.

Date: 03/Sep/12

Report by: Monia & Lars

From: Germany

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) At first we saw Pacific white-sided dolphins which were surfing in the waves. After that we encountered many killer whales (A30s, A36s with G17s and I15s in the distance; and perhaps more). They were all over the place in different groups. Blackney (A38) surprised us when he surfaced right next to the boat. At the end of the trip we saw humpback whales, sea lions, harbour seals and two black bears (a mom with her cub). Additional Comments: We had a great time with the Mackays. Everyone was very friendly and shared stories about the whales. We enjoyed the trip, especially the soup while observing the whales.

Date: 29/Aug/12

Report by: Steve Storrs

From: Divide, Colorado, USA

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Started out with orcas in the fog, ended with humpbacks whales in the sun. In the middle were sea lions and many different sea birds. Probably more than 200 orca sightings and at least 70 humpbacks. (This is where editing kicks in, Steve  you were watching the I15 pod of killer whales, which has 11 family members, and there were about 5 humpback whales. Bill says Steve was in the fog even when it cleared.) Additional Comments: Great crew with powerful amounts of knowledge. Good pea soup.

Date: 28/Aug/12

Report by: Felipe

From: Germany

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Hidden Cove, Robson Bight  saw orcas, Steller sea lions, bald eagles, humpback whales, harbour seals, white-sided dolphins, and Dalls porpoise. Additional Comments: This was a wonderful present for my 9th birthday. It was a great day and the most impressive moment was when the humpback whale came up with its mouth wide open in order to eat the fishes. Thank you very much for this great adventure!

Date: 27/Aug/12

Report by: The High Family

From: Dunnville, ON

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) To watch and hear orca in natures playground was an amazing experience! Hours of incredible sights of humpback whales, sea lions, orca and birds and more was the perfect family outing. Additional Comments: Thanks to Bill and Tyson for an insightful and fun-filled day.

Date: 26/Aug/12

Report by: Jayne Dobner

From: Worcester, UK

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Only one word for a trip with Mackays  Amazing¬ long after we left Port McNeill orcas almost everywhere. I15 pod spread across the straits  hydrophone excellent eeyaw sounds of G clan  FAB. Lunch with orcas all around the Naiad. A truly amazing day, will be back soon!! Additional Comments: Dalls porpoise and white-sided dolphins also seen on todays trip. Weather was good and amazing flat seas made excellent viewing and blow spotting easier.

Date: 25/Aug/12

Report by: Wendy Glos

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) What didnt we see! First a Kodak moment with a black bear, doe and 2 fawns together on a beach. Then the ocean mammal fiesta began  a convergence of several orca pods, including a mama feeding her calf and spyhops, a bunch of sea lions grumbling over their individual boundaries on a rock, hundreds of white-sided dolphins surrounding us and riding in our wake as we moved away, then humpbacks fluking and slapping their flukes and pectoral fins. The nature show today was nonstop! Additional Comments: The Mackay team is tops! Captain Bill kept us all smiling and everyone shared knowledge and stories about what we were seeing. Yummy halibut soup, rolls, and sweets kept our tummies happy and the memories will last a lifetime! For all this, a big thank you!

Date: 24/Aug/12

Report by: Ruth Begg

From: Quatsino, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Picked up passengers at Alert Bay and Hidden Cove. Found and followed I15 pod of killer whales  big male with a couple of females. Turned around with the orcas who were napping and very relaxed. Headed to Stubbs Island and found a rock-full of Steller sea lions and then found humpback whales!! Came across a humpback calf (born this year) playing with a bit of kelp while Mum was feeding in-shore. Additional Comments: Once again, a fantastic trip. This is always a highlight of our summer holiday. The soup was delicious and is always much needed after watching the magnificent orcas! Thank you for your knowledge and excitement  we will be coming back for years to come!!

Date: 22/Aug/12

Report by: Chris & Trish Hunt

From: Calgary, Alberta

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We left Port McNeill and headed N.W. as this was the direction that the orcas were heading yesterday evening. After a good time we passed a Steller sea lion rookery with many wives and kids, huge mammals diving off the rocks. Stayed about 20 minutes watching this marvel. Then we continued northwest, upon a report that orcas were about. Saw one, then two, then many including a very large humpback whale, then many close encounters of orcas coming from all directions. Had a great lunch followed by a fly past of several white-sided dolphins escorting a large orca. Then more encounters with sea lions in open ocean with fish in its mouth. In all, wonderful wildlife experience made better by wonderful guests including a 20 month old boy from Paris, called Valentino, and Helen, a bear study volunteer on time off from her bear studies north of here on the mainland. Additional Comments: Super halibut soup, roll, juices and cakes! Wow  we were truly royally treated in every way! Thank you!

Date: 21/Aug/12

Report by: Celina Fletcher

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We started off going along the coast, past Telegraph Cove. As we were going towards Swanson Island, we saw a pod of orcas  there were 2 males with huge dorsal fins! After going around an island, there was a bunch of harbour seals laying by a light beacon and a sea otter. A humpback whale surfaced in a bay  we saw five all together! There were lots more orcas; sleeping, playing with dolphins. One boy on board swore he also saw some chickens on a lone island far away. On our way back we saw more dolphins and porpoises, as well as a rock covered in sea lions growling and fighting away. Additional Comments: Best whale watching trip ever! We saw so many different animals  very exciting. Thank you so much!

Date: 20/Aug/12

Report by: Mackay family

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

Sorry, had such a good time out on the water that we forgot to get a guest to write our report for the day! Within 15 minutes of leaving the dock, we met up with killer whales (I15's)-they were travelling slowly, spyhopping, some foraging and others rubbing on the beach at Pultney Point. Great vocals by the orcas!

Date: 19/Aug/12

Report by: Barb Williams

From: Seattle, WA, USA

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Saw lots of rhinoceros auklets, two humpback whales and about seven orcas from A30 matriline. The humpback behaviour was very interesting because the one we watched stayed near the surface and didnt dive showing its flukes until late in our observation. Super experience! The orcas swam with us for miles and miles (including a calf!). It was a superb day. Additional Comments: Really enjoyed the halibut chowder and commentary throughout our journey.

Date: 18/Aug/12

Report by: the Gowans Family

From: the West

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Down Johnstone Strait, east of Telegraph Cove, and next to the orca marine reserve. Saw pod of orcas (A30s), and then in Weynton Pass saw at least 3 humpback whales and a bunch of bachelor sea lions. Awesome trip! Additional Comments: Loved the commentary of Bill  great knowledge and great stories. Nanaimo bars and carrot cake were to die for, and the CHOWDER was fantastic! The Gowans Family, all 10 of us, appreciated the day! Thanks so much.

Date: 17/Aug/12

Report by: Debbie Bishop

From: Dunedin, New Zealand

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Robson Bight  saw A30 group of killer whales; was a wonderful setting  awesome to see the young group playing and making sound that was audible to us. The stories told by Nicky and Bill were great to hear and informative. A bonus was the humpback whales; thank you for adding it on to an already successful whale watch day. Additional Comments: Nicky really did make an enormous effort to inform everyone about the whales and had some bird knowledge too. Thank you for making our trip today such a memorable one.

Date: 16/Aug/12

Report by: Whale Geek

From: USA

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Bait ball heaven! Excitement grew as gulls attacked a ball of herring from above, while murres, rhinoceros auklets and murres nabbed herring from below. Humpback whales were nearby, occasionally lunch feeding. All of a sudden, the nearby bait ball disappeared in the maw of a lunging humpback whale  perfect lighting and positioning, a photographers dream. Earlier in the day, prior to the fog clearing a minke whale repeatedly lunged after fish and bait balls near the surface. Birders on board were also happy with some large rafts of seabirds floating on calm blue seas. Other marine mammals seen today: Harbour seals and Steller sea lions. A recently fledged juvenile eagle is getting the hang of flying. The young bird was seen begging for food from its parents near the eagle nest. Additional Comments: All in all, a rewarding day on the water. Thanks to the Mackays! A great time was had by all.

Date: 15/Aug/12

Report by: Nicole

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Foggy morning, but what a beautiful afternoon! We saw three pods of killer whales today, the A30s, A25s and A23s, who were hanging out at the Robson Bight Ecological Reserve and went for a tickle on the rubbing beaches. We also saw 16 male sea lions hauled out on an islet in Weynton Pass in the fog. On our way back, we encountered three humpback whales in Cormorant Channel. Additional Comments: Received many compliments on the soup today (pea soup)  thanks to Phil and staff at the Northern Lights Restaurant!

Date: 14/Aug/12

Report by: Maureen and Bill

From: New Jersey

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Even without the orcas, it was a great day on the water! We had several sightings of humpback whales and even two minke whales. Everyone had ample opportunities to view and photograph Steller (Northern) sea lions, bald eagles, murres, auklets, phalaropes, harbour seals, and more. The weather was perfect and the company was great. What more could you ask for?! Additional Comments: Thanks for a great day, Mackays!

Date: 12/Aug/12

Report by: Isabelle Villemure

From: Shawinigan, Quebec

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) First we saw 2 minke whales, and after we saw a bunch of splashes&it was so many dolphins and they played with us for a while; and so many birds too. We saw a couple of seals and a humpback whale fluking. We saw too eagles fishing so close. We breathe so fresh air, and have a hot cup of soup in the middle of the ocean. And on the way back, we finished with a bear on the beach. Additional Comments: Thank you to Mackay family for bringing me with them today  so sweet, and Port McNeill is a lovely place. What a good tour!!!

Date: 10/Aug/12

Report by: Hayley

From: Queensland, Australia

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) I attended Mackay Whale Watching on both August 9 and 10 and found both days absolutely magnificent. The first day we were awestruck by many humpback whales and got to see some gorgeous tails. Seeing the sea lions swimming and sunning themselves in such a stunning natural environment was such a treat as was spying the majestic eagles. But of course, the biggest highlight (which was on my bucket list) was to observe the orcas. We saw up to 20 whales for most of the day. They were such a moving sight to see and they were so close. To sit in silence and watch these magnificent creatures surface and hear them breathe was something special. This cruise is definitely a must do. Additional Comments: The unexpected surprise was the colourful commentary from our captain Bill and the other generous hosts, Uncle and Nikki. Thank you for making this Aussie so happy.

Date: 09/Aug/12

Report by: Kimberley Sandve

From: Port Coquitlam, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We went to Blackfish Sound and watched multiple humpback whales. We stayed around there watching the whales and dolphins that were swimming around the humpbacks. Many, many birds in Blackfish Sound!! Afterwards, we cruised around close to the islets and saw sea lions, seals, eagles, and everything else around them! Additional Comments: Great tour! We could see so much up close. Even without the orcas in the area, our day was very exciting and everyone could see so much up close  it is much more comfortable than our zodiac! We learned so much about all the wildlife and their territories. There is always more to learn and you guys are a wealth of information! Thank you.

Date: 07/Aug/12

Report by: Joe Tomlinson

From: London, England

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We went from Port McNeill to the strait between Hanson and Swanson Island, where we saw the A30 family of orca. We saw them hunt salmon, play and sleep. We also saw a mother and calf humpback whale, possibly another humpback whale, a few harbour seals and sea lions, a lot of salmon and herring and a bald eagle in a rather strange pose! Additional Comments: The staff were knowledgeable, funny, very approachful and extremely helpful, which made the trip even more of a memorable experience. I had a fantastic day, and I think that the same goes for the vast majority, if not all, of the other passengers. Thank you very much.

Date: 06/Aug/12

Report by: Janine

From: BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We started our day in the fog, not a clue where we were! As it started to lift, we saw 2 male killer whales! It was calm and gorgeous. Two sea lions also swam close to the killer whales but we learned these orca only eat salmon, not sea lions. After lunch a mother humpback whale and her calf swam gracefully past the boat. Additional Comments: Beautiful day on a very blue calm ocean. What an experience, not to be missed! Thanks Bill and crew!

Date: 01/Aug/12

Report by: Tyson Mackay

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Today was such a wonderful day. Even the rain couldnt dampen our spirits! Non-stop whales, great eagles and even a humpback. We encountered killer whales today from each of the linguistic groups! Additional Comments: To top the day off, Captain Bill even relinquished command for the last hour of the voyage&sorry about the big dent in the hull! (just kidding!)

Date: 29/Jul/12

Report by: Alice Pyne

From: Ulverston, England

 

Actually, this report was written by Alice on July 25. Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Wow, cant believe what we saw  several pods of orcas, a pair of humpbacks, a black bear, porpoises, sea lions, seals, bald eagles, a river otter and another humpback whale. It was amazing watching the whales gently swim along by us. I loved watching the humpbacks dive down. The Orca calves were so cute! Additional Comments: Bill and Nicki were so welcoming. They are very knowledgeable and you can ask them anything. I loved sitting up front with the Captain Bill, and could do this every day. This is the last thing on my list. Im glad I saved the best til last. Bucket list. Whale Watching. BIG tick

Date: 25/Jul/12

Report by: Nicole Mackay

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Well, it was so busy and so exciting that I forgot to get someone to write a report! We saw the following orcas: the A36 boys, A11, A56 and her calf, A97. We also saw the A30s at Naka Creek heading east. On the way back, we saw 3 humpback whales, sea lions and lots of Dalls porpoises. Additional Comments: In spite of an early morning fog, a beautiful day! So calm, and the sun even came out for a bit! Another day in paradise.

Date: 23/Jul/12

Report by: Susanna

From: Sweden

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Great Captain with his daughter; a lot of humour and knowledge on the boat, and Nicky was very nice, friendly and social, willing to share knowledge and enthusiasm. Great! Also appreciated the relaxed atmosphere during the whole trip. We liked it that the boat came to Hidden Cove Lodge to pick us up and bring us back. Also liked the soup and sweet during the trip. Not to mention the beautiful nature and animals. We had a great time with the orcas. Thanks for everything! Amazing! (Susanna also wrote the report yesterday and insisted she write one today too!)

Date: 22/Jul/12

Report by: Susanna Bergvall

From: Sweden

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Killer whales (both resident and transient), humpback whales, porpoises, seals, bald eagles, and many cool and nice birds. Additional Comments: It was so cool and nice! Really nice feeling on the boat, great food and good weather.

Date: 21/Jul/12

Report by: Christine Fritz & Joe Scorca

From: upstate NY

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We went down Johnstone Strait, then back to Blackfish sound - 360º of beautiful scenery. We saw a group of three transient orcas, Dalls porpoises, harbour seals and numerous bald eagles. The highlight of the trip was seeing a humpback whale blowing, surfacing enough to see its dorsal fin, and doing three fluke splashes at different times. We also saw a number of sea birds, including northern phalaropes, rhinoceros auklets, common murres, and a harlequin duck. Additional Comments: The day was cloudy, with a sprinkling of rain during a small part of the trip. The temperature was about 14 to 15º C. The captain, admiral, and crew were fantastic! They were highly knowledgeable and taught us about the organisms we saw. It will be a trip we will always remember!! Lunch was hot soup, a crusty roll and a delectable dessert. Thank you!

Date: 20/Jul/12

Report by: Lee & Tom Bird

From: Powell River, BC

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)   Saw orcas (my first time), identified as A36's; followed one then the other for a good amount of time. Saw a couple of humpback whales with a couple of good tail flukes showing. The rapids were flowing awesome; eagles' nests, harbour seals were so cute here and there; delicious lunch.   Additional Comments: Hospitality awesome; good company, good food, good time. I don't do boats, but felt absolutely safe and secure. Captain Bill and first mate were great!

Date: 19/Jul/12

Report by: Richard Lee

From: Surrey, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We saw one minke whale, two resident orca brothers, eighteen transient orcas, some eagles, and a few porpoises trying to get away from the orcas. Additional Comments: It was an awesome day on the water; we heard the killer whales vocalizing with one another and swimming in sync. Everything on the water just looks absolutely beautiful in the sunny weather. All in all, a very informative, educational and fun experience!!

Date: 18/Jul/12

Report by: Stephanie Oliver

From: Los Angeles, CA, USA

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) ORCAS!! We saw two orca brothers and followed them for quite some time. Got lucky enough to see two humpback whales, one Minke whale, a few dolphins, some sea lions and even some bald eagles! Absolutely beautiful scenery and an incredibly knowledgeable crew, and, to our delight, the captain made the sun shine! Excellent food, too! Perfect trip! Additional Comments: We really enjoyed ourselves&couldnt have been better!

Date: 15/Jul/12

Report by: Alicia Tallack

From: Vancouver, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) So many highlights! We saw a humpback whale in our first hour out, and after a wonderful lunch out on the water, we saw one more humpback, and then we saw a huge group of sea lions hanging out. Then the real show started! Four more humpbacks, followed by hundreds of dolphins. It was spectacular! Additional Comments: As if the incredible sights werent enough, the captain and his daughter were super friendly and knowledgeable. Overall, an absolutely wonderful experience! Perfect way to have spent my birthday.

Date: 13/Jul/12

Report by: the Wilbourn's

From: Colorado, USA

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Dolphins everywhere! Pleasure and excitement as they played in the wake of the boat. Great pics of humpback whales, eagles and sea lions. Also sighted a black bear on the beach and a sea otter. Tasty lunch served with a smile. Captain doing what he likes best, passing enthusiasm to everyone. Additional Comments: Another great trip. Father and daughter a great team.

Date: 10/Jul/12

Report by: Sharon Basile

From: Douglassville, Pennsylvania

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)   Went to the Robson Bight Ecological Reserve in Johnstone Strait and saw orcas and dolphins; followed them for a long while then went in search of humpback whales but ran into a fog bank. Did see a pair of bald eagles in their nest with a chick, oyster catchers and a couple seals. The scenery was great and lunch was delicious with seconds on dessert!   Additional Comments:   The one thing better than being with Bill and daughter Nicky watching orcas was driving in our 6 corvettes to get here! Thank you from the Pennsylvania Continental Cruisers from the Skyline Drive Corvette Club, Reading, Pa.!!

Date: 09/Jul/12

Report by: Louisa Heyworth

From: Stratford-on-Avon, England

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)   We saw: resident orca, transient orca, dolphins, minke whales, porpoises and a humpback whale! Eagles too. We were so lucky to see the first resident orcas of this year, even though they were snoozing. The transients swam right past on their backs looking up at us. Had the whole boat to ourselves! Simply amazing!   Additional Comments:   The food was amazing as were the captain and Nicki!! But, the first sun in ages melted the chocolate! Great trip again!

Date: 08/Jul/12

Report by: Carol Rudram

From: Scotland

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) Travelled east to Robson Bight and saw transient orcas (about 6) chasing a Pacific white-sided dolphin. Then travelled to the west towards Malcolm Island and saw humpback whales, bald eagles, Dalls porpoises, harbour seals and a black bear. Additional Comments: A wonderful birthday!

Date: 07/Jul/12

Report by: Francine Marshall & Jim Talik

From: Fort Lauderdale, Florida

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We went northwest out of Port McNeill and saw sea lions, bald eagles, schools of dolphins and five humpback whales! Additional Comments: Very comfortable and accommodating vessel. Good crew and enjoyed the company. Compliments to the chef!!

Date: 05/Jul/12

Report by: Ingrid Enyeart

From: Reno, Nevada, USA

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We went northwest and saw five humpback whales. Also numerous dolphins, seals, sea lions and sea birds. We had a great lunch of soup and bread. We couldnt have asked for a nicer weather day with clear blue skies and calm waters.

Date: 29/Jun/12

Report by: The Mackay Family

From: Port McNeill, BC Canada

 

We are very pleased to report that we have just received a certificate of excellence from Trip Advisor - five stars! Thank you to all you wonderful customers!

Date: 28/Jun/12

Report by: Bill & Donna Mackay

From: Port McNeill, BC Canada

 

The weather may have been dreary, but we had a brilliant day nonetheless! The day started with the sighting of a black bear foraging on the beach just south of Port McNeill, then sighting a group of Pacific white-sided dolphins, and then sighting a humpback whale who liked to take long dives! Our whole group on board was treated to First Nations` singing and drumming - very special. We finished off the day viewing pictographs.

Date: 05/Apr/12

Report by: Mackay's

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

Spring is here! Happy Easter to everyone! Lots of bird life in the area as well as transient killer whale sightings! We can't wait for the arrival of resident killer whales in late June/early July! Have a look at our Facebook page (button on this page)to see what's been happening.

Date: 24/Sep/11

Report by: Barbara Keeler

From: Plano, Texas

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Pacific white-sided dolphins galore, Dall’s porpoise, humpbacks with calf and lunge feeding; Orcas (A-34’s) sleeping and cruising; sea lions basking and growling, murres, auklets, shearwaters and a touch of blue sky!  Brought lunch for Marie at Cracroft Point and confirmed that she hadn’t been cougar bait.

Additional Comments: 

This is my 3rd trip this week with Bill & Donna, each day a glorious adventure.  What a special day to spend on the coast – today is National Estuary Day in the U.S.


Date: 23/Sep/11

Report by: Kate Brauer

From: Malcolm Island, BC

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We saw it all today with the Mighty Mackays – Steller sea lions, 2 humpback whales side by side, Pacific white-sided dolphins put on quite a show – must have been over 100!  Topped off a very wet day with Orca – A36’s and A12.

Additional Comments:

An amazing group of people on board including whale watching guides from down south, folks from the Vancouver Aquarium and a local who is doing his Masters degree on, guess what – Orca.  The soup was great, as usual and we were able to pass a nice hot pot over to Marie at Cracroft Point.


Date: 21/Sep/11

Report by: Ken Baker & Nadine Vallentyne

From: Lawford, UK

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Observed 8 humpback whales; 2 of which were feeding and coming high out of the water.  We also saw a mother and calf and the calf appeared to be about a year old, so will be off on its own soon.  We also saw a young black bear on the beach on our way back in.  No orca this trip which is the first time in many years, but it was raining so I don’t blame them.

Additional Comments:

The soup was great!  See you soon!


Date: 17/Sep/11

Report by: Clare Chadband

From: Tewkesbury, England

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We have had the most amazing day!  We saw stacks of whales; transient and resident orcas and humpbacks!  Also dolphins, hosts of sea lions, seals and several eagles.  A mother and baby orca swam right by us!  All in an incredibly beautiful setting.

Additional Comments:

Lovely soup for lunch and delicious cakes to follow.  A day to remember which I would very highly recommend to anyone.  I’ll never forget it.  Thank you Donna and Bill.


Date: 16/Sep/11

Report by: Melissa Verschoor

From: Holland

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)

 

It’s been an amazing day!  First we started spotting some killer whales and followed them for a long time.  After that we had a great lunch, some soup to warm up because it was quite cold.  After lunch we went on and went to a spot with some humpbacks and they were giving a great show.  I thought we were going back but we went to a spot with a lot of sea lions.  The sound they were making was awesome.  On our way back we spotted some eagles, which made my day complete!  It’s been an awesome day; really worth it!

 

Additional Comments:

 Thank you so much for the trip; it’s really been amazing.  The lunch was great, so was dessert!  If I come back to Canada, I will make sure to come with you again.

Date: 16/Sep/11

Report by: Melissa Verschoor

From: Holland

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)

 

It’s been an amazing day!  First we started spotting some killer whales and followed them for a long time.  After that we had a great lunch, some soup to warm up because it was quite cold.  After lunch we went on and went to a spot with some humpbacks and they were giving a great show.  I thought we were going back but we went to a spot with a lot of sea lions.  The sound they were making was awesome.  On our way back we spotted some eagles, which made my day complete!  It’s been an awesome day; really worth it!

 

Additional Comments:

 Thank you so much for the trip; it’s really been amazing.  The lunch was great, so was dessert!  If I come back to Canada, I will make sure to come with you again.


Date: 15/Sep/11

Report by: Nicole Mackay

From: the galley on board the "Naiad Explorer"

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

After a quick stop at Alert Bay, we headed for Bold Head and saw quite a few family groups of Orcas.  We saw the A36’s with A12, A34’s and I31’s.  After lunch we saw at least nine humpbacks!

Additional Comments:

Was a great day!  Calm waters, lots of killer whales as well as Pacific white-sided dolphins, sea lions and humpback whales.  This morning we also saw a bear on the beach.  Northern Lights Restaurant catered a great beef vegetable soup today.  Kept all the passengers warm and happy.  The ol’ Capt’n. Bill sure knows his stuff!


Date: 14/Sep/11

Report by: Rob Phillips

From: San Diego, California, USA

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Just an amazing day!  We headed west and encountered some very active orcas from the A30 pod.  It was so memorable to be out by ourselves with them, with no other boats in sight.  Later, we were privileged to see orcas from G clan.

Additional Comments:

Thank you Bill and Nicole for a day our family will always remember!


Date: 13/Sep/11

Report by: Gemma

From: Australia

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Seeing the families of Orca playing; also the humpback whales; also the seals sunning themselves on the rock; a mature eagle and a young one in a tree.

 

Additional Comments:

 

Great day!


Date: 12/Sep/11

Report by: Gilly Wilmot

From: Vancouver, BC

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

A wonderful trip – very educational.  I saw several different whales and sea lions.  Great to learn so much from people committed to teaching people about whales and what they give us.  I feel very fortunate to have experienced the journey.  Excellent boat, great food.  I would recommend this highly.

 

Additional Comments:

Just to say that this has been one of the best whale watching experiences I’ve had.


Date: 11/Sep/11

Report by: Kelly Fogarty

From: Ireland

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Fantastic trip today.  We went to Johnstone Strait where we saw lots of Orca residents (who are the fish eaters).  It’s amazing to see the huge black fin of the males rise up through the water.  We saw males and females.  Later we saw white-sided dolphins chasing around the Orca.  We also saw a group of three orca, the A36’s with A12. The highlight of the day was Captain Bill slowing down and telling us to watch lots of feeding birds on the sea and not take our eyes off!  Suddenly a humpback whale lunged up through the middle of where they were feeding. Awesome isn’t even a strong enough word.  The humpback and her calf surfaced several times right in front of us and also showed us her tail fluke.

 

Additional Comments:

 

Awesome, wonderful, very moving and I feel really privileged to see all this.  Captain Bill & Nicole – You’re the best!


Date: 09/Sep/11

Report by: Ellen, Monette, Sharon, EJ & Willi

From: Orcaholics

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Today was whales in the mist day.  We saw humpbacks first and then the A30’s and during the earthquake, they speed swam.  We also saw the A36’s with A12 as well as the A23’s.  The sun then arrived and we were basking as if we were on a Caribbean cruise.  We also saw an eagle fledgling trying out his landing skills and a salmon seiner with their catch.  All in all, a wonderful trip.

 

Additional Comments:

The crew and captain were their usual charismatic selves and thoroughly entertained all of us.  The day was completed with a bowl of clam chowder and Nanaimo bars.


Date: 07/Sep/11

Report by: Rosie Sergison

From: Cumbria, UK

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Within 5 minutes of leaving Port McNeill, we saw several groups of harbour porpoise playing in the waves.  We soon saw many orcas on all sides of the boat, feeding and tail slapping.  A few groups were followed by Pacific white-sided dolphins and more porpoises.  The orca came incredibly close to the boat, swimming beneath it – no-one knew where to point their camera!!  After all the excitement, a great clam chowder was provided for lunch before we saw up to 10 humpback whales.  One even breached which was fantastic.  There were also several seals and sea lions playing – it must have been down to the fantastic sunny weather all day.  I would never tire of this trip.  Thank you, Bill, Tyson and Kaia (Bill’s granddaughter) for a fabulous day.

Date: 06/Sep/11

Report by: Horst Lubnow

From: Lengerich, Germany

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

A high jumping humpback whale under a clear blue sky and a very skilled and good humoured captain and crew made this the best whale watching tour ever – and I have made a lot (US east coast, South Africa, New Zealand).

Date: 04/Sep/11

Report by: Michael Shepard

From: Victoria, BC

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

A quick trip east from Port McNeill, with passenger pick-up stops at Alert Bay and Hidden Cove.  Orcas were in view almost immediately; we spent the whole time hanging out the “A” and “G” clans.  Lots of action with tail-lobbing, spyhopping and general lolling about.  At time the vocalizations picked up from the hydrophone were crystal-clear and wonderfully varied.  On occasion we altered to view other marine mammals including Dall’s porpoises and a gang of Steller’s sea lions.  Humpback whales also put in an appearance with one individual headed right across the path of nine orcas.  The humpback whale gave several loud bellowing exhales and performed a spectacular breach not far from the “Naiad Explorer”.  Lots of birds were in evidence today, including many common murres, rhinoceros auklets and red-necked phalaropes.  Sunshine, warmth and calm seas made the day even more special.

Date: 02/Sep/11

Report by: Shirley Ourran

From: Wakefield, Quebec

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We saw loads of orcas and a couple of humpbacks; a sea lion, bald eagle, porpoises (far off).  The orcas were great; we saw some resting, others feeding and we could hear them echolocating as well as communicating together (G clan).

 

Additional Comments:

 Our captains and pretty little side kick (Kaia) were all wonderful.  Soup and desserts were great too.  Thank you for a wonderful day and great learning experience. 

Date: 01/Sep/11

Report by: David, Ken, Romano & Dominique

From: Switzerland

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Leaving Port McNeill after 1 hour, a huge group of dolphins swimming right next to the boat.  Then going east, we saw one big orca.  After a while we found the whole family, about 12 of them.  After a delicious soup (mushrooms!), this perfect tour got even better; we saw a bunch of sea lions, two eagles and a humpback whale !!!  Best tour ever!

 

Additional Comments: 

Great stuff! And staff!


Date: 30/Aug/11

Report by: Joanne High

From: Dunnville, Ontario

 

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

-         The copious amounts of orca we were able to spend time with was incredible!

-         The captain’s sense of humour was definitely a highlight.

-         The food was delicious

-         The boat was spacious and comfortable-         Scenery was gorgeous!

-         Extremely informative staff.

 

 Additional Comments: 

 

Thank you so much for the amazing experience!  We had a fabulous day!


Date: 29/Aug/11

Report by: Doris & Gert

From: Belgium

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

2 orcas jumping up towards us; orcas surprising us right next to be boat; being surrounded by multiple orca families; seeing a black bear on the shore; a humpback whale doing huge tail splashes.

 

Additional Comments:

 

The Mackay’s are funny, entertaining hosts and have shared all that is possible to give us the best whale watching experience imaginable.

Date: 27/Aug/11

Report by: Paul & Lynn Hamilton

From: Courtenay, BC

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Bear on the beach leaving Port McNeill; stop to pick up guests from Switzerland at Hidden Cove Lodge, then on to Robson Bight where we saw the A34 pod of orcas along with A12 and the A36’s (about 15 orcas); watched seiners pulling in their nets, then we travelled to the Bold Head area looking for humpback whales and saw a few, but was interrupted by the appearance of the A30 pod of orcas (10 whales) accompanied by at least G60.

 

Additional Comments:

Beautiful sunshine; great company; Orca 101 was fun and Bill Mackay and the Admiral were wonderful guides.  Donna served a great lunch and snacks, keeping the crowds happy while Bill regaled with tales and information.  The presence of children was great – “whale watching is my favourite thing in all the world”, to quote one of the little girls.  The day ended far too soon!  Thank you Bill & Donna.  Your passion for what you do shows!  You are great teachers!


Date: 26/Aug/11

Report by: Micha & Joan Peute

From: The Netherlands

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

On our way to Hidden Cove, we spotted a black bear with cub.  Then we headed in to Johnstone Strait where we caught a snoozing orca pod.  They were spyhopping frequently.  Next we were in for an amazing treat of humpback whales.  There were so many around that you just couldn’t decide which tail fluke to follow.  We closed the day with sea lions and a bald eagle.  Combined with the great weather an awesome day.  We loved it!

Date: 25/Aug/11

Report by: Barbara Kennedy

From: Armstrong, Okanogan Valley, BC

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We went off to the west of Port McNeill and soon found an Orca ballet!  The weather was beautiful and a tremendous day for whale watching.  A “wow” around every corner.  We saw “numerous” orcas, white-sided dolphins and four humpbacks – one of which entertained us with his gymnastics for 10 minutes.  We saw many breaches and flukes as they posed for our cameras.  A great international bunch on this tour – Germany, Australia, Holland, USA and, oh yes, Canadians too.  Tyson’s lunch was so-o-o scrumptious and we can’t say enough about Capt. Bill.  A five-star Kodak day for everyone with an award-winning whale watching tour company.  OSCAR!

Date: 24/Aug/11

Report by: Mariann Kuehne

From: Germany

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

-         killer whales; we saw a lot of them; it was awesome that I could even listen to them;-         Fishing boat at work (seiner)-         Northern sea lions-         Buckelwal (humpback whales)-         Dolphins-         Eagles and nest-         Black bear

 

Additional Comments:

It was awesome, much better than the whale watching in New Zealand.  Really friendly people and nice lunch and cake (yummy) and a lot of information about the wildlife and the whole daytime to see everything.  A must do for everybody!  Everyone should take the time for this amazing day trip (even Germans).  Thank you.


Date: 24/Aug/11

Report by: Mariann Kuehne

From: Germany

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

-         killer whales; we saw a lot of them; it was awesome that I could even listen to them;        -    Fishing boat at work (seiner)

-         Northern sea lions

-         Buckelwal (humpback whales)

-         Dolphins-         Eagles and nest

-         Black bear

 

Additional Comments:

It was awesome, much better than the whale watching in New Zealand.  Really friendly people and nice lunch and cake (yummy) and a lot of information about the wildlife and the whole daytime to see everything.  A must do for everybody!  Everyone should take the time for this amazing day trip (even Germans).  Thank you.


Date: 23/Aug/11

Report by: Sheila & Adrian

From: Ludlow, England

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Many orcas, in family groups, on their own and playing around as well as feeding.  Dall’s porpoises playing amongst them.  Humpback whales – including a huge one “Chunky” feeding near Weynton Pass – scaring off huge numbers of noisy birds feeding on big schools of fish.  Eagle caught one.  Also saw eagles – including two young ones near the nest learning to fly.  Five male northern sea lions in a tight group.  Beautiful mist tails on water and over islands.  At the end of the day, half way along Beach Drive in Port McNeill, a black bear feeding on a fish carcass and then berries. 

 

Additional Comments: 

 

Fabulous day out in stunning scenery and sunshine!!  Very well looked after.


Date: 21/Aug/11

Report by: Max Block

From: Los Angeles, CA

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

2 Humpbacks; A24 pod of orcas with Springer; tail lobs; 4 Steller sea lions; harbour seals; 2 bald eagles.

 

Additional Comments: 

Today was awesome! We saw the A24 pod of orcas! We also saw A73 (Springer) who was lost in Puget Sound and then rescued and brought back home. Then we saw a mother humpback whale and her calf! Then we saw 4 Steller sea lions swimming around the boat!


Date: 19/Aug/11

Report by: Lorraine Redmond

From: Australia

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)             

 

Highlights – being able to hear the underwater sounds were wonderful; the baby orca half breaching; the large number of orca whales, one even went right under the boat; great photos taken.  We also saw 2 Minke whales and was about to clock their speed at 18 knots from a distance.  We saw some feeding humpbacks – that was great.  Just loved Bill’s sense of humour.

 

Additional Comments:

No idea where we went, but we did see lots.  Thanks to Nicky I was able to also take photos of the many orca whales and the humpbacks.  We started with fog, but it cleared to a beautiful sunny day.  Couldn’t ask for a nicer afternoon.  Big thanks to both Bill & Nicky.


Date: 18/Aug/11

Report by: Nancy Gautier

From: Divonne les bains, France

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Robson Bight – incredible viewing of orcas – sound and viewing of A family and G family.  Excellent lunch with explanations from Bill that enable the new viewers to understand all they are seeing.  And the even more incredible sighting of 6 humpback whales in Queen Charlotte Strait.  And both orcas and humpbacks were showing off their beautiful babies – jumping, flapping and providing wonderful photo opps for all of us!

 

Additional Comments:

Thanks to the Mackay family trio for an unforgettable day – Merci!


Date: 17/Aug/11

Report by: Corinne Symonds

From: Calgary, Alberta

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

The array of wildlife – bears on the beach, eagles, loads and loads of orca whales!  Humpback whales!  Awesome to have whales come so close and so many.  Loved listening to the orcas – have always wanted to hear them.

 

Additional Comments: 

Will certainly recommend to others.  Great talk, great food and wonderful staff.  I’ve been on many whale watching trips, the information I learned today was extremely interest and new!  Captain had a great humour – made it fun.  Thanks!


Date: 16/Aug/11

Report by: Michelle Malcolmson

From: Ontario

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

What a day!  We saw orcas, humpback and Minke whales.  We were lucky to be accompanied by Dr. Pete to see Springer.  Had bald eagles sitting together, seals and sea lions.  The weather was gorgeous and company was fantastic.  Great day on the ocean.

 

Additional Comments: 

This is by far the best whale watching excursion we have been on.  Make you feel welcome and at home.  We will be back!!  Thank you Mackay Family.


Date: 15/Aug/11

Report by: Malcolm, Ginny & Marlene

From: Calgary, Alberta

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Surrounded by orcas…perfect weather for whale watching calm sea.  Orcas were amazing, breaching, napping tail slapping.  We loved every minute!  We also saw a humpback whale as we went looking for the white-sided dolphins – “the running of the dolphins”.  It was amazing to see them around the boat, leaping, moving so swiftly, being pulled along.  Best tour ever!

 

Additional Comments: We thought the Disney cruise ship was a hi-lite!!  Thanks!!

Thanks to the very friendly, knowledgeable, helpful crew – would recommend this tour heartily.  Delicious lunch was served as well.  We felt very safe.


Date: 14/Aug/11

Report by: Keith, Nancy, Maddy & Abby Fournier

From: San Diego, CA, except for Keith, who is from China

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We were on the back side of Malcolm Island where we saw humpback whales and lots of orca.  Great vocalizations heard through the hydrophone.  Spyhops, breaches, etc. etc.!!!  Great day on the water.  We spent tons of time on the water (much longer than any company).  I took 2 memory sticks worth of pics!!

Additional Comments:

 Family run business!  Friendly staff, knowledgeable!!!  The BEST whale watching boat on the water!  By far the best captain who ensures that all passengers have the best opportunity to see orcas because the Naiad Explorer can venture further than any other whale watching company.  And the Naiad captain and crew are certified! (kinda a big deal on the big ocean, eh?!!)  Always great soup and nice desserts.  Warm boat cover, plenty of viewing space and a restroom is nice and handy too.  We come to northern Vancouver Island every year and wouldn’t think of going with any other company. Always a super fun time and fabulous opportunities for great pics!  Thank you Mackays! 

Date: 13/Aug/11

Report by: Anne

From: Germany

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

This trip was awesome!  We saw so much wildlife – orcas, humpbacks, Minke whales, bald eagles, Dall’s porpoises and seals.  One of the orcas breached twice just in front of us and we even saw a humpback breach.  All in all, a very nice trip.  Thank you.

 

Additional Comments:

 

I liked the sound knowledge of our guides about the wildlife and especially the orcas.  The soup was good and very much appreciated on this rather chilly day.


Date: 12/Aug/11

Report by: Megan (& co.)

From: Calgary, Alberta

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Beyond Telegraph Cove in Johnstone Strait – we saw humpback whales (some being marked by Dall’s porpoises), sleeping pods of orcas and sea lions!  The sleeping orcas were stunning – there was a teeny calf accompanied by some big males and mom!  Very cool.  The humpbacks were plentiful; we came upon more than one.  Eagles and seals were met along the way as well.

 

Additional Comments: 

Lunch was hot soup that warmed me and my gang up to the core.  Perfect boating grub.  Loved the information from the Captain and Admiral Donna.  A very, very worthwhile, once in a lifetime experience.  Bring an extra cartridge for your camera – I saw people run out of space early on…must have been the two different orca pods we saw.


Date: 11/Aug/11

Report by: Maddy & Abby Fournier & Josh Sisco

From: San Diego, CA

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We went to Johnstone Strait and saw orcas just outside of Telegraph Cove!  So many orcas!  It was like a mini super pod.  We also saw humpback whales and bald eagles!  I’m definitely coming back.

 

Additional Comments:

 

GREAT DAY!!  I love Mackay Whale Watching.  It’s a great whale watching company to see whales.  You always see so many and if you want a good laugh, have a convo with the captain!  He’s a great guy and his daughter is great too!  They all know things about what we’re seeing!  Thanks!  Definitely the best boat out on the water!


Date: 10/Aug/11

Report by: Caroline & Neal

From: London, England

 

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Who knew we could see so many kinds of marine mammals on one trip – from orcas, to humpback to Minke whales to dolphins to porpoises!  Really enjoyed getting to observe the behaviour of the different types of orcas, hunting and going about their business as if we weren’t there – our boat was definitely more respectful to the animals than others and it paid off!

 

Additional Comments: 

WOW!  What a fantastic trip – we have never seen anything like it before.  Nature at its wildest.  On top of the fantastic trip the atmosphere on the boat was great and the crew all knew so much about what we were seeing.  Thank you so much!


Date: 09/Aug/11

Report by: Linda & Allen Burtler and Kevin & Debbie Murphy

From: Wolseley, SK and Lethbridge, AB

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We saw humpback and orca whales (transient & resident).  We saw eagles (one big baby eagle), harbour seals and Dall’s porpoises.  The trip was exciting and educational!

 

Additional Comments: We loved it all; wildlife and the soup and dessert and best of all, our hosts.  We will be back!!

Thank you for an amazing experience – we will also be back again!


Date: 08/Aug/11

Report by: Laurl Sisco

From: San Diego, CA

 

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Lots of orcas – residents and transients – learned about fins and how they are identified by fins.  We saw humpback whales – mom and baby – humpbacks breaching!!  We saw bald eagles, babies too

Date: 07/Aug/11

Report by: Terri

From: Michigan

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

 

Lions, tigers and bears oh NO; Eagles, orcas and sea lions!  Also humpback whales.  Great viewing and photos.  Nicole taught us a lot about the ecosystem and marine life.  Bill is flexible and a great captain.  The boat is quick, warm and comfortable.  Great lunch and dessert.  A perfect day!  Thank you.

 

Additional Comments:

 

Killer whales!


Date: 05/Aug/11

Report by: Nicole Mackay

From: Port McNeill, BC (Vancouver Island - Canada)

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We saw the A23 and A24 pods of orcas in Johnstone Strait foraging and we heard some really amazing vocals!  Eagles galore and Dall’s porpoises.

 

Additional Comments:

 

We started off in the busy Johnstone Strait watching killer whales and after spending the morning with them we decided to go west to Scarlett Point in search of other orcas, but sadly it was too rough to spot them.  Was beautiful and sunny up there though!  Great day!  Great soup!  Great people!


Date: 04/Aug/11

Report by: Oliver Fellmann (12)

From: Zurich, Switzerland

 

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

I have seen orcas, bald eagles, harbour seals and a humpback whale.  I found it great!

 

Additional Comments

The soup was good.


Date: 03/Aug/11

Report by: Kelly Carson

From: West Vancouver, BC

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We went to Robson Bight and my friend who had never seen a whale in the wild got to witness her first whales in the wild – A24 & A25.  We also saw a Minke whale in the very calm water, eagle’s nest with a baby eagle too chicken to leave the nest.

 

Additional Comments: 

It was an absolutely beautiful day; the Mackays are a wonderful family and fantastic tour guides.  You can tell that they respect and love the environment they live and work in.  Love you guys!!!


Date: 30/Jul/11

Report by: Verena Peterhans & Vanessa Toye

From: Switzerland and France

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

First porpoises, and just after we saw killer whales (the A24 group) and we followed them along the coast where we put the hydrophone in the water.  We found a group of over 100 Pacific white-sided dolphins surrounding the boat and playing in the waves.  Close to an island, we saw at least 3 sea lions, a minke whale, and right over there a humpback whale.  An eagle passed the boat, loosing his fish and we met another eagle family in the tree waiting in the nest.

 

Additional Comments: 

Rain, clouds, cold and whales; just the perfect north Canadian landscape and day!  Thank you!  The hot soup was great!  And then the dolphins and all was fine!


Date: 29/Jul/11

Report by: Shannon Pierson

From: WA, Australia

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

All of it was nice.  I saw quite a bit of animals on top of what we came for; learnt a bit as well; interesting instead of boring.

 

Additional Comments: 

Great lunch on top of company; well organised on top of value for money.  Thanx heaps for a good day out.


Date: 28/Jul/11

Report by: Dave Begg

From: Jakarta, Indonesia

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Went around Malcolm Island; saw two families of orcas (A30’s & A24’s).  Saw them sleeping, hunting and tail slapping.  Also saw at least two jumping – awesome!  Bill got the boat several locations that we had orca on either side of the boat.  Great views of the large males, females and babies – Awesome!!!

 

Additional Comments: 

The captain and the admiral are wonderful hosts.  Bill’s humour is entertaining whilst being very thoughtful and knowledgeable on many aspects of life on the west coast.  We learned so much – thank you.


Date: 27/Jul/11

Report by: John & Karen Gibbins

From: San Diego, California, USA

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Our trip started out with two humpback whales cruising close to the boat.  We had plenty of opportunities to photograph them, with wonderful tail shots as they sounded.  We then proceeded east until we found two pods of orcas that treated us to an hour of spyhopping, tail flapping and approaches close to the boat.

 

Additional Comments:

 

The boat was super comfortable and the warm sunshine felt good after a prolonged period of days without.  Warm soup and plenty of “whale talk” amongst the crew and passengers made for a wonderful day.  Dessert was awesome!  Trip of a lifetime for us!  Thanks!


Date: 26/Jul/11

Report by: the Shakeri family

From: Kirkland, WA

 

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We saw a pod of sleeping orcas, delightful Pacific white-sided dolphins who amused us by dancing in our wake, and the fluke of a humpback whale.  Finally, we enjoyed the view of several pairs of eagles and saw an eaglet in its nest.  Absolutely fantastic experience, thanks to the father and daughter (Bill & Nicole).

 

Additional Comments: 

Mackay team!  Thank you so much!  We had a wonderful adventure aboard your vessel.


Date: 25/Jul/11

Report by: Michael

From: Seattle, WA

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

The main highlight included a bald eagle’s nest with a fledgling.  Soon after we saw an amalgam of kayaks, other whale watching boats, all observing a pod of orcas (A24 pod).  We dropped the hydrophone to listen to the clicks and sounds as an orca surfaced quite close alongside the Naiad.  After lunch, we saw a couple of humpback whales, followed by another two larger humpback whales, which were quite smelly! First time many of us had ever smelled whale breath before.

 

Additional Comments:

 

Bill and Nicole were wonderful hosts – full of knowledge.


Date: 24/Jul/11

Report by: Julie Turner

From: Australia

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Sighting many orcas, humpback whales, several sea lions, dolphins who sped along with the boat, 3 adult bald eagles and one eagle chick in a nest, and flocks of northern phalaropes.

 

Additional Comments: 

The sheer beauty of the scenery was a magnificent sight.  Our “hosts” were generous with their time and knowledgeable about the wildlife. Lunch delicious.  All in all, a fabulous trip.


Date: 23/Jul/11

Report by: Hardy Neubert

From: Germany

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

The whole trip was one HIGHLIGHT!!!  We saw a lot of whales – good explanation about wildlife and the most important thing was to understand more about protecting nature and the whales.

 

Additional Comments: 

We spent more than enough time on this trip and we felt the silence of the underwater world.  Many thanks to Mackay and his wife!


Date: 22/Jul/11

Report by: Bep & Piet Kruithof

From: Holland

 

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

At first, we encountered a bear with two cubs, and then we saw very soon the fist orcas.  That was a great start of a great day.  Later on we saw more orcas, dolphins, seals and humpback whales.  It was incredible and we felt very lucky to be able to see it all.  And in fine weather too!  A highlight also is the fact that Bill and Donna don’t first do it as a business, but with great pleasure and respect for the wildlife.  We suspect they enjoyed it just as much as the rest of the group.  Thank you for a wonderful day!

Date: 20/Jul/11

Report by: John Simpson

From: Ladner, BC (& helpd design the "Naiad Explorer"

 

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

 

Great round trip with a variety of fauna (humpback whales, Dall’s porpoises, Pacific white-sided dolphins, Steller sea lions and harbour seals).  Nice to meet other guests and see them having fun.  It was great to see the Naiad Explorer in excellent shape.

 

Additional Comments:

 I had too little time to fill out the report!

 


Date: 18/Jul/11

Report by: Carol Shepherd

From: Victoria, BC

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Our trip started with close up views of two eagles’ nests complete with eagle and a young one.  One adult just watched us, another plucked at his down.  We saw seals with their pups on the rocks, and Steller sea lions swimming, a humpback whale who was too shy to show his tail, and Dall’s porpoises.  The highlight of the trip was the pod of about 100 Pacific white-sided dolphins we saw near Robson Bight.  We spent about an hour surrounded by the dolphins riding our wake, leaping straight up into the air, doing belly-flops and side flops, spy-hopping, rolling and playing with each other.  It’s difficult to describe how majestic it was to see the graceful surfacing of fins and hear the puffs of air and splashes of water in every direction.

 

Additional Comments: 

Lunch was great and the sun came out too!  Thank you, Bill and Donna.


Date: 17/Jul/11

Report by: Jeff Harris

From: Wales, UK

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Another super day with Bill and Donna, the only difference is that we travelled far this time, past Robson Bight, picking up the A23 pod of killer whales at Cedarstead Creek.  We followed the Orcas to Adam River and left them at Southeast Bay.  Not only A23 pod, but also a mystery female calf.  Wildlife photography opportunity was first class.  We started the day with a Minke whale just off Cormorant Island.  The kids saw Orcas for their first time and were spellbound!  To finish off a fine whale watching day, we saw four humpback whales “fluking” off Hanson Island.  It seems that every one of Bill’s expeditions leads to Orcas somewhere afar.  Today we travelled over 70 miles on a round trip!

Date: 16/Jul/11

Report by: The Mackay Family

From: Port McNeill, BC (Vancouver Island - Canada)

 

We travelled to Kingcome today - crew change for the Mennonite Disaster Service youth.  They're helping out people in Kingcome who were not covered by insurance during the flood last last September.  We had a few moments of sunshine and warmth, but by late afternoon, the rain started really pouring!  On the way back to Port McNeill, we stood by, ready to offer assistance to a recreational boater who had landed their vessel on a rock.  Hopefully, with the next high tide, they'll be floated free with no damage!  Meanwhile, the A23 pod of killer whales were in Johnstone Strait today, and there were reports of a pod of killer whales off Scarlet Point (possibly the A30's?).

Date: 15/Jul/11

Report by: Cecelia Keyes

From: Calgary, Alberta

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We went west out to the open ocean – it’s big out there.  We stopped to see sea lions at the Miller Group.  Some passengers with sharp eyes saw Dall’s porpoises.  We all saw Orcas from A clan – A30 pod and A23 pod.  They were having fun watching us take photos of them.

 

Additional Comments

It was a great day!


Date: 11/Jul/11

Report by: Jan Hurford

From: Great Britain

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Approximately 20 miles down Johnstone Strait we saw one humpback whale and 4 transient orcas (3 times) who had recently “taken” a seal for lunch.  These orcas were hot on the tails of a pod of about 50 Pacific white-sided dolphins – just wonderful to watch them swimming next to and in front of the Naiad.  Saw a lone Minke whale as we headed into the open ocean in search of humpbacks, which were hiding successfully.

Additional CommentsBill and his daughter made this an event to remember; very informative, very friendly – nothing too much trouble.  Tasty lunch.  Scenery breathtaking.  A truly fabulous experience; an absolute must if you visit Port McNeill.

Date: 10/Jul/11

Report by: Terry Johnson

From: Gilford Village (Gwayasdums), BC

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Today we brought my parents on board the trip as they had never been whale watching.  Also it was my husband’s, Dave, birthday so we had a cake and same Happy Birthday.  We were around Knight Inlet and saw sea lions, Pacific white-sided dolphins, humpback whales and we also saw T030, T030A, T030B and T030C transient orcas (killer whales)

 

Additional Comments: 

The weather was beautiful.  There were people from Germany, Belgium, Florida, Ladysmith, Nanoose Bay, Surrey and Campbell River.  We had a wonderful lunch of soup and buns.


Date: 09/Jul/11

Report by: Kelsey McKeown

From: Ladner, BC

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We went around Malcolm Island.  We saw seals with many baby pups, and lots of playful Pacific white-sided dolphins surfing in boat waves.  We san an eagle’s nest, and eagles fishing, a humpback whale, minke whale and Dall’s porpoises.

 

Additional Comments: 

Enjoyed our day!  Bright blue sky and calm waters.  Nature is awesome.


Date: 08/Jul/11

Report by: Sarah & Kyle Wade

From: Courtenay, BC

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We saw 5 species of marine mammals today! Wow, what a great day!  In Johnstone Strait we saw a transient orca and resident orcas, also hundred of white-sided dolphins there.  We also spotted a humpback whale.  On our way in, the captain got us up close to a bald eagle.  Also, one of the fastest whales, the Minke whale.

 

Additional Comments

Great trip; staff was friendly and very knowledgeable.  So glad my son and I did this.  Thanks so much for an awesome experience!!


Date: 07/Jul/11

Report by: Yvonne & Bill Nixon

From: Kelowna, BC

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We followed a group of 3 transient Orcas (T170, 171 & 172) for some time – so magnificent to see them.  T170 is a big fella that must have been in a few battles, judging by his dorsal fin.  We saw a beautiful humpback whale, harbour seals including a baby seal pup that delighted us all.  The highlight was seeing a spectacular bald eagle with a VERY LARGE SALMON.  Then we saw a big group of dolphins bow riding.  Everyone was delighted by this.

 

Additional Comments: 

Bill & Nicole are amazing guides (little Daniel is a great co-skipper).  Your knowledge and work to protect our environment never ceases to amaze us. Thank you.  Thank you so very much to the entire Mackay family for the wonderful prize of this trip.  It was just what the two of us needed.  Lunch was great too!


Date: 05/Jul/11

Report by: Jeff & Kathe Davidson

From: San Luis Obispo County, California

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We went to the north end of Queen Charlotte Strait and Scarlet Point Lighthouse and saw humpback whales, sea lions and harbour porpoises.  We also went to a First Nation village and met chiefs of villages in the area.

 

Additional Comments

Bill is a walking history teacher, full of information and anecdotes with a gift for storytelling. Nicole is a beautiful and personable hostess.  We loved our time with them.  We could tell they “aimed” to please their passengers.  It was a wonderful trip.


Date: 04/Jul/11

Report by: The Price Family

From: San Diego, CA

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We saw a number of humpback whales, dolphins, beautiful eagles and an eagle’s nest and sea lions on a rock.  There was no rain, but it was cold and crisp and overcast.  Perfect photo weather.  The dolphin babies were out with their moms riding the waves.  A truly memorable day.  The snow-capped peaks reflected in the water were amazing.

Additional  Comments:Nicole and Bill were a tremendous source of information and we hope their work toward conservation of sockeye salmon and other wildlife will reap rewards for the area for many years to come. Thank you!

Date: 02/Jul/11

Report by: Barry & Sue Weeks

From: Massachusetts, USA

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We rode past many islands; saw 4 humpback whales swimming together diving and good fluke views, harbour seals resting on the rocks, sea birds (guillemots, murres and rhinoceros auklets), eagles, eagles’ nest, Dall’s porpoises – a group in calm water – grey whale feeding near shore on its side, so close to the beach; sea lions on the rocks – loved it when the engine turned off and we could hear them vocalize.  Delicious soup helped to warm us and took the chill away.  Crew, including Cooper, the new mascot, were informative and welcoming.  We will be back again in a warmer, later season in a couple of years.  Kudos to Nicole and the Captain!

Date: 21/Jun/11

Report by: Mackay Family

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

It's the first day of summer!  We're all looking forward to the arrival of the northern resident killer whales in our area and they should be coming soon!  Our first scheduled whale watching trip is set for July 2.  Please call or email us for reservations!

Date: 19/Dec/10

Report by: Bill & Donna Mackay

From: Port McNeill, BC (Vancouver Island - Canada)

 

We've been busy transporting people around for the Christmas season, and during our travels today, we encountered humpback whales and Pacific white-sided dolphins!

Date: 29/Sep/10

Report by: Rob, Paula & Hunter Phillips

From: San Diego, CA

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

What an EPIC day!  After picking up guests in Hidden Cove and locals from Alert Bay, we headed east down the Strait.  A30’s, A34’s, A12 escorted by the A36’s – orcas in 360º. After Bill’s Orca 101 and lunch, we followed them into Blackfish Sound.  Listened to resting calls and vocalizations.  Just awesome!  Even saw a brave little minke whale hanging between A30 and A38!

Additional Comments:

 Another amazing adventure with the Mackays!  What a terrific end to the season.  Thank you so much for all the hospitality Bill, Donna, and Nicole!  We can not wait until next year!  Cheers!

Date: 27/Sep/10

Report by: Penelope Voekel

From: Berkeley, California

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

ORCAS!  A pod – A30, A39, etc., even a little one.  Lots of orcas!  We floated around with A pod for hours basking in their beauty.  Loads of creamy fog and rain and dozens of dolphins pestering the orcas and playing in our wake!  Then more orcas and 5 humpback whales beset by sea lions.  Then Stubbs Island where we saw lots of frolicking sea lions then 2 beautiful eagles and a sly minke whale.

Additional Comments:

 We love the Mackays!

Date: 26/Sep/10

Report by: Hunter Phillips

From: San Diego, CA

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We saw at least 5 humpback whales in the Queen Charlotte Strait and went by Orca Lab on the way to Stubbs Island to see sea lions.  After lunch, we saw a Minke whale and a couple of bald eagles.

Additional Comments:

 It was a beautiful day on the water.  I’m so glad we are going out with the Mackays for another two days!!!

Date: 22/Sep/10

Report by: Patricia Waleska

From: Vancouver, Washington, USA

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Orcas, humpbacks, sea lions and bear – Oh my!  Left Port McNeill and picked up 2 more at Hidden Cove Lodge.  Beautiful day.  Sar and I learned so much from Capt. Mackay and his daughter about the whales and their habitat and on going work to preserve the species and the balance of nature in BC.  The food was very good, mushroom soup wonderful!!

Additional Comments:

 Fantastic trip with a wonderful crew.  We could not ask for a better trip!!  Will broadcast news of this trip far and wide!  Keep up the good work.  Continue to educate those who do not know or understand the value of this wonderful world around us!

Date: 20/Sep/10

Report by: Nicole, Tobias & Lorna

From: Germany

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Today we went down Johnstone Strait, towards Blackfish Sound, guided by beautiful weather.  Orcas all over the place, foraging and vocalizing a lot.  Ten individuals from the A30’s entertained us for quite some time.  Later, we saw Dall’s porpoise, a couple of Pacific white-sided dolphins and up to 6 humpback whales and a minke whale feeding underneath tons of excited birds.  On the way back we stopped by some northern sea lions (aka Stellers) chilling out on the rocks.

Additional Comments:

 An amazing trip and so much fin to be back on board the Naiad and out with the Mackays.  There is nothing better!

And now the bird list:  bald eagle, osprey, fork-tailed storm petrel, surf scoter, common scoter, velvet scoter, Arctic loon, rhinoceros auklet, Cassin’s auklet, pigeon guillemot, common murre, common merganser, black-legged kittiwake, glaucous-winged gull, mew gull, double-crested cormorant…yep, there were some birders on board :)


Date: 19/Sep/10

Report by: Jeff Harris

From: Wales and works in Brussels, Belgium

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

This the SHARP END of the whale watching business – the trip is “AS GOOD AS IT GETS”.  We located orcas (A30 pod) in a mere 20 minutes and stayed with them for 2 hours, even watching them scrubbing off Bere Point.  When you think it can’t get better, after a quick detour to see some harbour seals and Steller sea lions, we then were treated to the dessert of the trip – some incredible views of humpback whales feeding on pockets of krill.  A magical day with sea life and the chanterelle mushroom soup and carrot cake were just another great treat to round off a wonderful day.

Additional Comments:

 Bill Mackay seems to sniff out whales like a bear hunting honey.  After 3 trips with other whale watching tours and no orcas yet seen, I had little faith I would see them ever; how wrong can one be!  Thanks, Bill, we’ll be back!!  P.S see my 5 star review of Mackay’s on “Trip Advisor.com”.

Date: 16/Sep/10

Report by: Craig Behar

From: Scottsdale, Arizona

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

The carrot cake!Bill’s humour, Nicki’s knowledge, “the fog”.Beautiful day on the water…smooth as glass…we realize you cannot control nature, but…Bill owes us “a beer”!!!!Fin whale, sea lions, dolphins and porpoises!

 

Additional Comments: Please give Nicki a raise!

Date: 15/Sep/10

Report by: Laura Baker

From: Essex, England

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We saw 2 humpback whales, one which was getting teased by lots of Steller sea lions.  We were near the Strait when we saw the A pod of orcas who were feeding first of all, then one of the males started quickly travelling off and after we followed, we heard another pod making contact!  An amazing experience!  I am now officially a whale geek!  Great soup and cake too – of course!!

Additional Comments:

 Give me a job!!!

Date: 14/Sep/10

Report by: Sharon McPhail

From: Sooke, BC

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

First we encountered Dall’s porpoises, then humpback whales.  We found the A30 pod of resident orcas in Blackfish Sound and followed them through the Plumper Islands.  We also saw sea lions and harbour seals.  Bill also pointed out sandhill cranes in flight.  All in all a great day.  The final touch was delicious chanterelle mushroom soup!

Date: 13/Sep/10

Report by: Sarah Burthe

From: Scotland

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Great coverage of both the resident A30 pod and some transient killer whales.  Followed the residents through the rockpile channels and saw lots of spy hopping and tail flapping.  About 10 orca in the pod.  Hooked up with the transients who were eyeing up some Dall’s porpoises.  Also saw seals, sea lions, bald eagles, phalaropes, common murres, Cassin’s auklets and sooty shearwaters.

Additional Comments:

 Totally amazing weather.  Sun and flat calm conditions.  Wonderful for spotting orca from a long way off.  Amazing day!  Even better cake!

Date: 12/Sep/10

Report by: Nathalie

From: The Netherlands

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We saw killer whales (A30 pod) 2 big males with 6 foot dorsal fins and a lot of their moms, sisters and aunts.  After lunch we spotted a fire in the woods (on Hanson Island), we were not able to put it out, but the firemen (Forest Service) were called via the radio.  Then we went to the top of Blackfish Sound to watch a lot of dolphins and two humpback whales.  The whales were not happy with the dolphins because they were stealing their food.  Later we also saw some sea lions, sitting pretty in the sun.

Additional Comments:

 We had a great time, watching the whales and killer whales.  Lunch was great also.  The weather – clouds in the morning, some rain, but sun in the afternoon.

Date: 11/Sep/10

Report by: Tiffany & Jonny Roy and Roger & Kathleen Roy

From: Campbell River, BC and Sudbury, Ontario

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Tiffany and Jonny:On board the Naiad Explorer we saw a large resident pod of Orcas!  (First time ever!)  So beautiful of them to allow us to follow behind them for most of the day!  Incredible; there were also sea lions galore and eagles.  We caught a glimpse of a humpback whale and caught a “fluke” shot of it.  The beauty of these inlets and the wildlife they keep is truly spectacular and delicate. 

Roger & Kathleen:As we travelled through the beautiful BC islands, we watched and followed an Orca family for at least an hour.  Our first whale watching experience wasn’t a disappointment.  We also caught sight of sea lions resting on a rock cut, other sea lions swimming and a humpback whale flipping its tail – WOW!  How spectacular.  We noticed a few eagles on tree tops and met some wonderful people.  Our hosts were very friendly, knowledgeable and accommodating.  Thanks a million! 

Additional Comments: 

Thank you for the wonderful experience; truly memorable! 


Date: 10/Sep/10

Report by: John Sidnell

From: S. Surrey/Whiterock, BC

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Headed east to Robson Bight and hung around for the A30 pod of killer whales; lunch with “Blackney” and family on the rubbing beach.  Nice calls and rub noise.  Annual pilgrimage to Orca Lab on Hanson Island to see Paul and Helena (www.orca-live.net), the focus of our group.  Hugged a 1,000 year old tree – felt good.  Then west into the top end of Blackfish Sound to see three humpbacks feeding.  A wonderful day on the water with super company!

Date: 09/Sep/10

Report by: Hazel Seymour

From: Saskatchewan

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We went east into Johnstone Strait, and the first whales we saw were four transient orcas near Cracroft Point.  We went further west and saw a female and then a lone male orca.  We carried on and saw two females and a calf with four or five Pacific white-sided dolphins.  We carried on and the dolphins followed really close to the boat.  We went the way back and saw G clan feeding, mainly echolocating and talking on the hydrophone.  Past them were the A30 pod including Blackney.  Some of the dolphins followed back from the A30’s.

Date: 08/Sep/10

Report by: Wolfgang Schill

From: Germany

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

First of all:  it was great!  We saw Orcas, dolphins, a minke whale, a grey whale and Buckelwaale (humpback whale) – I saw all these animals for the first time in my life – great.  The noises from the orcas – very nice.  It was a little foggy but most of the time it was nice light.  Very good explanations!  Thanks a lot!

Date: 07/Sep/10

Report by: Jac & Sophie

From: Australia

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We saw a grey whale, orcas, seals, eagles, dolphins and Humpback whales.  At one point in the trip we could count at least 26 orcas, the humpback and the dolphins all in the one vicinity!  Extremely magical and moving experience.

Additional Comments:

 Bill and Nicole were very informative with their years of knowledge, and we feel like we have not only seen a lot, but learned a lot too.  We had the best, most amazing time imaginable; we couldn’t have asked for anything more.  Oh!  And Bill is bloody hilarious!!!  Thanks so much!!!

Date: 06/Sep/10

Report by: Kate Brauer

From: Sointula, BC

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

A30 and I31 pods of orcas grouped up for photo-op in Johnstone Strait – 200 plus white-sided dolphins leaping like popcorn all around the mighty Naiad.  Then – Cormorant Channel with a humpback whale feeding; also two Minke whales out for some fishing.  What a day!  Calm waters and great friends and of course, the great Mackay’s – super hosts!

Additional Comments:

 

We love Mackay Whale Watching and always look forward to MORE.


Date: 05/Sep/10

Report by: Miss Rast

From: Switzerland

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We saw two families of killer whales.  They were fishing surrounded by dolphins.  Furthermore, we saw a grey whale and amazing scenery.

Additional Comments:

 It was my second trip with Mackay and both of them were awesome!  The crew on board did a great job in giving us information about the animals and serving us a delicious lunch as well.  Many thanks for this exciting experience and showing us an amazing part of Canadian wilderness!

Date: 04/Sep/10

Report by: Pam Simpson

From: Undy, Wales, UK

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Grey whaleMinke WhaleLarge, male Orca, female & young, including young male with damaged dorsal fin (A72)Dall’s porpoises, dolphinsNumerous bald eagles and young flying; eagle’s nest

Harbour seals

Visited Alert Bay

Additional Comments:

 Great day, very informative.  Would come again.  Food and company great.

Date: 02/Sep/10

Report by: Julie, Peter, Gunter and Eveline

From: Germany

 

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We saw orcas, humpback whales, dolphins, seals and sea lions.  We had beautiful weather and a great trip!  It was a nice day.  We look forward to our next whale watching tour!

Date: 01/Sep/10

Report by: Pauline & Eleanor

From: Chilliwack, BC and England

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)            

We saw dolphins, porpoise, and 7 humpback whales, several who had fun waving at us!  They were happy doing synchronised swimming as we watched!  Also sea lions, seals, bald eagles and a glimpse of a black bear. 

Lunch was delicious cauliflower soup and dessert was wonderful.

Additional Comments:

 What a brilliant day!  Captain and Nicole are excellent hosts.  What a way to celebrate on 60th birthdays!

Date: 31/Aug/10

Report by: Kelly Callahan

From: Atlanta, Georgia

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

There were whales everywhere!!  Super pod day!!  There were about 114 whales around – we were told by Captain Splash.  We went from Donegal Head, spotting Orca the whole way to Lizard Point and then up to Numas Island.  It seemed everywhere we looked we could see Orca.  My favourite was G38 with the squiggly dorsal fin.  The activity was amazing – foraging, breaching, spy hopping and all sorts of percussive movements.

Additional Comments:

 There are no finer people than Captain Splash and trusty Nicole.  We love our time with them, and we missed Momma Donna on the boat – maybe next time?

Date: 30/Aug/10

Report by: Steve Spratt

From: England, UK

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Viewed white-sided dolphins playing with I15 family of killer whales.  Some whales were tail flapping.  During another viewing of whales, were distracted by a large black bear foraging on the se shore.  We assume for barnacles and sea weed. 

During our excursion we (Denise and I) were reacquainted with our Antarctic Expedition (Deep South) leader – Haley Shepard from Souls Bay, who is currently with the Straitwatch program here.

Additional Comments:

 Great trip – also recorded a sighting of a humpback whale on our return to port via Hidden Cove.

 


Date: 28/Aug/10

Report by: Julie

From: California

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

The biggest trip highlight was having another amazing visit with the Mackay’s!!  What an incredible family!  Today we had an extra special treat by having the Admiral, Donna, on board with Nicole and Captain Bill!  We started off the morning being greeted by the I15’s which has 17 orcas in their pod.  After lunch, we saw eagles, seals, sea lions, “Bambi” (mama and baby deer together under the eagle’s nest) and even a Minke whale.  All was topped off with delicious desserts!  What an amazing day!

Additional Comments:

 It’s been another amazing holiday and I can’t think of a better way to spend it than out with the Mackay’s!!  I have enjoyed every second of my visit and cannot thank each and every one of you enough!!  Thank you for everything and I’ll see you next year!  Hugs to all.

Date: 27/Aug/10

Report by: "Chickenhawk"

From: Florida, USA

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Another amazing day on the Naiad!  Saw it all – I15’s family of orcas all over the place with calves full of spunk.  Next off to see harbour seals and northern sea lions.  Had a long visit with two humpback whales watching them lunge feeding and ended the day with a small grey whale off the back side of Alert Bay.

Additional Comments:

 Love being “home”.  Captain Splash and co-captain, Nicole, did a fabulous job!

Date: 26/Aug/10

Report by: Linda Turner

From: Port Hardy, BC

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We toured up and down Queen Charlotte Strait.  We saw a young, lone grey whale – poor baby; killer whales (members of both A and G clans mixed together) quietly fishing – about 55 individual orcas by Captain Splash’s estimate; also some Dall’s porpoises off in the distance and three humpback whales. Fish (salmon) were jumping, “ducks” ducking as well as the usual sea gulls, eagles, etc.

Additional Comments:

 Food was good, the company great and the crew knowledgeable and welcoming and the boat was fast.  I look forward to another trip – when more of my family shows up.  And if Nicole can read this – she should become a teacher as well as Prime Minister.

Date: 25/Aug/10

Report by: Nicole Mackay

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We started off our day on the back side of Malcolm Island in Queen Charlotte Strait, where we came across resident orcas, the A30’s, I15’s, A23’s and A25’s.  They were all spread out and feeding.  Later on, we went to Bold Head, where we saw a humpback whale briefly, before we were called away to assist in a “Mayday”.

Additional Comments:

 It was a beautiful and calm day and we were very happy to have Tyler, a girl who adopted A75 out of the A30’s, on board.

Date: 24/Aug/10

Report by: Sandy Millar

From: Georgetown, Ontario

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

-         orcas

-         transient orcas

-         harbour seals

-         sea lions

-         went to Robson Bight

-         Gray whale

Additional Comments:

 The trip met all our expectations and more.  The scenery was so beautiful, the sea life was magnificent and our tour guides were extremely knowledgeable and very friendly.  Thank you so much for making this one of the highlights of our vacation.

Date: 23/Aug/10

Report by: Donna Howe

From: Huntington Beach, California

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Towards Robson Bight area and wonderful, magical places that one can only dream about – I love this country – saw whales – whales – whales – it was incredible and my favourite was when they “spyhopped”. They put their heads up and looked around at us.  I yelled and clapped and got so excited and they came right alongside the boat.

Additional Comments:

 This is the best part of my journey.  Totally unexpected.  Bill Mackay is awesome; makes everyone feel so welcome and comfortable.  He’s funny and very concerned about his passengers’ enjoyment.  His daughter is just darling – actually he is blessed with his whole family and this has been the best part of my trip.  Food was awesome and lots of it and dessert awesome.  Bill’s boat is totally comfortable and it flies across the water.  Bill took his time with all of us and did not rush any of the trip; saw sea lions and he always took time to talk to us about everything.  Also he put a “mike” down in the water so we could hear orcas calling to each other.  I simply loved the trip! P.S.  I met and talked with so many wonderful people also on this boat – I am truly blessed.

Date: 22/Aug/10

Report by: Jill Franceschini

From: Courtenay, BC

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We saw orcas from two different clans today – A and G!  There was a playful calf with its mom and later they swam right along side the boat and looked up at us!  It was amazing!!!  We also saw a Minke whale, Dall’s porpoise and sea lions!  Plus we watched a fishing boat load up their catch!

Additional Comments:

 I really enjoyed this trip and I will certainly be back next year!

Date: 20/Aug/10

Report by: Fritzi S. Olson

From: Lake Santa Fe, Florida

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Johnstone Strait today.  Lots and lots of A and G clan orcas.  Later we saw a minke whale and a humpback whale.  Then there were eagles, seals, and northern phalaropes – cute little devils!  We also watched a seiner sampling for sockeye population.  Sockeye are having an excellent year.

Additional Comments:

 This trip is a wonderful wildlife watching trip.  But the Mackay’s also do a wonderful service for us all by educating their customers about the disastrous consequences of salmon farming to this fantastic ecosystem and its wildlife and people.

Date: 19/Aug/10

Report by: Carolyn & Jim Anderson

From: Nanaimo, BC

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)    

Whales, whales, whales!  Sea lions!  Eagle’s nest!  Must have been at least 60 orcas and 3 humpback whales!

Additional Comments:

 Fascinating to see different pods of whales socializing.  Excellent commentary from Nicole – we learned a lot and are glad to know young people are aware and taking charge.  Nicole for Prime Minister!!!!  Thanks ever so much for an excellent experience!

Date: 18/Aug/10

Report by: Bill, Donna & Nicole

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

An absolutely beautiful day out on the water with First Nations’ youth!  The first thing they wanted to see was killer whales, and we found a lot of them in Johnstone Strait near Forward Bay.  As we listened to the killer whale vocalizations (we heard G clan calls – the I15 pod), the youth sang with drum accompaniment to the whales.  Beautiful!  We continued on to see a Minke whale near Bold Head and then went further on to view a “clam garden” site used by First Nations in the past.  All of us learned a lot today and we will continue to learn.  Thank you, Wa for your stories and words!

Date: 17/Aug/10

Report by: Trish

From: Vancouver, BC

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Another wonderful day out with the Mackay’s.  We travelled down Johnstone Strait to Adam River, where we saw the A24’s and A25’s AND A51’s baby!  Lots of spyhops and tail slaps.  The orcas were fishing and having lots of fun.  We then spotted a humpback off of Hanson Island, saw sea lions and eagles in Weynton Pass.  Lunch was delicious and dessert was divine.  What a GREAT DAY!!

Date: 16/Aug/10

Report by: Keith and Nancy Fournier

From: San Diego, California, USA

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We have had an amazing week out on the water.  Captain Bill has made sure that we have seen it all.  Orcas spyhopping galore, triple breach set, humpback whales, Steller sea lions, bald eagles, etc, etc.  It’s been a fantastic time. 

Additional Comments:

 Excellent soup.  Excellent desserts (especially the Nanaimo bars.  The crew are super knowledgeable and go out of their way to make sure the day is fantastic.  Wouldn’t recommend any other company.  The Mackays are the very best and really “give it all they have”!  Thanks for the fun memories and excellent picture opportunities.  We will be back for sure!

Date: 14/Aug/10

Report by: The Hernandez family

From: San Diego, CA

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Started this trip off with several bald eagles and a humpback whale.  Then we caught up with a clan of orca whales, and followed them along the coastline.  It was wonderful to learn about the different clans, how they mate and other communication facts.  Bill is extremely knowledgeable and his experience makes for a perfect excursion!  We also saw sea lions and more spectacular views than we could have imagined.

Additional Comments:

 Make sure to “dare” Nicole to jump into the warm water at Hidden Cove!  Thanks for a great trip and wonderful memories.

Date: 13/Aug/10

Report by: David Cormack

From: North Vancouver, BC.

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Travelled out to the edge of Port Hardy through thick fog, where we saw a lone humpback whale.  Afterwards, we travelled a ways down the coast where we found some orcas (killer whales).  We had 3 very curious young orca come right up beside the boat and caught a group playing with a Dall’s porpoise.  We travelled a bit more, seeing a few more orca before heading back, where we caught sight of 3 humpback whales just doing their thing.

Date: 12/Aug/10

Report by: Kassi Doucette

From: Grande Prairie, Alberta

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We went through Johnstone Strait.  We first saw the orcas by Robson Bight.  We saw four whales and we saw 30+ spy hops, 4+ tail slaps and the baby did a cartwheel/headstand.  Also we saw a humpback whale, porpoises, sea lions, a bear on shore and an eagle’s nest.

Additional Comments:

 Crew members are awesome and very friendly.  This was my 5th time with the Mackays.  Lunch was great!  Happy Birthday Kassi!

Date: 11/Aug/10

Report by: Peter van Cadsand

From: The Netherlands

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

What we saw today were the big whales (humpbacks) way up near Port Hardy.  Coming down we saw some more, one including a calf.  Besides that, a group of sea lions that were playing around with birds.  And to round the trip off, saw bald eagles nest south of Alder Bay. In short, a beautiful trip.

Date: 10/Aug/10

Report by: Mary Ain Toohey

From: Maricopa, Arizona, Bozeman, Montana

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

The highlight was seeing 2 humpback whales put on a show at our lunch break – beautiful dives, flukes and blows.  The show off sea lion, our intermission show, was also delightful.  Great education on the farm fishing and what is doing to our wild salmon population, and ultimately to whale survival – keep getting the word out!  We, as a family, will support the salmonaresacred.org. I would buy your shirts and wear them proudly for you.

Additional Comments:

 Thank you for a wonderful day!  We know we get the best trip possible!  Great family!

Date: 09/Aug/10

Report by: Robyn

From: Comox (formerly Port McNeill, BC)

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We saw a grey whale close to the beach in Mitchell Bay – pretty cool.  Also saw humpback whales.  Dessert was fantastic.  Nicole showed off her ladling arm and drew oohs and ahs from the crowd with her dessert tray.

Additional Comments:

 Fantastic day to be out on the water.  Company was good and Tyson and Captain Bill were awesome.  Uncle’s bald eagle impression was quite spectacular!!!

Date: 08/Aug/10

Report by: the Russell/Twigger party

From: Nottingham & Coventry, UK

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Great start at 10:20 a.m. from Hidden Cove, saw a black bear on the beach there, then travelled for about one hour to the west and saw a large humpback whale – fantastic.  We continued on into the upper end of Gordon Channel at Pine Island and saw the killer whales (A30 pod), a family group of about 9 whales all around the boat (magical), some great sightings.  Sat and had lunch surrounded by whales on a beautiful, calm sea.  Perfection.  We then headed to the east, to the Millar Group of islands to view a sea lion haul out – hundreds of Steller sea lions basking in the sun, the males massive.  We then headed home, well satisfied.  A truly memorable day.

Date: 07/Aug/10

Report by: Elodie

From: Vancouver, BC

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Many humpbacks today, up close and personal around the Plumpers!  Dall’s porpoises, harbour seals, one sea otter and a couple of sea lions basking in the sun.  Eagles chicks in the nest about to take flight.  No orcas today, they will be missed but the wonderful crew made the trip a real treat.  Yeah for the humpbacks!

Additional Comments:

 2 babies on the loose on the boat!  Thanks for the visit to Orca Lab!

Date: 06/Aug/10

Report by: Val Hardy

From: Newark, England

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

North east tip of Vancouver Island.  First sighting was a large rock full of sea lions.  Next sighting was a humpback whale and further east a second one.  Captain kept looking for orcas and we spotted porpoise by the side of the boat.  Still going on, we eventually found a family of three killer whales just south of Telegraph Cove.  Amazing!!

Additional Comments:

 Lunch included on the trip was delicious soup and a roll.  Later we were served with coffee and cakes.  Captain did not give up till he found everything he promised.  Great to meet people from all different countries with one goal - to see the orcas.  Whole trip lasted 6+ hours.  Amazing – worth every penny (dollar).

Date: 04/Aug/10

Report by: Ellen Hartlmeier

From: Richmond, BC

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

After picking up passengers in Alder Bay and Hidden Cove, we went west past Port Hardy, looking for transient orcas.  We found them in Goletas Channel near Browning Pass travelling west.  T18, a sprouter male, a young adult and another female.  After lunch, we headed out to the big ocean for a bit, looking for resident orcas.  Next stop was a sea lion rookery with about 200+ Steller sea lions, who made a lot of noise and came to check us out in the water.  Heading back, we encountered two humpback whales who presented their gorgeous flukes as they dove almost in unison.

Additional Comments:

 What can I say?  We love the Mackays and the trips on the Naiad are like nothing else.  Great sightings, great boat, great lunch; we will always be back.

Date: 03/Aug/10

Report by: Wendy Schneider

From: Windsor, Ontario

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Black bear – white-sided dolphins (100 of them) – Minke whale – sea lions (50-75) – grey whale - eagles

Additional Comments:

 Thank you for giving us such a wonderful experience!  The crew was just great!

Date: 02/Aug/10

Report by: Pat Warrington

From: England

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

To Hidden Cove to pick up two more Brits.  Aboard were Dutch, Germans and Canadians as well as the British contingent.  We travelled to Blackfish Sound and around the back of Malcolm Island seeing eagles, Steller sea lions, harbour seals, minke whale, lots of orca, including A34’s and A36’s and a wonderful humpback whale too close for the cameras to focus.

Additional Comments:

 A wonderful, wonderful day – happy relaxed, informative, friendly and all enhanced by the Mackay’s who are difficult to beat when it comes to Canadian hospitality.  Thank you Bill, Donna, Nicole and Uncle Ron.

Date: 01/Aug/10

Report by: Stephanie & Doug

From: Port Alice/Prince George, BC

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)                                               

Bill was fantastic, friendly and fun.  We went into Knight Inlet and saw lovely transient killer whales.  We also saw 3 humpback whales, a grey whale, sea lions, and an eagle catch a fish.  We were also lucky enough to see porpoises, one even swam under the boat.

Additional Comments:

 Thanks for an amazing day.  The Mackay’s rock!

Date: 31/Jul/10

Report by: Koole Family

From: Holland

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

It was great to see the whales and dolphins and the beautiful nature surrounded by them.  It was great to hear the stories about the preservation of these animals.  Never knew so much people love these creatures and their environment and it was “awesome” to feel this love.  The cake, Canadian cake on board was a special treat; it was a fine thing to taste.  All we have heard, seen, tasted and felt was a once in a lifetime experience.  Thanxx!

Date: 30/Jul/10

Report by: Emily & Allie Seracuse

From: Evergreen, Colorado

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We saw a lot of whales.  We saw about 26 orcas and 2 humpback whales.  We also saw sea lions.  There were 12.  We went by lots of islands.  We saw two bald eagles and their nest.  And a bear on the beach with her cubs.

Additional Comments:

 The trip was awesome and the captain and his daughter were very helpful.  It was amazing.  I will recommend this to anyone going to Canada.

Date: 28/Jul/10

Report by: Rob & Family

From: New Zealand

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Seeing the Orcas lifting their heads out of the water to observe the humans on the boat!  Watching the orca families getting so close to us and seeing their whole body!  The humpback whales were a real bonus!

Additional Comments:

 Great boat, New Zealand design!

Date: 27/Jul/10

Report by: Tara Schaufele

From: North Vancouver, BC - Flurry Point

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

The learning experience, the local insight and gaining a better understanding of what the North Island fishing and marine mammal conservation is doing was definitely a highlight.  The other highlight was of course the orcas.  The A36’s, seeing A46 up close, A8’s, Springer and the A11’s was wonderful!  Also the minke whale and sea lions!

Additional Comments:

 Thank you!!!  It was a treat to see the wildlife from a different perspective and to gain a better understanding of the North Island.

Date: 26/Jul/10

Report by: Jeroen Hoekendijk

From: The Netherlands

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

After picking everybody up at Hidden Cove, we spotted a black bear.  While heading for Robson Bight, we ran into a small group of transients right away!  Which was a bit of a surprise, since a fairly large group of residents orcas was close by.  The resident orca group consisted of the A36’s (A37 & A46) who were accompanied by A12.  Also Nicky spotted the A8’s.  After lunch we saw them again, this time they came really close.  On our way back from Robson Bight we saw some Dall’s porpoises, Steller sea lions and last, but not least, a minke whale!

Additional Comments:

 Great staff, great food (especially the chocolate cake stuff); great day!  Will certainly be back next year.

Date: 25/Jul/10

Report by: Mary & Dudley Bluhm

From: Corpus Christi, Texas

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We went to Blackfish Sound and saw a humpback whale.  Then travelled to the Cliff and saw northern resident Orcas, maybe A11’s and A34’s.  We went to Robson Bight and saw the A36’s and A12 and the A8’s.  Then we went to Weynton Pass and saw a minke whale and an eagle nest with two fledglings – father eagle on duty watching from the next tree.  Also saw a group of sea lions at Weynton.

Additional Comments:

 It was a beautiful sunny day – the lunch of crab bisque, roll and drink was just perfect – and as always, the Captain and Nicole were just great.  Lots of good information and a laugh per minute.  We also thank the Admiral for her behind-the-scenes management!

Date: 24/Jul/10

Report by: Ms Costello

From: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

5 or 6 transient Orcas – stayed with them for about 30 minutes.  Saw a humpback mom with 2 babies!  Also some lone humpbacks, sea lions too!  Loved the lunch and dessert!  Great time!!!

Date: 23/Jul/10

Report by: Mathilde & Frank

From: Chicago

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

It started out as a beautiful morning after a very stormy day yesterday.  Out first sight was a little grey whale.  Then, as we traveled north we saw our first Orca!  Then a pod of Orcas!  And, more…3 pods – a super pod!!! Amazing!  The Captain dropped a microphone into the water and we could hear the whales talk to each other.  Different pods make different sounds.  After seeing many Orcas, we headed home seeing a few humpback whales, sea lions, and bald eagles!

Additional Comments:

 We enjoyed delicious carrot curry soup while Orcas moved around our boat.  There were about 30 passengers on board and everyone enjoyed the amazing whales and animals.  A very informative adventure as Nicki and our Captain educated us along our journey.  An amazing day we will never forget!  Thank you!

Date: 22/Jul/10

Report by: Amanda

From: England

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Grey whale, sea lions; everything we’ve learnt about whales in general – very informative trip.  A beautiful day all around and an added bonus to spend it with our lovely Uncle Granger on stunning Vancouver Island. (Staff note:  we also saw a humpback whale, Dall’s porpoises and killer whales.) 

Additional Comments:

 The soup was pretty good too!  Thank you for a great trip.

Date: 21/Jul/10

Report by: Joy Lane

From: Lantzville, BC, bringing niece & her husband from England

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We went to Hidden Cove and Alert Bay to pick up passengers – saw an eagle’s nest.  From then, an abundance of Orcas – some breaching and they were with us for a long time.  We saw so many from 2 pods – they put on a great show for us.  On then, a display by the Pacific white-sided dolphins, playing in our wake.  Onward to a humpback whale and sea lions.  Sunshine, eagles, many seabirds too numerous to list.  A delicious lunch was provided.  A day to remember always.

Additional Comments:

 What a wonderful experience!  This is my second trip and I’m coming again!  Scenery is fantastic and the Mackay family knowledgeable and showed us so much.  Thank you very much.  See you again soon.

Date: 19/Jul/10

Report by: The Niles Family

From: Victoria, BC

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

Amazing day today!  Began with 3 orcas, 2 males and one female.  Spent great time with them and you learn who they are, their history, their age, etc.; thanks to the knowledge of the Mackay’s’! Then, we were treated to a humpback whale, northern sea lions (huge!), seals with their pups, and many eagles. Before heading back, we found a little grey whale (quite rare), and enjoyed watching him feed and another photo shoot! 

Additional Comments: 

Thanks for incredible knowledge, great lunch, and very tasty desserts!


Date: 18/Jul/10

Report by: Betty & Cynthia

From: Toronto

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) As we were hanging out on the lower deck, an orca (A37) began approaching us – dive – surface – closer – dive – surface – closer – and there he was! – right beside us, looking up.  Awesome.  We also saw a grey whale playing by the shoreline – the first one Ms Mackay has seen in the strait.  When the boat slowed down by an island with lots of seaweed and sticks, one suddenly moved – a harbour seal; a mother actually and then we could see the cutest baby one.  A little later we saw an adult sea lion, not quite so cut, but pretty awesome.  We also saw a little bird with bright red feet, a group of moon jelly fish, several large, red, toxic lion jelly fish, stopped by an island to visit Mr. & Mrs. Eagle.  Ma was perched on her tree and Papa on his tree watching over their baby eagle.

Additional Comments: I also learned that the federal and provincial governments are not proactively addressing the sea lice (actually a crustacean) that is depleting the fish and clam populations off the Pacific Coast of Canada.   Beware:  if the crew selects you for a special job, you will have to write an essay…what I did on my vacation….


Date: 17/Jul/10

Report by: Paul & Margriet

From: The Netherlands

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

The breach of an adult male ORCA, the Orca hunting after salmon and we could see its fin cutting through the water; sailing in between dozens of small rocky islands and the beautiful natural surroundings; the inspiring way the skipper and Nickie were telling about the orcas, you can tell their love for these animals and the nature around.

Additional Comments:

 We enjoyed the soup and bread for lunch.  The breach of the Orca was a honeymoon present for us.

Date: 16/Jul/10

Report by: Romy Gortenmulder

From: Holland

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We started off with a grey whale and a lot of bald eagles which was pretty neat.  I have seriously no clue where we went ‘cuz as far as being lost goes, I was lost.  Did hear a lot about going east or to be precise, not going there.  We saw sea lions and a minke whale.  And that was pretty much it.  No killer whales unfortunately.

Additional Comments:

 Lunch was good, dessert was yummy.  Liked the captain and how he was talkative – he has good humour.  Oh and the additional information was very helpful.  Too bad about the wind; next time we will have more luck maybe.

Date: 14/Jul/10

Report by: Ed & O'Tasha

From: Denver, Colorado, USA

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Fantastic Orca sightings – breeching, spy hopping, fluke slapping and riding in the waves.  To top it off we saw a humpback whale and sea lions.  The ocean was like glass, mystical landscape and no breeze.  A better day could not be imagined!  Wow!  Captain Bill was informative, yet entertaining.  A super guy with a super adorable daughter, Nickie.

Additional Comments:

 Excellent value for the money!  We’ve been on many “whale watching” trips and this was the best!  Oh – and the Nanaimo bars were to die for.

Date: 13/Jul/10

Report by: Derek & Betty Stokes

From: Sydney, Australia

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Of course, the highlight has to be the killer whales cruising alongside us.  The other wildlife was also a luzz to see, especially the bald eagles.  Also, our first Nanaimo slice thanks to Nicole!  Fantastic experience and a beautiful day out!  Thanks!

Additional Comments:

 Thanks for sharing some of the family history and involvement from the early days of whale watching in BC.

Date: 11/Jul/10

Report by: Kim Taylor and Pam Hawkes

From: Nanaimo, BC, Calgary, AB

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Went looking for Orca whales and lucky for us, there were a lot of them!  Beautiful and majestic.  Continued on to see the sea lions who normally are fairly lazy and just hang out on the rocks, however there were so many in the water playing, it looked like a sea lion playground. Education before tour very interesting.  Comedy was appreciated too.  Impressed to know so many tourists from all over the globe.  Great lunch too!

Additional Comments:

 Special thank you to the Mackay family.  Thanks for delivering on the promise to see whales!

Date: 10/Jul/10

Report by: Corine Koek

From: The Netherlands

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)                   

We were very fortunate to come out a second time with “Admiral” Donna and Captain Bill, and we got to spend a wonderful time with two male and one female killer whales!!  We were all thrilled.  Also saw dolphins playing around the boat, some eagles with young in their nest and two big sea lions.  The sun came out even, so it was an awesome day!

Additional Comments:

 Very grateful to get out on the Naiad again; we will make sure to tell everybody about the Mackays! – Marinus, Corine, Annegida and Gernine Koek.

Date: 08/Jul/10

Report by: Carol McKnight

From: California, USA

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Saw humpback whales spouting, tail flukes – very fun.  Dolphins followed us for miles, played in our wake.  Delightful!  Many bald eagles sighted.  Also harbour seals and Steller sea lions.  Super trip.

Additional CommentsBill and Donna are delightful and fun.  Great lunch.  Gorgeous, sunny day!

Date: 07/Jul/10

Report by: Dr. Wulff

From: Germany

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Weather conditions are the best since season started; full sun and no clouds.  Captain Bill also did his best and took us full speed to the south.  Already close to Campbell River, we met a group of three orcas.  We followed them and had lots of time to watch them and take pictures.  Finally we had to leave them and go back.  On our way, we met a pile of Pacific white-sided dolphins.  They were going all around the boat.  Close to the end of our trip, two other groups of Orcas passed us, not as close as the first one, but quite impressive.  We could also hear them by underwater microphone.

(Note:  A12 and A36's seen at Camp Point; A8's and A24's seen on the way back to Port McNeill).

Date: 04/Jul/10

Report by: Mark & Felicia

From: Houston, Texas

 

 Happy Birthday, USA!  Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) We saw it all today!  Many bald eagles, dolphins riding the boat wake, three orcas, humpback whales, seals with young and one huge male sea lion.  Captain Bill knows just were to go for the best wildlife viewing and Nicole has an exceptional grasp of the entire ecosystem.  All of our questions were answered with obvious expertise – we’ve learned so much on this trip.  The tour is so wonderful that we took it two days in a row. Additional Comments: 

However, we were disappointed not to see the giant man-eating squid.  We’ll come back next year and hopefully see it then. :)

Really nice boat, very smooth ride; we didn’t have to use the oars at all!  :)


Date: 03/Jul/10

Report by: Laura Mohtadi

From: Courtenay, BC

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We had a day that dreams come true – a still, sunny day.  We saw a minke whale and a big group of very playful Pacific white-sided dolphins.  We saw three resident Orca who were swimming very slowly and gracefully and one male even circled our boat.  We saw some harbour seals, went to look at an eagle’s nest and a humpback whale surrounded by dolphins.  Finally, we went to check up on a small grey whale that the Mackays are concerned about.  A sad, but very valuable part of this trip we learned from our knowledgeable hosts about the various threats to the marine life here.  One that I thing we must rectify immediately is the practise of open net fish farms. Additional Comments:  (by Charlotte Mohtadi) I love how comfortable the ship was and how much room there was to stand up and see the marine wildlife.  I also loved how friendly everyone was; it was very family oriented, and to sum it up, it was…cool!

Date: 02/Jul/10

Report by: Sandie

From: North Vancouver, BC.

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We had a fabulous day today; the sun shone all day and we had a rare sighting of a grey whale not long after leaving shore.  We went on to see two humpback whales, bald eagles and hundreds of dolphins following the wake.  Oh!  Mustn’t forget the seals and sea lion.  So much to see including the most amazing scenery.  This was not our first trip with the Mackay family and we are sure it won’t be the last.

Additional Comments:

 We must add that your soup will be homemade if you come on the Mackay Whale Watching tour.  Our Italian friends also enjoyed everything; Luca especially enjoyed the dolphins.  Thank you!

Date: 28/Jun/10

Report by: Marianna Boorman

From: Australia

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We started out heading west towards the Millar Group of islands where we saw several Steller sea lions relaxing on the rocks and playing in the water.  We saw so much wildlife during the trip, including black bears, Dall’s porpoise, harbour porpoise, sea otters, bald eagles and humpback whales.  We were very lucky to see about a dozen bald eagles feeding on a school of fish; it was incredible to watch.  We had an amazing time and are very grateful to Mackay Whale Watching (Bill and Donna) for providing us with such a wonderful day and such a great experience.

 

Additional Comments:

 The soup and dessert were delicious.  It was also fun to see a huge halibut caught by Barry of Code 3 Charters.

Date: 26/Jun/10

Report by: Gary & Elizabeth Ireland

From: Point Reyes Station, Ca., USA

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Went northwest up Queen Charlotte Strait.  Beautiful islands on both sides with hemlock and red cedar coming down to the sea.  We saw a large humpback whale, hundreds of northern sea lions with one sea otter swimming amongst them, dolphins and two stately bald eagles perched on a jagged rock island scanning the surroundings.  And on the way back to Port McNeill, we saw two black bears foraging on the beach.

 

Additional Comments: 

The boat we were in was superb – food delicious and appreciated; hot soup hit the spot.  Captain and crew (father and daughter) were welcoming and informative.  A great day – Thank you!


Date: 17/Jun/10

Report by: Mackay family

From: Port McNeill, BC (Vancouver Island - Canada)

 

Over the past two days, we have had the honour of hosting an incredible group from Wells Gray Tours.  On the first day, we went to Cascade Falls at the head end of Knight Inlet.  When we left Port McNeill, the weather was overcast and drizzling rain, but the further we got up Knight Inlet the brighter it got!  On this first day, we saw 3 humpback whales, about a dozen Pacific white-sided dolphins, a grizzly bear and her cub, one black bear, a small group of black-tailed deer and a lot of eagles!  On the second day, we went to Nakwakto Rapids (near Seymour and Belize Inlets on the central coast).  The rapids were amazing!  On this day we saw one humpback whale, many sea otters, many Steller sea lions, hundred of Pacific white-sided dolphins and killer whales!  We did not recognize the killer whales immediately, and after many photographs and discussion, it was discovered that these killer whales were from L pod - southern residents!  To look at the photos of this trip, please find us on FACEBOOK!

We are still awaiting the arrival of the northern resident killer whales - they normally come back into our area in late June.  Our first trip of the season is scheduled for June 26!


Date: 04/Jun/10

Report by: Mackay family

From: Port McNeill, BC (Vancouver Island - Canada)

 

No killer whale sightings to report yet - just a bit soon!  Our whale watching season will begin in three weeks!  In the mean time, check up on what we're doing on Facebook -

 www.facebook.com/.../Mackay-Whale-Watching/178823138502


Date: 23/Mar/10

Report by: Mackay family

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

It's been a while since we posted here!  Just a reminder, for up to date information on what we're doing and seeing, please visit us on Facebook!

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Port-McNeill-BC/Mackay-Whale-Watching/178823138502?ref=nf


Date: 05/Jan/10

Report by: Bill & Donna Mackay

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

Just a quick reminder that we are posting on Mackay Whale Watching's Facebook page! 

The resident orcas in BC's coastal waters depend upon wild salmon to survive, as do many of our marine and terrestial mammals.  Wild salmon on the Pacific coast are in trouble and it's time for all of us to "walk the walk".  Please join us in Victoria on May 8!  For the full itinerary, please see www.salmonaresacred.org.

 


Date: 10/Dec/09

Report by: Bill & Donna Mackay

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

We came across a group of four killer whales today!  There was one adult female, two juveniles and one very new calf that was still very orange coloured.

You can follow Mackay Whale Watching now on Facebook! 


Date: 29/Sep/09

Report by: Andrea England

From: Auckland, New Zealand

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

The greatest moment in an amazing day was the sight of a humpback whale lunge feeding.  The enormous creature was driving itself up through a ball of bait fish, opening its mouth wide before it surfaced.  Swarms of sea birds and a couple of Steller’s sea lions picked off the extras.  The A36 boys (3 killer whales) spent a long time around the boat, with their female cousin (A12).  We saw spyhopping and tail slapping from the family of four.  We also sighted a bald eagle and visited colonies of Steller’s sea lions and harbour seals.  A few dolphins came by too! And lastly, we saw a black bear on the beach at Hidden Cove.

Additional Comments:

 An awesome trip!  Thank you so much for a fantastic day.  Lots of information and great soup and cakes!  This was a brilliant tour and I would certainly recommend it.

Date: 26/Sep/09

Report by: Kyle McLean

From: California

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We left Port McNeill under dark skies, but the weather turned brilliant!  We saw some incredible wildlife in their natural environment – humpback whales, northern sea lions and even a black bear on the shore!  Had a great time – the crew was fabulous (if not a bit cheeky).

Date: 24/Sep/09

Report by: Sharon Dyer

From: Manhattan Beach, CA

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Our beautiful sunny day was matched with an afternoon full of humpback whales surrounding the boat, feeding for hours.  It was thrilling.  That was followed up by Pacific white-sided dolphins racing along with us.  And more…sea lion colonies and bald eagles up close and personal!  It was a fantastic day with Bill, Nicole and crew!

Date: 22/Sep/09

Report by: Matthias

From: Kenora, Ontario

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Great weather, great whales and fantastic whale watching.  We had the orcas around us for two hours – saw them breaching and slapping their tails.

Additional Comments:

 Highly recommend this trip.  Best whale watching tour in the area I have been on.

Date: 21/Sep/09

Report by: Amanda Jackson

From: Bury St. Edmunds, England

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Fantastic weather, sunshine and calm seas.  We first saw the sea lions basking on the rocks in the sunshine and as we watched, a bald eagled dived near the boat for food – great photo opportunity.  Then we saw humpback whales – so majestic!  Heading out further, our first sighting of the orca whale clans along with the dolphins.  I have never eaten lunch in such beautiful surroundings.  We also listened to the whale song – makes me want to go again tomorrow.

Additional Comments:

 Great crew – Bill’s knowledge and information really helped to make the trip memorable – he is so enthusiastic.  Such great value.  The boat is so quick; we had gone a far distance in such a short time.

Date: 17/Sep/09

Report by: Philip Randall, Chris Barratt & Judie Hosie

From: England, England & Vancouver Island

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We travelled down Island along the Johnstone Strait and it wasn’t long before we saw orcas – A12 pod, A30 pod and A36 pod.  They were feeding in and out of the rip that the tide was creating.  They were joined by Dall’s porpoises that were moving like little torpedoes just beneath the surface.  After lunch, we encountered five humpback whales that were lunge feeding.  Two humpbacks were being harassed by at least five sea lions, which led to a lot of trumpeting and tale slapping along with pectoral fin slapping.

Additional Comments:

 A thoroughly enjoyable trip led by a great, enthusiastic crew.  The food was also good.  Definitely money well spent, because you also got a comedy act from Captain Bill.  Nicole was very informative to the encounters of marine life that we saw on the trip.

Date: 15/Sep/09

Report by: Paula and Hunter Phillips

From: San Diego, CA

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

What an amazing week!  This morning we headed out into the east where we were soon surrounded by humpback whales.  We saw lunge feeding right off the boat.  One humpback breached at least 10 times with others breaching in different directions.  We had 3 side by side dive right next to the boat.  Totally spectacular!

Additional Comments

The Mackay’s are absolutely wonderful!  No one on the water knows more than Bill!  Will definitely be back next year.  Thank you for treating us like family.


Date: 14/Sep/09

Report by: Lynne

From: Pennsylvania

 

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

The best whale watch ever!  We were delighted by the antics of the orcas --- moms and babies swimming together, one beautiful male breaching the water, the song of the whales heard through the microphone.  A sea otter and sea lions made guest appearances.  A bald eagle swooped over the trees.  Even the sun deigned to shine a bit!  The crew provided lots of information and lots of enthusiasm and to top it off we saw three bears on the way home!

Date: 13/Sep/09

Report by: Aurea

From: Barcelona, Spain

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Wow, we saw it all.  Dolphins swimming with the orcas, humpback whales that surprised us by sneaking up close to the boat, bald eagles, sea lions, birds galore, a black bear on the beach and awesome scenery.

Additional Comments:

 Bill and our deckhand really made it all interesting and were a wealth of information.  The Nanaimo bars went down a treat too!  We’ll be back.

Date: 12/Sep/09

Report by: Sarah, Grant & Dylan Lodge

From: Kununurra, Western Australia

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Picture perfect scenery with perfect weather conditions.  Whole trip was a wildlife menagerie, from northern sea lions being hunted by the “transient” wolves of the ocean, to resident killer whales feeding on fish, then gathering together to socialize, northern humpback whales (we could smell what they had for dinner) and even a lone minke whale!  Glassy water provided fantastic photo opportunities.  Abundance of birdlife – even some shearwaters (mutton birds) visiting from Australia.

Additional Comments:

 Casual, friendly atmosphere on board was great.  The Mackay family are obviously passionate about their backyard and the wildlife.  Congratulations on a superb tour – an experience we will never forget.  Lunch and afternoon tea was delicious.  Especially like the personal, jovial touch – keep up the great work – we will be back!

Date: 11/Sep/09

Report by: Francis Taunton

From: London, England

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

The skipper took us in search of transient killer whales east of Port McNeill.  En route, we encountered a 48 ton Humpback whale who circled the boat in close.  Later several colonies of sea lions, and eagles’ nests.  The skipper headed further east, detecting at least two transient killer whales lunching on porpoise.  He then proceeded further east encountering a large school of dolphins.  The skipper intuitively knows where to find the mammals of the sea.

Additional Comments:

 The commentary and hospitality were excellent as were the lunch and afternoon tea and cakes.  A thoroughly enjoyable and informative day.  Strongly recommended!

Date: 10/Sep/09

Report by: Hunter Phillips

From: San Diego, California, USA

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We went west past Port Hardy and saw the I15 and I31 pods of killer whales.  Then we saw a couple of humpback whales and the orcas started playing in the waves.  Then we went over to Miller’s Rock and saw the sea lions and bald eagles.  At one point we were totally surrounded by both the humpbacks and orcas!

Additional Comments:

 I am so glad we will be going out the Mackay’s all week.  Lunch was great!

Date: 09/Sep/09

Report by: Bram Corernans

From: Holland

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

In the morning we saw two humpback whales playing around, blowing water, diving and showing their tail flukes.  We also saw a black bear on one of the islands.  In the afternoon we saw several killer whales in several spots, playing around with dolphins.  Finally we also saw a group of sea lions lying ashore.

 

Additional Comments:

 Very friendly staff and plenty of fool’s candy (cakes), coffee and tea and soup.

Date: 08/Sep/09

Report by: Bobbi & Bill

From: Baltimore, MD

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Orcas everywhere!  Including a pod of 6-7 who swam and breached together.  We also saw a group of humpback whales, sea lions and a black bear who quickly scurried out of sight as soon as he saw us.  Of special interest were the sea birds – a rhinoceros auklet (a life bird for us!), common murres and red-necked phalaropes.  And, of course, bald eagles and gulls.  There was almost no down time.  When we weren’t looking at the wildlife, we were looking at beautiful scenery.

 

Additional Comments:

 The captain and deckhand were extremely knowledgeable and very pleasant.  It’s one of the best whale watching trips ever!

Date: 07/Sep/09

Report by: Chris Lewis

From: Bristol, UK

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Started in Weynton Pass – saw a couple of Humpback whales, Steller sea lions and a bald eagle.  No orcas around up our way, so Bill ran us all the way down to Kelsey Bay.  On the way, we passed a huge pod of white-sided dolphins at Port Neville.  Once at Kelsey Bay we saw the A30 pod of orcas – A30 plus 2 large males and A72 (nicked fin) etc., etc….  Amazing action all around us!  After another view of the dolphins with some spectacular acrobatics, we headed home.  Saw a cute black bear as we dropped some people off at Hidden Cove Lodge.  Then just time to spot a minke whale (or 2) off Alert Bay.

 

Additional Comments:

 A really great day out.  So impressed with this operation – would recommend it to anyone!

Date: 05/Sep/09

Report by: Mega Mel Downs

From: Colorado Springs, Colorado

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Fantastic!  My brother, Doyle, from Waco, TX and my wife, Sandie and I thought “Oh no, it’s raining!”, but the sun came out and the day was wonderful.  Captain Bill and the lovely deckhand were very entertaining and first class.  The lunch and pastries were delicious.  Oh yes, the whales!  The orcas (actually the biggest dolphin) were our goal.  Northern sea lions, a bald eagle, humpback whales and hundreds of white-sided dolphins kept us on the edge of seats and burning up digital “film” at a high rate.  All the passengers were friendly but the word “mutiny” was bantered about as the sun dropped lower and lower.  Most of us had given up on seeing orcas, but Captain Bill wouldn’t turn back and there they were!  A pod of orcas that we watched for a long time.  Finally we had to head home.  A very satisfying day!  Thanks so much for a fun day!

Date: 04/Sep/09

Report by: Sammy Pathak & Nele Meuleman

From: Richmond Hill, ON

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

First, we saw a minke whale just off of Alert Bay.  On our way towards Kelsey Bay, there was rough water so we took the “scenic route”.  We stopped for lunch and were interrupted by about 200 Pacific white-sided dolphins.  What a beautiful sight!!  On our way back towards Telegraph Cove we saw a few orcas.  En route to look for the humpback whales, right by the big eagles’ nest, we saw Steller sea lions.  Next came 3 humpback whales at the end of Malcolm Island, and finally, while travelling on the east side of Malcolm Island, we saw many more orcas just off of Bere Point.

 

Additional Comments:

 We had an amazing trip.  What a great group of people who joined us on this trip (people from Germany, Texas, Toronto, Vancouver and of course our mom from Port McNeill).  Thanks again to the crew for an amazing trip; you two are brilliant and hilarious! 

Date: 03/Sep/09

Report by: Kris Anna

From: Austin, TX

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Pacific white-sided dolphins (about 500!) and orca (about 60!). It was a magical trip with a top-notch crew and we traveled until we saw about 6 pods of orcas (killer whales) and a school of 500 Pacific white-sided dolphins.

 

Additional Comments:

 Had a great lunch, with tea and cakes.  We stayed out an extra hour because there was so much to see!

Date: 01/Sep/09

Report by: Jurgen & Jutta Behrendt

From: Germany

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

I cannot believe that we really saw so many killer whales!  I could count but I think it was about 50 (resident orcas).  We also saw some transient orcas hunting.  It was a wonderful day, I will never forget.  Thanks!

 

Additional Comments:

 The crew was amazing.  We got the best information we ever got.  And the service was great.

Date: 30/Aug/09

Report by: Sytse Duiveaman & Richelle Molenaan

From: The Netherlands

 

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

The trip was a blast!  Amazing surroundings, amazing animals and an awesome crew.  We saw plenty of orcas, humpback whales, sea lions and of course, harbour seals.  We saw much more than we had expected…brilliant guides!  We had a great time.

 

Additional Comments:

 We loved the soup, cakes and great stories!  We will take the trip again when we come back to Canada.  This trip is recommended to all!

Date: 29/Aug/09

Report by: Christine Trautwein

From: Germany

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We saw many orcas – male, female and babies swimming in groups and frolicking together.  Bald eagles, sea lions, seals and also a humpback whale. Although the day was foggy when we set off, the fog and mist changing during the day made for a very special atmosphere.

 

Additional Comments:

 The crew was great and we had fabulous mushroom soup for lunch perfect!

Date: 28/Aug/09

Report by: Patricia Zylstra

From: The Netherlands

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

First we went to see the local killer whale family, in the same area there were dolphins as well.  Later on we saw sea lions.  Then we traced the humpback whale!  And last, we met a group of seals and an eagle family.

 

Additional Comments:

 Super friendly crew, beautiful boat and lovely food!  We received lots of information about all the species!!  Really impressive!  Thank you very much, it was one of the highlights of our vacation!

Date: 26/Aug/09

Report by: Ralf and Eefje Blom

From: The Netherlands

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

First we went off to Hidden Cove Lodge where we saw some Pacific white-sided dolphins who were jumping behind the boat.  After this we saw some sea lions, minke whales (“sometimes” known as “stinky Minke” whale) and two humpback whales, a harbour seal and bald eagles.  Then we searched for orcas.  We found three male orcas.  One of them came very close to the boat and another one was spy hopping.

 

Additional Comments:

 We’ve done the trip two times in a row!  The crew is very friendly and very willing to answer all your questions.  Also a great lunch was served.

Date: 25/Aug/09

Report by: Monette

From: White Rock, BC

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Picked up Troy and Kate at Sointula, saw whales before we even got there!  Second stop at Hidden Cove Lodge, then off to the west and saw the C6, D7, I22 pods of killer whales and lots of others who were unidentified.  On our return, we saw approximately 50 Pacific white-sided dolphins who cavorted for us.

 

Additional Comments:

 Great company.  Awesome soup.  Nanaimo bars were back on the menu so everyone was happy as a clam (which just happened to be the soup).

Date: 24/Aug/09

Report by: The Kirkham Family

From: Southern UK

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Despite the drizzle, today was the highlight of our two weeks in Canada.  After an early humpback whale sighting we sped across the bay in search of orcas…and we found them – really found them!  After an initial sighting of a small pod of 5 or 6, we then gate-crashed with the “orca party”.  After a lovely, warming lunch with a sea lion acrobatic display, Bill then found us the party.  Group after group converged, giving us an amazing display – spy hopping, tail splashing and babies attempting mini breaches. 

(Note from the crew:  over 60 killer whales were found today!  We had pods from A clan, C clan, D clan, R clan and W clan and we received another report of more killer whales arriving!  A rare “super pod” is in the making!) 

 

Additional Comments:

 My 8 year old son, Josh, said nothing but stared in awe calling to the whales and then turned to me and hugged me so tightly that I knew what he felt – the excitement was evident!!  Thank you for an amazing day and for making us feel so welcome – it’s a memory we will treasure for ever.

Date: 23/Aug/09

Report by: Ronda Leonard

From: Innisfail, Alberta

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Boated past Port Hardy; we saw numerous orca whales (A30’s and A36’s).  Up close and personal with three humpback whales; two bald eagles perched on a rock island and a whole clan of sea lions basking in the sun.

 

Additional Comments:

 Weather was spectacular with amazing scenery.  Wonderful captain and crew, very friendly and courteous.  One of the greatest experiences and I would recommend Mackay Whale Watching to anyone interested in seeing sea life at its best.  Thanks to the captain and crew for a wonderful day.

Date: 22/Aug/09

Report by: Chris & Sally La Niece

From: London, UK

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We saw the wonderful A30 pod of killer whales, including babies, fishing, resting and generally enjoying life.  Pointer (A39) and Blackney (A38) put on a fantastic show.  Did I mention we also saw two humpback whales – one who surprised the whole boat by appearing right beside us.  Eagles and sea lions were also spotted.  Great scenery and what an adventure!

 

Additional Comments: 

The Orca Live fanatics were also out in full force and a nicer bunch you couldn’t hope to meet.  (www.orca-live.net)


Date: 21/Aug/09

Report by: Cathy Converse

From: Victoria, BC

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Through the blowhole into Blackfish Sound, across to Bold Head, where we found the A30 pod of killer whales.  Later, near White Cliff Islets, we watched a humpback whale.  After dropping of supplies at Orca Lab we were shown an eagle’s nest on a small island.  The captain said he would go looking for some Pacific white-sided dolphins which had been reported of Beaver Cove.  We were delighted when he found 50 or 60 of the dolphins which were leaping out of the water, tail walking and generally being very active.  Along the way we saw 20 sea lions feeding on Pollock.  All-in-all it was an incredible day.

Date: 20/Aug/09

Report by: Ben & Katie

From: Scotland

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We travelled up the Johnstone Strait past Sayward.  On the way we saw 8 different pods of orca and a pod of dolphins. Had lunch!  Then all the orca pods swam past, some very close.  One male spy hopped a few metres from the boat – INCREDIBLE!  On the way home we passed a super pod of over 200 dolphins (that swam alongside the boat), a minke whale, lots of sea lions and four bald eagles.

Additional Comments:

 Fantastic value for money.  It was the best day of our holiday by far.  Took amazing photographs to take home as memories.  Thank you for an excellent day!


Date: 19/Aug/09

Report by: Leslie Dawley and Jacob Alger

From: San Francisco, CA and Surrey, BC

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Today we hit the Johnstone Strait and below Queen Charlotte Strait, along Alert Bay and Robson Bight area. 

Trip stated off with heavy fog and a visit from the transient pod of killer whales.  After our time with the transients, we saw some resident killer whales (A12 and the A34’s) and then we had a playful group of white-sided dolphins – Wow!  Sun arrived for great photo shots.  In the Robson Bight area, we also saw more resident killer whales – A30’s, A24’s and A23’s.  On top of all that, we also saw bald eagles, northern sea lions and a minke whale!

Additional Comments: 

Food, as always – Great!  Nanaimo bars – gone off the top.  Crew outstanding – Captain educational and humorous as always!  Captain Bill always finds the whales – thank you!  A great day meeting new people and families.  A day well spent!


Date: 18/Aug/09

Report by: Norma, Trish and Wendy

From: Netherlands, Surrey and Chilliwack

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Started the day with fog, and we saw the A23 pod of killer whales with their new baby, three of the A30’s and the A25’s.  When the fog started lifting we saw all the A30’s with their new baby, mostly grouped together in a beautiful resting line, and then foraging.  Soon after lunch we saw two humpback whales and seals.  To finalize our great day, we saw a juvenile bald eagle feasting on salmon.  Beautiful day with great company and crew.

Additional Comments:

 Another wonderful day with the Mackays!

Date: 17/Aug/09

Report by: Juliet Heyworth

From: England

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)

The first thing we saw was a minke whale which was amazing.  We also saw two male killer whales (A38 and A39) swim back to save their mother (A30) from a lot of dolphins.  That was special, watching them swim synchronized.  Also there were a couple of humpback whales that swam pretty close for quite a time.  The huge number of dolphins played for ages and the sleepy sea lions basking on the rocks with two pairs of eagles sitting near their nests.  A great day!

Date: 16/Aug/09

Report by: Robyn

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)

  We saw five groups of killer whales – A8’s, A23, A24, A25 and A30’s, over 200 Pacific white-sided dolphins, humpback whales, minke whales and northern sea lions.  What a fabulous day.  We didn’t know where to look at times as there was so much activity around us. 

 

Additional Comments:

  On a personal note, the Mackay family made my trip very memorable.  I am a “believer” again!!  Thank you to the ladle queen, Nicole, for the fabulous lunch and to Donna and Capt. Bill for a most memorable day.  I can’t thank you enough.

Date: 15/Aug/09

Report by: Julie

From: California

 

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)

  

What’s black and white and fun all over??...a day spent with the Mackays!!  From the get go, we knew it was going to be a great day!  Capt. Bill and Nicole had us laughing with whale stories and even an amusing story about a young fledgling eagle who took flight for the first time and then forgot about the use of “landing gear”!!  He’s OK though and we’re sure he’ll be in the air once he has rethought the whole process!  We had quite a whale show, which featured the A8’s, the A24’s, A23’s, A25’s and some of the A30’s.  The A30’s even took a quick break from foraging to rub their bellies along a beach.  We also had the treat of seeing some of the new playful babies!  They were already practicing their breaches!

  

Additional Comments:

  Needless to say, it was an awesome day!  It’s great to be back with the Mackays!  I’ll be back tomorrow…ready for another perfect day!!

Date: 14/Aug/09

Report by: Steve and Marie

From: Mill Bay, Vancouver Island, BC

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)

 

The highlight for my wife and I was meeting Nicole Mackay. This bright and vibrant young lady taught us how to identify the killer whales by their saddle patches, and our first whale identified was the famous orphaned orca named Springer. How cool is that! Nicole’s father Captain Bill, kept us entertained with his infectious energy and his ability to charm whales out of the depths.

 

Additional Comments:

 

Many killers whales sighted, stellar sea lions, black bear, bird life, all punctuated by leaping pink salmon.
This family, their business, and their passion for this wild coast in as inspiration for all those aboard.


Date: 13/Aug/09

Report by: Carol Agoc party and Sophia Gooden party

From: London, Ontario and Long Beach, California

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)

 Wow!  What an experience.  It was by far one of our best tours.  Plenty of whales, eagles and sea lions. 

Mackay Whale Watching is truly a whale magnet!  At least 30 orcas, several humpbacks, sea lions, eagles – this was a delightfully and informative day.  Thank you for your knowledge and enthusiasm and for the work you have done over the years to preserve the orca’s habitat.  The photographers on board enjoyed all the great chances to capture images we’ll enjoy for years to come. 

Additional Comments: 

Donna & Bill are such delightful hosts.  We couldn’t have asked for anyone else.  Thank you! 

It was amazing to hear the orcas sing!


Date: 12/Aug/09

Report by: Kim & Krysta Dixon and Cheryl & Barbara

From: San Francisco, CA - Hello California!

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)

  It was a beautiful day out on Johnstone Strait today.  We saw the A24’s, the A30’s (orca pods) and three humpback whales.  We had wonderful clam chowder and delicious desserts.  We also stopped at Orca Lab to pick up a passenger.  We stopped and viewed the Steller sea lions and one California sea lion.  We also visited a bald eagle nest that has a fledgling.  Incredible time!  While pulling up to Hidden Cove to our drop off stop, we found a mamma and small baby bear digging through the beach rocks.  AWESOME!

Date: 11/Aug/09

Report by: The Fournier's

From: San Diego, CA

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)

  

What an amazing place!  We love it here!  We saw orca breaches and spy-hops.  The Captain was amazing!!  His knowledge of the whales and are incredible!  The diesel engines on the Naiad are smoke fee and running strong and completely quiet underwater.  We saw Canadian turkeys (bald eagles) and their young, active and boisterous Steller sea lions.  We will be back for our 10th year!

  

Additional Comments:

  We always enjoy our time here in Port McNeill.  The Mackay’s have the best boat around and off the best whale watching tour in the area; best captain (Bill), best soup giver-outer (Nicole) – overall, best everything!

Date: 09/Aug/09

Report by: Nancy Borsboom

From: Holland

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)

  

We went up to Johnstone Strait and we saw a lot of Orcas coming our way.  They were beside the boat checking us out.  It was really quite an experience.  We saw a lot of groups hunting for fish and also spy hopping and breaching.  We (Bas and I) made some great pictures.  We have also seen humpback whales and sea lions and a family of bald eagles.

  

Additional Comments:

We had a great time, wish we could come every day.  Beautiful day at the office for the Mackay crew!

Date: 08/Aug/09

Report by: Cindy Christopher

From: Calgary, Alberta

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)

  

What an awesome day!  It far exceeded our expectations.  The crew was warm and welcoming and a lot of fun.  They also knew everything there is to know about the area.  Very educational trip!  We saw too many whales to count and were able to get close enough to get some great shots! (photos of course!)

  

Additional Comments:

  -          Great hot lunch!

-          Modern and comfortable boat!

-          The captain was amazing!

-          This is a must-do!


Date: 06/Aug/09

Report by: Geert van der Meer

From: Holland

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)

  

Gorgeous.  This skipper knows where to park his ship.  We saw killer whales, dolphins, humpback whales and even a black bear.  The kids appreciated it.  Thanks.

  

Additional Comments:

  Lunch and cakes were excellent.

Date: 06/Aug/09

Report by: N. Sutton

From: Nanaimo, BC

 

 Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

I liked seeing the whales; baby whales, adult whales; enjoyed everything we saw.  It was very interesting to see, enjoyed meeting people, a very nice group of people.  Captain Bill Mackay and his daughter served refreshments.  Bill is very knowledgeable about the subject of orcas and imparts this knowledge in an easy – and comic way. 

Additional Comments: 

Very well done.


Date: 05/Aug/09

Report by: Gerard

From: Paris, France

 

 Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

The fog was very thick when we started, which made things quite beautiful and mysterious.  It did not take long before we spotted a big orca, A32, then 2 more, then a whole group of them feeding.  After that, we sailed on to a very quiet spot were we saw 2 huge humpback whales diving in and out in a leisurely way.  Another highlight, a bit later on, was 3 sea lions frolicking in the choppy waters.  Then a majestic-looking bald eagle who looked at us with contempt as we slowly sailed by, then some seals. 

Additional Comments: 

It’s hard not to feel humbled by all this beautiful wildlife.  I particularly liked it when Bill turned off the engine so we could enjoy the sights and sounds.  Bill and Ron know the area perfectly and provided a lot of useful (and entertaining) information about the whales, their feeding habits, language, social organization, etc.  It was truly a very moving experience and a fantastic day.  Thanks!


Date: 04/Aug/09

Report by: Mel Williams

From: Wales

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

Went down Johnstone Strait, just past Robson Bight – Orcas everywhere!!  Water calm as a millpond, sun shining.  It couldn’t be better, but it was!  After watching the A30’s, plus others we moved on.  On the way to find a humpback whale, a dozen or so Pacific white-sided dolphins rode in our wake.  Spectacular!  Then we saw a large humpback, some northern sea lions, bald eagles with young and seals.  

Additional Comments: 

What an amazing day!!  Thanks so much to all the crew.


Date: 03/Aug/09

Report by: Nicole Mackay

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

With all the excitement today, I forgot to get someone to write the report, so I thought I would give it a shot.  We saw the three orca boys (A36’s) and A12 in the morning, then we saw three humpback whales, two Minke whales and the A30 pod of orcas in the afternoon.  They were very vocal and putting on quite the show!  

Additional Comments: 

It was a great day with people from around the world.  Beautiful sunshine and amazing wildlife and scenery.  Chris Stewart is very fascinating as well!  He sure knows his birds!  My dad, the captain, isn’t so bad either.


Date: 02/Aug/09

Report by: Katie Seal

From: Nottingham, England

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)

 

 

 Within an hour of leaving the wharf we were watching close to a dozen orcas, porpoising and spy hopping in Blackfish Sound.  This continued for over ninety minutes – it was absolutely breathtaking.  Other sightings consisted of:  Minke whales, Dall’s porpoises, a humpback whale, several sea lions, at least three eagles and a few seals.  There was also a variety of bird life to keep us occupied in the odd minute between sightings.

 

Additional Comments:

 

 The hospitality on board was top notch and the lunch was very tasty.  We particularly enjoyed the in-depth lecture concerning the history of oberservational whale studies and identification of the local whale pods and clans.  Hope to hear good news about Springer who may be back with her grandmother!  A trip to remember!

Date: 01/Aug/09

Report by: Loraine Coyle

From: Nanaimo, BC

 

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)

  Mystic fog, but cleared as morning went on – rest of the day sunny.  Saw the A30 pod of killer whales (2 huge males and many females and a baby).  Also saw Steller sea lions, bald eagle and eaglet.

Additional Comments:

  A great trip – wonderful crew and good food.  We will be back again.  My third trip with this company!

Date: 30/Jul/09

Report by: Gerald Feeney

From: Qualicum Beach, BC

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)

  

Wonderful sunny day and calm sea.  Sighted a minke whale then, to our delight, saw A30 pod (of killer whales) with a new calf born this spring.  The calf jumped and flipped out of the water, playing beside its mother.  Later we saw large males and more of A30 pod.  Lots of fishing boats and the Federal fisheries plane flying circles overhead taking photos.  Passed the gravel and sand being loaded onto a large tanker; the tug boats pushed the boat away from the dock and then did circles for us.

  

Additional Comments:

  Wonderful soup and goodies.  Nicole looked after us very well.  It was a delight to have Chris on board with all his stories.  Bill gave us a wonderful day.  Thank you – see you soon.

Date: 29/Jul/09

Report by: Holly Sellers

From: Corpus Christi, Texas

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

We saw beautiful scenery and were so lucky to see A12 and the boys and also the A30 pod of orcas.  Blackney and (I think) Pointer put on a fantastic show for us.   The porpoises were cute and playful, too.  In all, I think we saw 13 orcas and I could not have asked for a better birthday present.  Family, friends, fun, and food – nothing better. 

Additional Comments: 

The Mackays and Chris are so nice and knowledgeable about all things B.C.  Thanks so much y’all for the birthday song, cake, wishes and an overall wonderful trip.  Can’t wait to come back and do it again.


Date: 28/Jul/09

Report by: Ann Metcalf

From: Edmonton, Alberta

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

First, we picked up a couple of others at stops along the way; saw shoal of minnows and tons of jelly fish.  Then we went to the orca reserve (Robson Bight Ecological Reserve) – a very speedy trip indeed!!  Things were quiet and very peaceful, the water was calm – the sky was very blue and the sun was shining.  We thought we would not see anything!  Then we started to see orca diving very far away without binoculars and then…and THEN we saw them closer and CLOSER!!  We were very excited…and then we saw dolphins (actually we DINED with the dolphins as we ate a delicious lunch!!).  Then a very informative session presented by Captain Bill about ORCA!  And, then we saw sea lions.  I can’t say that I’ve had a better day anywhere!!  Perfect weather, perfect sea and excellent hosts. 

Additional Comments: 

Great job, guys!!


Date: 26/Jul/09

Report by: Liz Landveth, Jim and Brenda Jimmunps, ellen Oversluizen, and Brenna Rayner

From: Santa Rosa CA, Madison WI, The Netherlands, and Surrey B.C.

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

 

-Dolphins surfing the ships wake. Killer whale families chirping, squealing, and hunting. Nice people we met onboard.
-The people are wonderful! The Orca’s are awesome! Congrats to Bill, even though the fog kept us at bay at times the day turned out perfect. We saw more whales and dolphins than we ever thought! Great job!
 

Additional Comments:

 -We enjoyed the meeting with the dolphins to start with and then afterwards we saw lots of Orca’s and a Minke whale who was in the group with them. Also the information of the captain and his daughter was very interesting. At the end we saw beautiful spots with snow covered mountains at the back with sea lions and bald eagles. Thank a lot for showing us your paradise in this relaxed way.
-It was really fun! Really enjoyed Captain Bill and Nicole. Learned a lot about killer whales (how they sleep and their family make up). Had lots of sun and lots of fun.
Thanks from Brenna!

Date: 25/Jul/09

Report by: Jarad, Tanya & Maelyn

From: Winnipeg, MB

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Today we visited the Johnstone Strait and surrounding areas.  We saw orcas, Steller sea lions, bald eagles and beautiful scenery.

 

Additional Comments:

 This was our first whale watching tour and it was impressive.  Captain Bill is an excellent guide with his extensive knowledge about the various sea animals, geographic area and added humour.  Thanks to Fiona for all of her assistance and care throughout our trip.  A great trip for the entire family.

Date: 24/Jul/09

Report by: Susan

From: Scotland, UK

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Close up killer whales!  Wow!  Sea lions playing; bald eagles; beautiful scenery.  Excellent boat – comfortable, good viewing, inside and out.

 

Additional Comments:

 Highly recommended.  Very knowledgeable and friendly crew.  Brilliant afternoon tea (I only ate five slices of cake).

Date: 22/Jul/09

Report by: Samantha

From: Switzerland

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We had an excellent trip!  We saw a pod of orcas and were able to watch them for a long time!  We saw 2 breaches!!  Amazing!  We also saw dolphins, sea lions, eagles, birds, seals…  It’s hard to believe that this pristine place filled with nature is being threatened by humans.  It’s an absolutely amazing area!

 

Additional Comments:

 GREAT CREW!  GREAT FOOD!  Thank you so much!

Date: 21/Jul/09

Report by: Kia Conn & Family

From: Piedmont, CA, USA

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We went up the Johnstone Strait and saw many groups of orcas.  They breached for us – amazing!!  We saw several babies, mothers, and big fathers – all around us.  Dall’s porpoises were also seen in the morning.  We got to see a humpback whale right next to our boat, while bald eagles were diving for fish.  Nothing could be better!  Even a minke whale showed up at the end of our day!

 

Additional Comments:

 The crew was so incredibly nice, friendly and knowledgeable.  We had delicious soup.  It couldn’t have been a better day – thank you!!!

Date: 20/Jul/09

Report by: Fabian Weber

From: German

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

- dolphins – killer whales – seals – bald eagles – lunch – tea & cake

 

Additional Comments:

 Everything’s so perfect (but the weather).  You’re all so funny, helpful and friendly.  You rock!

Date: 19/Jul/09

Report by: Julia Nicholson

From: Oxford, England

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

 

I went with my husband and two teenage children on the boat, Naiad Explorer, from Hidden Cove Lodge.  We had an amazing trip  - first listening out for orcas (no sound!) but after two hours a whole pod emerged, complete with baby.  They swam along with us for abut an hour, jumping, blowing and playing together and even playing in the waves.  They swam fairly close to the boat and under it – which was incredible to see them so close up.

 

Additional Comments:

 It was such a brilliant trip – my daughter (13) got some great pictures and video clips, but most of all the experience was very moving and spectacular.  We found the captain and crew great – so helpful and able to give us as long as possible with the whales.  All fantastic.  I think everyone on board felt that they had experienced something very special.  I forgot the porpoises which were good too!The crew were also very friendly and knowledgeable.

Date: 16/Jul/09

Report by: The Potter's

From: UK (oh no, they're back!!!)

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Another fab trip with Mackay’s – orcas at Robson Bight, humpbacks at Bold Head and lots of Dall’s porpoises.   

Additional Comments: 

If you are interested in the whales and the wildlife in Johnstone Strait, this is the trip to go on!  If good food, great cakes and excellent company is your thing – this is the trip for you.  We’ll be back!!


Date: 15/Jul/09

Report by: The Minty Family

From: Salmon Arm and Maple Ridge, BC

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Went to Johnstone Strait and saw a mama and 2 babies (Killer Whales) – great show!  Thanks – and wonderful show at Bold Head – we got over 100 pictures (some were just the sky, but what a sky!).

 

Additional Comments

Fiona was a lot of fun and Captain Bill was a good driver – it was a lot of fun to fool him.  The service was exceptional!!  We hope to be back one day – if they let us that is.


Date: 14/Jul/09

Report by: Scott Abraham

From: Lexington, KY, USA

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

From the outset, our mission was to “just go”.  However, after only 20 minutes, it became clearly evident that this would be a memorable day.  The first spectacle was watching a humpback whale breaching.  Then, jokingly, Captain Bill said, “OK, we’re done.  We can go home now.”  Not quite.  Another 20 minutes later, the A30 pod of killer whales was in full view.  Breaches, tail slaps, fin slaps and even some rubbing on the beach.  Throw in a guest appearance from porpoises and a minke whale and we had a perfect day.

 

Additional Comments: 

Captain Bill and his crew, Nicole and Fiona, more than delivered.  Just awesome.  As we say in Cincinnati – WHO DEY!


Date: 13/Jul/09

Report by: Fiona

From: Ireland

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

 

The trip today was amazing!  We headed up Queen Charlotte Strait and early on in the trip we came across the A30’s, a pod of about 10 resident killer whales.  The sun was shining, the whales were all around us and we were one of the only boats in the area.  We saw them breaching and tail slapping and playing in the waves.  Absolutely amazing!  Lunch was great and the crown on board were great fun  We headed back to Port McNeill after a few hours with the killer whales and to top off the trip we saw a black bear on a beach on Malcolm Island.

 

Additional Comments

I would definitely recommend this trip to anyone!


Date: 12/Jul/09

Report by: Janie Heard

From: Dallas, TX, USA

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Seeing orcas over and over – eagles – seals – learning solid information from experts.

 

Additional Comments: Thanks so much.  It was a great trip – enlightening and delightful

Date: 11/Jul/09

Report by: Ric and Rorie Berry

From: Eugene, Oregon

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Great ride, good soup and lots of wildlife.

 

Additional Comments: Very nice crew.

 


Date: 09/Jul/09

Report by: Emma Point

From: Sointula, BC (originally Toronto)

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Within minutes of leaving Port McNeill, we were treated to the sight of a harbour porpoise.  Of course, the female orca we followed for the next hour (A12) was the highlight.  My mom cried!  In Queen Charlotte Strait, we watched many eagles swooping down on a herring ball.  Next came a solitary seal, followed by a few more porpoises.  Safe to say, we were all very pleased.  The sun came out too!

 

Additional Comments: We were very happy to have taken this tour.  Certainly a highlight of my parents’ trip to British Columbia.  Also very appreciated to be dropped off in Sointula.  Thanks very much and see you around

Date: 08/Jul/09

Report by: Scott Slater

From: Nanaimo, BC

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Went up to Scarlet Point and saw a lot of very cool Steller sea lions and there were about five humpback whales feeding in the area.  We also saw about 15 harbour porpoises.

Additional Comments: Fiona and Nicole were very helpful and informative.  The captain, Bill, was very knowledgeable and very nice!  I had a great time, and the lunch was amazing.  These girls definitely deserve a raise.  I recommend this whale watching trip to anyone and everyone!!

Date: 07/Jul/09

Report by: Johnnette Ballinger

From: Phoenix, AZ, USA

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

1.      First we saw the most incredible eagles; we even saw baby eagles.

2.    We saw sea lions basking on the islands.  Probably wishing they were in San Francisco under the sun.

3.     The most important viewing was of a lone grandmother killer whale.  She was beautiful.


Date: 05/Jul/09

Report by: Susan Rosenberg

From: Asbury Park, New Jersey, USA

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

A congenial group of 14 people from Canada and the USA ventured out on the Naiad Explorer with Captain Bill through the Queen Charlotte Strait, among myriad forested islands to the Robson Bight Whale Reserve.  En route to the reserve, we floated beside and met the famed Alex Morton, the Jane Goodall of whale communication and author of “Listening to Whales”.  From that encounter with greatness, we learned of the humans vs. whales’ struggles for understanding and the whales’ survival.  We shared curried lentil soup with Ms. Morton and with two members of Straightwatch who came aboard off their two person inflatable boat.  We appreciated the lone matriarch orca from A pod, swimming along the strait as well as miscellaneous humpback whales.  Then there were the dolphins leaping along the boat’s waves as we sailed back to port.  The group finished the grand day, richer for the knowledge gained about marine sciences and environmental studies and film and photos to share, a few lucky people captured several fins from a pod of whales. 

 

Additional Comments

Having been on large, commercial whale watching trips on the east coast of the US, none compare to the small group experience with whale authority Captain Bill and his daughter, Nicole, and deckhand Fiona.


Date: 03/Jul/09

Report by: Natalia Haddad

From: Sydney, Australia

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

The biggest highlight was seeing two male orca transient whales which had never been seen here before!  The crew were friendly and very knowledgeable and the lunch was tasty!  Also saw two black bears and a minke whale!

Date: 24/Jun/09

Report by: Bill & Donna Mackay

From: Port McNeill, BC (Vancouver Island - Canada)

 

Our whale watching season is due to kick off on June 27, and we're all hoping for the return of the northern resident killer whales any day now!

In the meantime, we are hosting a group of people from the Okanogan area, organized by Wells Grey Tours.  We had our first day on the water today and our objective was Cascade Falls in Knight Inlet.  On our way, we encountered a humpback whale in Blackfish Sound.  We picked up a couple of special guests from New Vancouver on Harbledown Island and continued on our way and as we made our way into Knight Inlet, we saw that the wind and tide had made a sea state that was unsuitable for our journey, so we opted for a calmer, safer route to see Glacier Falls.  On this route, we encountered a group of Pacific white-sided dolphins with quite a few new calves.  On our route back to Port McNeill, we encountered a Minke whale who breached twice not far behind the Naiad Explorer. 

Tomorrow, we're off to the west and Nakwakto Rapids!

 


Date: 15/May/09

Report by: Bill & Donna Mackay

From: Port McNeill, BC (Vancouver Island - Canada)

 

A beautiful day today - with people from Alert Bay (Namgis) and people from South America (Brazil, Peru, Chile) hosted by the Worl Fisheries Trust, we toured the Broughton Archipelago looking at clam gardens and visiting Billy Proctor's museum in Echo Bay.  We also took the opportunity to visit Robson Bight to check on the salvage operation which has been ongoing since May 10.  Today the salvage operation managed to bring up the hydraulic oil (in drums) to the surface successfully and the vehicle containing diesel fuel will be next.  On our way back to Alert Bay, we learned that there was a humpback whale right in front of Port McNeill, so we altered our course to have a quick look.  It's a young humpback whale and it delighted not only our guests on board, but the entire community of Port McNeill by its constant breaching.  Thank you to all of our guests on board today - you made the day extra special!

Date: 12/May/09

Report by: Bill & Donna Mackay

From: Port McNeill, BC (Vancouver Island - Canada)

 

On May 10 and 12, we had trips transporting people into both Gilford Village and Kingcome.  On May 10, on our way to Kingcome, we came across at least 24 harbour porpoises in one location (including many calves), about 50 Pacific white-sided dolphins and one adult humpback whale.  On May 12, we came across 3 female and one male killer whale on the southeast side of Alert Bay - very tight into the kelp patch, with very "pointy" fins (transients).  Later, we also encountered (once again) Pacific white-sided dolphins, harbour porpoises and Steller sea lions.

We're all looking forward to the beginning of our whale watching season and we await the arrival of the northern resident pods of orcas in late June!


Date: 03/May/09

Report by: Bill & Donna Mackay

From: Port McNeill, BC (Vancouver Island - Canada)

 

Today has been a busy day running between First Nations villages.  On our way to Kingcome Village, we were treated to a sighting of a group of Pacific white-sided dolphins - some of the children on board had never seen one before!  We also caught sight of two separate harbour porpoises.  On our way back to Port McNeill, we came across a group of five transient killer whales who were stealthily making their way towards the rocky islets where dozens of Steller sea lions were resting.  We unfortunately were unable to stay around to watch what might happen next.  On our next trip back into Kingcome, we came across a Humpback whale in the Broughton Archipelago - what an amazing day!

Date: 03/Mar/09

Report by: Bill & Donna Mackay

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

It's been a hectic month!  The Mackay clan has grown by one - we welcome into the world Kristy and Rob's son, Daniel, born on February 6.  Our future deckhand (or maybe even Captain!) is doing well.

On Friday, February 27, Bill spotted four killer whales in Beaver Cove - he was on shore, but had the impression that they were resident kilelr whales.

Today (March 3), we received reports of more than 10 killer whales passing Pierce Ialand, heading west at great speed.  By the time we got on the water (with granddaughter Kaia in tow), the whales were past Pultney Point on Malcolm Island and had spread out.  We listened in with our hydrophone and confirmed that the killer whales were residents - lots of G clan calls along with "GG" (perhaps the I15's?).  Because they were spread out over such a huge area, we were only able to identify the male G38 with his G17 pod and the G16 pod.  There were several more groups that we could see in the distance.  It was a beautiful day - relatively warm, sunny skies and very calm seas.  It was an absolute treat for this time of year!


Date: 05/Jan/09

Report by: The Mackay's

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

Happy New Year!  Over the last several weeks, we have seen Steller sea lions, Pacific white-sided dolphins and have heard of a report of a lone humpback whale in the vicinity of Port McNeill.

 


Date: 30/Sep/08

Report by: Rebekah & Jessica

From: USA

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

A30 pod of orcas, 5 humpback whales, Steller sea lions, harbour seals and a bald eagle. 

Additional Comments: 

Fantastic trip, excellent lunch and friendly, knowledgeable owners/guides.  Great boat – we loved it!


Date: 23/Sep/08

Report by: Steve & Gill Fruin

From: England

 

Please note that our next available whale watching tours are on September 26 and September 30.

 

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

It didn’t take too long and we were at Critical Point and there were the A30 pod of orcas all around us.  Hunting salmon in the kelp and providing us with loads of different behaviour – tail slapping, spy hopping and more – 9 of them in total.  We had to break away from them for lunch, then the A30’s started to move from the area so we went and found 4 humpback whales. 

Additional Comments: 

What a brilliant day!  This was our second trip with Bill and Nicole and the orca, and we could not ask for more.  THANK YOU.


Date: 19/Sep/08

Report by: Hunter Pillips, Momoko & Yumi

From: San Diego and Japan

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

First, when we went to pick people up at Hidden Cove Lodge, we saw a mom and baby black bear on the beach.  Next we saw the sea lions on the rocks at Plumper Islands.  Then we saw the A30 pod of orcas by the Foster Islands.  At the very end we saw Dall’s porpoises off Malcolm Island. 

Additional Comments: 

The soup we had was delicious!!  The whales were beautiful!  I can’t wait to come back!


Date: 18/Sep/08

Report by: Mackay family

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

Not our usual daily report, but very important! 

Low salmon returns hurting British Columbia's nature based tourism!

(Campbell River, British Columbia, September 18, 2008) The Dept of Fisheries & Oceans numbers are in: Pink salmon returns to the Broughton Archipelago and Knight Inlet (east of Port Hardy and Port McNeill) are at record lows - worse than the collapse of pink stocks in 2002, when the fish farms were forced to fallow (temporarily close). Craig Murray, owner of Nimmo Bay Resort, has fished and flown over the rivers of the Broughton for the past 25 years and said this is the poorest year he has seen for salmon returns.

"In BC both levels of government refuse to accept that salmon farms, as they currently operate, are causing irreparable damage to our wild salmon stocks. Effectively fallowing farms and closed containment of the Atlantic salmon are solutions that should be in place now. Our wild salmon resource is far too precious to gamble with in a game of government roulette" stated Murray.

The collapse was predicted for this year and was based on the "outrun" data of juvenile pinks in the spring of 2007 when many young pinks were found dying from sea lice.  It is well documented that juvenile pink salmon are highly susceptible to the artificially huge numbers of sea lice that are generated at fish farms located on the pinks' migratory routes.

The salmon situation is starting to wreak havoc on nature based tourism located in the area. The decrease in pink salmon will have repercussions up and down the food chain whether on land or at sea.

Howard Pattinson, owner of Tide Rip Tours, a grizzly bear viewing business based out of Telegraph Cove, has observed grizzly bears unable to find salmon an important source of protein and trying to prepare for hibernation feeding only on berries and grass. "Many females will not find enough to eat and will abort their fertilized embryos. Adult males have also been known to eat young cubs when starving; and cubs that can't find food this fall won't make it through the winter" said Pattinson.

Donna and Bill Mackay, owners of Mackay Whale Watching out of Port McNeill, have been on the forefront of salmon and orca habitat protection for many years. They have observed that orcas are not socializing as much between pods due to their preoccupation with searching for food.  Mr. Mackay noted, "This year only 41% of the total northern resident population of orcas have made an appearance in the Queen Charlotte and Johnstone Straits down from almost 100% which is from our 30 year data set."

Dean Wyatt, owner of Knight Inlet Lodge located in Glendale Cove, is concerned that whole coastal valleys are losing wildlife due to the lack of salmon. "If the wildlife go, then so does the $1.4 billion nature based tourism industry" said Wyatt.

The Wilderness Tourism Association (WTA) is calling upon the fish farm industry and government to take action now in order to save the 2009 outrun. They are seeking immediate commitments to move farms off key salmon migratory routes and the investment in attainable closed containment technologies.


Date: 17/Sep/08

Report by: Geoff Doel

From: Buckhurst Hill, England

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

We went on the ocean – Johnstone Strait and other bits.  Saw a whole bunch of orcas, which surrounded us for a while.  They were the A team, including A33 and A12 (not the road to Colchester).  Also several humpback whales, two eagles, lots of sea lions, one of which tried to eat the microphone, and some very excitable dolphins! 

Additional Comments: 

The mushrooms were good!  So were the “low calorie” afternoon snacks.


Date: 16/Sep/08

Report by: Kathleen Gray

From: Nanaimo, BC

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

After a foggy start, the sun soon came through – and what a show we had!!  Loads of orcas with wonderful vocalizations picked up on the hydrophone.  Then out to Queen Charlotte Strait where we saw several humpback whales.  Follow that with eagles, seals, sea lions and we had an action-packed day. 

Additional Comments: 

Thanks so much Bill for giving us so much information on the whales and wildlife of this area.  We thoroughly enjoyed it all – soup and Nanaimo bars too!


Date: 15/Sep/08

Report by: Kathy & Jeff

From: Chicago

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

Nature put on a full show for us with no intermission.  First sea lions, then two pods of orcas, followed by several humpback whales, Dall’s porpoise and a lone beautiful bald eagle.  Perfect weather –couldn’t ask for more. 

Additional Comments: 

Thanks to the Mackay’s for a great day.  Bill is psychic for anticipating whales and Nicole was a delightful hostess.  Wish we could come back tomorrow!! 


Date: 14/Sep/08

Report by: Julia Tancock

From: Taunton, Somerset, UK

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

Headed towards Robson Bight Ecological Reserve and en route were joined by a huge pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins.  At Robson Bight Ecological Reserve, orca, namely A38 (the old road from Bristol to Exeter ++) was spotted together with A72 and a rare sighting of the I31 pod.  Magic.  Humpback whales, about 7 in number, amazed us – the cameras were “clicking” away.  And finally, our captain found a sea lion colony lazing in the sun. 

Additional Comments: 

For lunch, the best mushroom soup I ever tasted!!  What a way to spend the perfect Sunday.  Thanks to our skipper and “the Admiral” (Donna).


Date: 13/Sep/08

Report by: Swen Stapelfeldt

From: Germany

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

We saw about 12-16 different orcas (especially the A55 I will never forget – male born 1990 – he was so huge!).  After about 2 ½ hours of watching orcas, Mr. Mackay brought us to a spot where we saw a lot (about 9-11; we’re not sure) of great, big humpback whales.  Oh sorry, I forgot to talk about our delicious lunch – the chanterelle mushroom soup was fantastic.  After another hour of humpback watching, we went to a rock to see sea lions.  We also saw a lot of sea birds and two bald eagles.  What a wonderful day.  Thank you so much for the orcas!  My dream came true! 

Additional Comments: 

The trip was fantastic – thank you so much.


Date: 12/Sep/08

Report by: Nicole Jack

From: Sydney, Australia

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

The variety of animals we saw!  We saw two different orca pods around Weynton Pass and Blackney Pass along with a playful group of Pacific white-sided dolphins.  Near Bold Head, we also saw five humpback whales and managed to get at least one photo of tail fluke before a humpback dive!  We then headed into Weynton Pass where there were lots of sea lions sunning themselves on the rocks.  We also saw an eagle’s nest as well as both adult eagles sitting in a nearby tree!  We were lucky enough to also see a young eagle flying.  In addition we saw some Dall’s porpoises. 

Additional Comments: 

We all had a great day!  The weather was beautiful and it was exciting to be able to get so close to these animals and also to hear them.  Bill, Donna and Kristy were very knowledgeable and were able to identify members of the A1 pod to us in addition to answering any number of questions we asked!  I had a fantastic day!!


Date: 11/Sep/08

Report by: Terry & Dean Gerrard

From: Duncan, BC

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

The whole experience was perfect.  The Mackay family were great guides.  Thanks.  Let us be part of the wildlife world without disturbing. 

We saw a black bear; several killer whales; dolphins – they had great fun playing in the wake; four humpback whales; sea lions; lots of birds; excellent scenery – and on and on and on. 

Additional Comments: 

We’ll be back!


Date: 10/Sep/08

Report by: Mackay family

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

We had a wonderful trip today, providing transport to First Nations back to their home villages in Gwayusdums on Gilford Island and Kingcome village.  We transitted Weynton Pass and found a large number of Pacific white-sided dolphins as well as the A11 group of resident killer whales.  After dropping off everyone and on our return home to Port McNeill, we encountered three transient killer whales just east of Haddington Island (which is minutes away from Port McNeill).  The transients passed by three harbour porpoises in their immediate vicinity as well as a Steller sea lion as they continued to travel west.  We had a fairly good look at them and are fairly confident that they are the female T10, T10B and T10C.

There is also a great number of seabirds in the area now, including sooty shearwaters and fork-tailed petrels.  We also saw a short-tailed jaeger just off of Alert Bay.  On the rocky islets just off Gwayusdums, we also saw a fair number of black turnstones!


Date: 09/Sep/08

Report by: W. Sharp

From: Midhurst, Ontario

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

Two pods of orcas – one right along side – thrilling – wonderful!  Great meal in sheltered water flavoured with hunger sauce! A humpback whale and flipper up added interest. One orca with a ripped (torn) dorsal followed at the stern for six jumps.  Wow, Wow, Wow!  Also a pack of sea lions loved the sunny rocks. 

Additional Comments: 

Worth every penny.  Captain was a gem.  Passengers a lot of fun! 


Date: 08/Sep/08

Report by: Mackay family

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

We have been fairly busy over the last two days - Sunday was a birding trip, hoping for Triangle Island and beyond.  We had a great time, even though we didn't get to our intended destination of Triangle Island and beyond!  We saw a great number of sea birds and rafts of sea otters!

Today we transported First Nations people from Kingcome and Gilford Island in to Alert Bay and we'll take them all back home on Wednesday - it's always a pleasure to spend time with our friends from these villages!

 


Date: 06/Sep/08

Report by: Su Xue Mei

From: Qingdao, China

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

What an exciting whale watching trip!  It is not a really sunny day, but a few groups of killer whales and “thousands” of sea lions makes everyone on the boat like to enjoy the beautiful summer holiday trip.  When everyone was enjoying the whales just swimming around the boat, Mrs. Donna brought the yummy dessert to us!  An excellent day, a sweet trip!  We also saw different kinds of birds and just when I was about to give this report to Mrs. Donna, a group of Dall’s porpoises jumped around the boat.  Hooray!  Please thank you Bill for your whale lessons. 

Additional Comments: If you are able to visit northern Vancouver Island, please don’t miss the Mackay Whale Watching trip!


Date: 04/Sep/08

Report by: Tomoko Mitsuya

From: Japan

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

We went down Johnstone Strait to the east as far as the Sophia Islands.  First group of orcas we saw was the I11’s going into Weynton Pass to the north; the A24’s were ahead of them.  A38 by himself was mid strait, closer to the A24’s and A5’s but we couldn’t find the rest of the A30’s (they must have been on the Vancouver Island side).  After we left them, we took Blackney Pass to Blackfish Sound.  We saw A12 and A33 foraging there.  Then, we saw two humpback whales.  Weynton Pass, we also saw a minke whale and about 100 sea lions there. 

Additional Comments: 

What an exciting day!  I can’t think of what else we could have seen.  It was one of the best trips ever!  Water was calm, weather was perfect.  We saw everything that we wanted to see, but the most exciting moment was identifying the A12’s by listening to the hydrophone on the boat.


Date: 03/Sep/08

Report by: Shayna Reynolds & Mammo Larsen

From: proud Port McNeill, BC!

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

ORCAS!!  We saw early on lots of orcas, beyond expectations!  After listening to the calls of the A’s and entering G’s we got a lesson on identification and promptly identified I64 (a male with a split at the top of his dorsal fin).  Leaving them behind after a beautiful soup lunch, we ran into the A12’s out for a beautiful photo shoot…what a show!  Then onto the playful sea lions and finally the majestic flukes of the humpback whales! 

Additional Comments: 

All around perfection!  Great company, an awesome show of nature in its finest!  Thank you so much for the lessons, Bill!  It even got the blood pumping in this local girl!  Great job Mackays!


Date: 02/Sep/08

Report by: Lynn Morrison

From: Chemainus, BC

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

The day was cloudy and mostly rainy but this did nothing to diminish the excitement.  We saw many orcas and even some babies playing.  Smelly and huge sea lions, flocks of birds feeding on the water and even a couple of humpback whales. 

Additional Comments: 

Thank you Captain Bill and Nicole for being patient with my grandchildren Isis and Trey who easily get bored between whale sightings but still love the trip.  They have been whale watching with you for five years beginning when they were 3.  They have learned a great deal and have a respect and awe for life in our oceans.


Date: 01/Sep/08

Report by: Chase Lussier

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

It was an awesome sunny day when we started on our trip headed for the back side of Malcolm Island, when I first saw a harbour porpoise then followed by a pod of transient orcas.  After they had moved on to the distance, we headed further on where we then saw two groups of resident orcas, preceded by Dall’s porpoises, another group of orcas, two humpbacks and then we ended the day with seeing Steller sea lions up basking in the sun just beyond Stubbs Island.

 7 transient orcas, 3 humpback whales, 3 pods of resident orcas


Date: 31/Aug/08

Report by: Elbert & Kathy Franklin

From: Sulphur, Oklahoma, USA

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

We left out of Port McNeill and shortly we were in a cove where there were nine orca whales.  What a sight.  Before leaving a male came close to the boat.  I though a group of kayakers might get tossed by an orca.  We then moved where we saw some porpoise, then some sea lions, with an eagle’s nest above.  Then a real highlight was seeing a humpback whale with her calf.  Magnificent sight to see the dive and the tail in the air. 

Additional Comments: 

This family run operation has excellent service.  From the time we met Bill, the owner, I told my wife this will be a fun day.  He is full of good humour and a wealth of knowledge.  His daughter, Nicole , is really fun and likes to tease.  They even put the future son-in-law (soon to be married to Nicole’s sister) to work.  An unexpected treat was a sweet snack mid-afternoon interrupted by pictures of humpbacks.  This trip is a real treat for anyone who likes nature and people.  Nicole told me to say she is really wonderful.  Thanks for the memories.  God bless you!


Date: 30/Aug/08

Report by: Sharon and Norma

From: Sooke, BC and The Netherlands

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

We started the trip with sea lions and humpback whales.  Then we saw the I11 pod of killer whales, and then found transient killer whales that made a kill of a poor sea lion.  We heard them after they fed.  They sound like yowling cats.  We then caught up with the A12 pod then back to the transients.  We also saw a bald eagle baby on the nest tree with both parents. 

Additional Comments: 

The sun finally came out and it was warm.  The soup was clam chowder and delicious.  Altogether a great day with great people.


Date: 29/Aug/08

Report by: Virginia Huang

From: Washington State

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

We took a group of Orca Live folks to OrcaLab on Hanson Island.  We saw A clan and G clan mingling together and feeding.  There was plenty of spy hopping, breaching and tail slapping seen when they were feeding.  We saw a baby who still had his orange pigment.  We saw I64 with his distinctive split dorsal fin.  We had a fabulous time despite the rain.  The sun finally came out towards the end of the trip.  We were graced with the presence of two humpback whales and also went by seal rock and sea lion rock. 

Additional Comments: 

Captain Bill and his crew were very informative about the whales and told us about the history of how Dr. Michael Bigg started to identify the killer whales and stopped the trapping of the orcas.  We were kept warm with steamy hot bowls of oyster chowder.  It was a fabulous trip!


Date: 28/Aug/08

Report by: Steve Togin

From: Perth, Western Australia

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

We left the dock at Port McNeill, powered south to Hidden Cove to pick up two more passengers and approximately 20 kilometres south, saw our first pod of three brother Orcas.  Following this we moved from area to area to observe orca mothers and calves, pods of up to five orcas and many single orcas chasing salmon.  Lunch was simple but delicious followed by sea lions, a humpback whale, birdlife and finally a timid black bear at waters edge on the trip home. 

Additional Comments: 

An exciting and rewarding day, an expert and enthusiastic skipper and great value.


Date: 27/Aug/08

Report by: Nan & Steve Simpson

From: Friday Harbor, WA, USA

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

Around Malcolm Island – Queen Charlotte Strait – rounding the lighthouse, a humpback whale surfaced off our starboard.  Wow!  The whale did several dives, showing us a bright, white fluke underneath.  Then the northern resident killer whales appeared…lots and lots of orca.  Blows puffed off the water way up in front.  We had excellent viewing of A’s and G’s – including a very recognizable I64, and the A36 “boys”.  We watched lots of traveling, resting, spy hopping, a breach or two – but most amazing – the incredible vocalizations!  A magical day! 

Additional Comments: 

Good briefing on orca research and naming and the challenges orcas face surviving the changes in habitat and food availability.


Date: 26/Aug/08

Report by: Takayuki Yoda

From: Japan

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

I saw orcas all day long today.  I think I’m very luck.  And humpback whales and sea lions fascinated me too.  I think that my choice of this ship is nice, good, absolutely. 

Additional Comments: 

Your lunch and dessert were very delicious.  I can’t understand all, but I suppose that your explanation about orcas and nature benefited me, and everyone on the boat.  Thank you for your kindness and nice memory!


Date: 25/Aug/08

Report by: Wendy Finlay & Carolyn Dame

From: Alberta and Port McNeill, BC

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

 -          Whale porpoising!-          Sea lions at Stubbs Island-          Seine boat-          All the whales!!! At Robson Bight-          And all the great people on board (that especially includes Bill and Tyson) 

Additional Comments: 

Thank you, thank you, thank you – best sister day ever!  I’ll never forget it.


Date: 24/Aug/08

Report by: Michelle and Beryl

From: Kamloops and Penticton, BC

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

Started out cold and rainy but the weather decided to give us a break and turned beautiful.  After looking hard we found the A12’s (family group of orcas) and watched a seiner off Cracroft Point.  Then we encountered another group of orca with a calf feeding on the Vancouver Island side of Johnstone Strait.  On the way around Malcolm Island in search of the A30’s, a group of around 100 Pacific white-sided dolphins decided to play with us. 

Additional Comments: 

Totally awesome trip – great lunch and an awful lot of fun!  Thanks!


Date: 23/Aug/08

Report by: Mary Ramos

From: New Rochelle, NY

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

What an amazing day!  I had read as much as was humanly possible with a full time job and grad school underway and you might think that if you’d read as much as I did, reality might be a let-down but it was exactly the opposite – when we started seeing orcas, I knew to expect the mothers and calfs close to shore and the big males out in the middle of the straight.  When we passed Telegraph Cove, Robson Bight where the rubbing beach is was not too far off.  When Bill and Nic ducked into a cove to turn off the engine and turn on the speakers, it was time to see if I could distinguish between the foraging, playing and resting sound of the orca.  The weather was overcast and there were times when you couldn’t tell if you were in rain, foggy mist or sea spray, but it didn’t matter, it was fabulous!  We saw orca spy hopping, breaching and one came quite close to the boat.  Lunch was delicious.  We saw sea lions with dessert. 

Additional Comments: 

Hats off to the Mackays; I knew I would only have one chance to go on an orca whale watch on this trip and they exceeded my expectations.  It’s been a fabulous day made all the better by the grace and good humour of the Mackay family.  Thank you!


Date: 22/Aug/08

Report by: Mae Marnie

From: Zimbabwe

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

Excellent day – first time to see orcas and loved every minute of it.  Dolphins put on a great show.  The crew were fantastic and so knowledgeable – learned so much about the wildlife and would highly recommend the trip to anyone!


Date: 21/Aug/08

Report by: Marie O'Shaughnessy

From: Victoria, BC

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

This was one of the most amazing whale watching trips I have ever experienced.  With brilliant blue skies above and calm water below, we headed up Johnstone Strait.  We encountered several Dall’s porpoise that were foraging, then found many members of A clan orca including the A30’s and A12’s.  Our captain Bill entertained and educated us all regarding the orca of his beautiful coastline of B.C.  After a delicious lunch we headed out west, passing CP (Cracroft Point).  Pacific white-sided dolphins entertained the many international passengers on board.  More A clan orca were seen at this rendezvous. 

Additional Comments: 

Thank you “Mackay Whale Watching”.  It was an awesome day, not only whales but two black bears as well.  I’ll be back again soon.


Date: 20/Aug/08

Report by: Darren Thomson

From: USA

 

 Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

We saw several different killer whales (a subpod of the I31’s), some mothers with calves.  We also saw a couple adult male killer whales.  Bears were on the beach – looked like a mother and cub.  It was a great time, lots to see especially around lunch.  I wasn’t sure if I should eat or keep looking around the boat.


Date: 19/Aug/08

Report by: Barbara Kennedy

From: Armstrong, Okanogan Valley, BC

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

Went to Robson Bight and saw many families of A clan orcas cavorting close to shore.  Quite breezy.  Waved goodbye and went to Queen Charlotte Strait and visited with the three A36 boys.  It was a treat to see them since they are the last three boys of their pod.  Saw sea lions, eagles next and harbour seals on the rocks.  Also saw Germans, Estonians, many Italians and British folk as well as many Canucks on the Naiad; great fellowship.  As usual, Captain Bill and 1st, 2nd and 3rd mate Nicole were terrific hosts. 

Additional Comments: 

This was our fourth trip with Mackay Whale Watching and each one has been very special and informative.  The Mackays are terrific people who always impart an in-depth knowledge of the orcas.  This trip with Mackay Whale Watching is one that you should not miss.  It is an experience of a lifetime.  We’ll definitely be back again next year. 


Date: 18/Aug/08

Report by: Francesco & Livia Marcone

From: Rome, Italy

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

Unforgettable trip in Johnstone Strait!!  We saw many orcas:  family and three big boys.  Wonderful bald eagle and its nest. It was a big emotion running with Dall’s porpoises! 

Additional Comments: 

Thank you for everything.  It was a grat day, a great tour and a great family.  We’ll remember this day for ever and we’ll tell everybody to come there and book your tour!  Thank you!


Date: 17/Aug/08

Report by: Twinkle Follington

From: Alert Bay, BC

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

Down to Eve River – through the fog and scattered blue skies.  Saw the A55 male orca first; and how the majestic sea animals can make the heart fill with emotion!  In addition to the killer whales, we also saw a bear and a deer on the beach.  And lastly, the meal was great. 

Additional Comments: 

Great food and “Orca 101” was informative and humorous as usual.  Thank you Bill and crew for a great day and the whales were awesome!


Date: 16/Aug/08

Report by: Kim Klompenhouwer

From: Mijnsheerenland, the Netherlands

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

At Beaver Cove we saw our first orcas.  We followed them up to a reserve where we saw several groups of orcas.  Some were socializing and playing.  They even did some spy hops.  On our way back to Port McNeill we saw harbour seals and four Steller sea lions.  We had a great day!!  We did not only see orcas – it was great to hear them too (magical!). 

Additional Comments: 

Thank you for the hospitality and the lunch and delicious dessert.  We would recommend this trip to everyone who wants to have a great day on the ocean.


Date: 15/Aug/08

Report by: Julie

From: California

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

What an incredible day!!  We had the honour of being joined by the Kwicksutaineuk tribe today.  They were so delightful!  They treated us to delicious homemade salmon sandwiches and wonderful desserts (nobody could stop at just one!).  After an incredible day of watching whales coming towards us from all directions (A30’s and I11’s)…watching them rub on the beach at Bere Point…and then watching them disappear in the fog just as they had arrived, we were treated to the special honour of visiting the big house and handmade cedar canoe at Gwayasdums on Gilford Island.  What a wonderful visit with a wonderful village! 

Additional Comments: 

As always, it has been another fantastic and memorable day with the Mackays.  The entire family always makes sure you have the best day ever out on the Naiad.  I haven’t been disappointed yet!!  Can’t wait to see you all next year!!  Thank you for everything!


Date: 14/Aug/08

Report by: Phyllis Pendleton

From: Victoria, BC

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

Went to Robson Bight and saw lots of pods of killer whales – A30, 11’s, 8, 12, 24, etc.  Return home delayed due to so many orca in the area.  Also saw porpoise, dolphins and a cruise ship.  Fantastic weather, delicious lunch too. 

Additional Comments: 

Delightful captain and crew – very knowledgeable and funny.  A great trip.


Date: 13/Aug/08

Report by: Brigitte, Thomas & Toby

From: Munich, Germany

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

We started on a foggy morning, but soon the sun came out.  We saw a lot of orcas (also heard them), Dall’s porpoises and Pacific white-sided dolphins.  It was great.  We also saw harbour seals, kissing sea lions and a young eagle and its parent.  At the end of the tour we were guided by porpoises and in Hidden Cove we saw 2 black bears, mom and cub.  What more could we want?! 

Additional Comments: 

We, and especially our son Toby, will remember this great and sunny day.  Thank you Bill and Donna Mackay!


Date: 12/Aug/08

Report by: James

From: LA, USA

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

This was our second day on board; went to see three male orcas which were around yesterday and was pleasantly surprised to find many more in addition!  Then we tracked the orcas and saw breaching, spy hopping, babies and more!  At one point we were surrounded by the orcas.  To top it off, we saw some bald eagles fishing! 

Additional Comments: 

Despite a light drizzle, it was a great day.  The heated cabin was perfect for warming up in between sightings!


Date: 11/Aug/08

Report by: Captains Bill and Tyson Mackay

From: Naiad Explorer, Port McNeill, BC

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.) We had a beautiful day on the back side of Malcolm Island with three orcas, the A36’s; flat calm and no other boats!  We then proceeded south to Johnstone Strait and watched more killer whales (A24’s, A23’s & A8’s a distance away) swimming in the choppy water. Additional Comments: Great group of passengers on board – we’re sure they found the day informative and entertaining!

Date: 10/Aug/08

Report by: Julie

From: California

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

Another fantastic day with the Mackay family started with some beautiful fog banks along the breathtaking Johnstone Strait.  We were greeted by the “three brothers” (a36’s); we later were thrilled to see A28’s new playful baby (A8 pod); and so not be be forgotten, the A23’s and A25’s made an appearance!  After a delicious lunch we spotted a baby minke whale in Blackfish Sound as well as seals, sea lions, eagles and a baby eagle still in the nest!  You name it…we saw it!  To top the day off, we had some incredible homemade banana bread made by Donna!  Thank you Donna! 

Additional Comments: 

It is so great to be back “home” off the waters of Port McNeill with the Mackays!  The whale watch outings are always filed with education, laughs, great scenery and most of all friends!  I look forward to my next visit!!  Thank you for an awesome day and unforgettable memories!


Date: 09/Aug/08

Report by: Dawn

From: Ontario, Canada

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

Loved hearing the sounds of the Orcas – we had been out and had seen the transients, so it was great to see the residents and hear their sounds. 

Additional Comments: 

I learned a lot about the different groups and the past devastation of the Orcas.  Thanks for a wonderful, relaxing day in nature.


Date: 08/Aug/08

Report by: Audrey Ellis

From: Mill Bay, Vancouver Island, BC

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

We began the day cruising through the dense fog.  As we approached Telegraph Cove, the fog began to lift gradually revealing scene after scene of breath-taking beauty; islands, forests, snow-capped mountains.  Before long we met our first groups of orcas; giant males, moms and their calves travelling in groups.  Before lunch we arrived at Robson Bight where we were entertained by the antics of dozens of orcas.  We saw several pods of both resident and transient orcas.  It turned out to be a beautiful, sunny day. 

Additional Comments: 

Trip participants came from across Canada and as far away as the U.S.A., Britain, Netherlands, Australia and the newly-weds from Taiwan.


Date: 07/Aug/08

Report by: Geert van der Meer

From: Holland

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.) Gorgeous.  This skipper knows where to park his ship.  We saw killer whales, dolphins, humpback whales and even a black bear.  The kids appreciated it.  Thank. Additional Comments: Lunch and cakes were excellent.

Date: 07/Aug/08

Report by: Michelle Tuchscherer

From: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)

 Orca Whales!!  What an incredible experience!  We were quite privileged to watch the fisherman on the purse seiner, and Captain Bill and his crew’s explanations were very helpful.  Lunchtime seafood bisque was delicious. 

Additional Comments: 

We really enjoyed Orca Whale watching 101.  I myself was quite delighted to “man the ship”, take the wheel.  Everybody was given a once in a lifetime experience and we are all so very grateful.  Captain Bill and his crew were such wonderful and knowledgeable guides; we couldn’t have been any luckier.  What a fabulous day – a truly awesome and amazing opportunity!


Date: 06/Aug/08

Report by: Tim Krane

From: Sudbury, Ontario

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

Humpback whales, orcas, dolphins, porpoise, jelly fish, Aussies, Brits, Germans and soup.  Also “native wild life”.  Johnstone Straits is a great place to visit – moving down soon. 

Additional Comments: 

Great crew and captain, perfect weather; very informative and knowledgeable about the area and wild life.


Date: 05/Aug/08

Report by: Wendy King

From: Sydney, Australia

 

 Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

Large pod of resident sleeping orcas, no acrobatics.  The sun was shining and water was calm.  We stopped to watch two different fishing boats with large nets.  A gillnet and a purse seiner.  Tyson, Captain Bill’s son, managed to score a couple of big sockeye salmon for his dinner.  We then moved on and found a large pod of white-sided dolphins who kept us all well entertained as they surfed our wake.  There wee many great photographic moments. 

Additional Comments: 

A remarkable day with a knowledgeable and friendly crew.  The beautiful clear blue water provided great photo opportunities of the stunning snow capped mountains and dramatic landscapes.


Date: 04/Aug/08

Report by: Louise Galletly

From: Eastbourne, England

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

We headed out to sea on a misty morning, looking out for signs of orca.  Very soon we spotted puffs near the shoreline and sure enough, it was a couple of killer whales – and a calf!  We listened o the hydrophone and enjoyed the clicks and whistles of an orca chat.  The sea was calm and peaceful, we watched the dorsal fins dip and rise and kept at a respectful distance.  Later we ventured further out and saw a humpback and some Dall’s porpoises. 

Additional Comments: 

In between the whale watches we learnt huge amounts about whales, conservation and ecology and about the history of whale-studying in this area of British Columbia.  Bill kept us all entertained and it was a wonderful trip.  Wish every day could be this easy and interesting.  Thank you.


Date: 03/Aug/08

Report by: Cathy

From: Victoria, BC

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

We went through Weynton Pass, Blackfish Sound, Blackney Pass, Cracroft Point, Sophia Islands and Johnstone Strait.  We first saw a black bear in a tree along the shoreline, then a humpback, saw orcas, the A12’s, ate lunch in Blackney Pass listening to orca calls through the hydrophone.  By afternoon the sun came out and we watched a large male orca A38 by himself going down Johnstone Strait. 

Additional Comments: 

There were seals scuttling off rocks, Dall’s porpoise with their babies, a heron standing on the kelp beds and lots of rhinoceros auklets skimming along the surface of the water.  A wonderful day.  I shall never forget it.  Thank you!


Date: 02/Aug/08

Report by: Wendy Kitchel & Darby Borgognon

From: motor yacht

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

Today we went off Lizard Point and saw the “A” pod with A33 in the lead, followed by granny herself, with the rest of the “fam” not far behind.  We stayed with them quite awhile and got to see A33 fishing with a tug and tow in the background.  We saw a juvenile eagle in its nest peeking out as us. Then a couple of northern sea lions surfing our wake. 

Additional Comments: 

Bill and Tyson were exceptional guides.  The whole afternoon was both informative and full of laughs.  We are so glad we came out and highly recommend Mackay to everyone.


Date: 01/Aug/08

Report by: Mandy Workman

From: England

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)  We saw so many orca whales today!  At one point, they were all around the boat.  I didn’t know where to put my camera. I had an excellent time, well worth it!! We also saw humpback whale, Pacific white-sided dolphin and Dall’s porpoise.   Additional Comments:  I can’t wait to get home and check out the awesome pictures.

Date: 31/Jul/08

Report by: Amanda Heggs

From: North Vancouver, BC.

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)

  Finally seeing the orcas was extremely exciting.The highlight of the trip was seeing so many orcas from A pod (A36’s) as well as C10 pod.  Also watching a humpback whale feeding.  We also saw Dall’s porpoises, sea lions, five eagles and many harbour seals. 

Additional Comments:

  Staff very friendly and knowledgeable.  Also enjoyed the hot pea soup on a cool and rainy day.

Date: 30/Jul/08

Report by: Tanya Wiigs

From: Calgary, Alberta

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.) After picking up some additional passengers we headed up to Queen Charlotte Strait near Port Hardy.  The first Orcas we saw were “The Brothers”.  I was very happy to see them as they are my favourite.  We then saw A30’s and A24’s plus several more!  They were very playful today.  We saw spyhopping, baby breaches, tail slapping and playful roll-overs.  It was the best trip I’ve been on yet!! Additional Comments: The crew was fantastic!

Date: 29/Jul/08

Report by: Heather Smith

From: England

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)

  Dolphins (Pacific white-sided)Orcas everywhere – A13 put on a good show;

Breaching, spy-hopping and foraging for food.  The orca’s sounds from the hydrophone were fantastic.

 Additional Comments: What a great day!  This is a must do trip!!!  Thanks very much, hope to see you again soon.

Date: 28/Jul/08

Report by: Jim & Sara Nolin

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.) From McNeill Bay to Hidden Cove to the Double Bay area where we came upon 3 A Clan orphan males chasing their lunch.  That made us hungry so we also enjoyed delicious soup and buns prepared by the lovely Nicole.  After lunch we found a group of 6 orcas in a resting line.  After watching them for some time, we moved on the search for a transient humpback whale.  We were lucky enough to catch a few glimpses of the humpback before a cruise along the shoreline heading home. Additional Comments: Thank you Chris, Bill and Nicole for an excellent day, information and lots of laughs.

Date: 27/Jul/08

Report by: Vickie Jensen

From: Vancouver, BC

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.) We started at Robson Bight, then south to Port Neville, finding killer whales everywhere!  We saw – and heard – G pod (the hydrophone is a great addition!) and lots of A pod whales.  It was amazing to see so many orcas and in some case to learn their history.  If the whales weren’t enough (and there were so many!) we also saw Pacific white-sided dolphins, seals and two islands worth of hungry eagles.  It was just the perfect northwest coast day! Additional Comments: What an amazing opportunity to share this northwest coast experience with fellow guests of all ages (toddlers to 70 year olds!) and from Germany, France, the Netherlands, Costa Rica, the U.S., Brazil and Canada!  We were like a floating United Nations, all savouring and enjoying the same experience – the waters of Johnstone Strait, the wildlife, the sense of coastal communities and  life.  Thanks for all of that!  Oh, can’t forget the great, friendly staff!!!

Date: 26/Jul/08

Report by: Knut I. Oxnevad

From: Los Angeles, Calabasas/Norway

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.) Just after leaving Port McNeill, we encountered a large black bear on the beach.  A great start!  Continued on to Robson Bight Ecological Reserve, the rubbing beaches, and east of those we were lucky to observe the A30 pod of killer whales, both at a distance and right next to the boat.  As if this was not enough, we headed to Pierce Island, where we observed a Dall’s porpoise, and not to forget a couple of humpback whales. They gave us a fluke farewell.  A fabulous day on the ocean. Additional Comments: You have truly created an amazing setting around your whale watching trips.

Date: 25/Jul/08

Report by: Linda Haverstock

From: Shelton, WA, USA

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.) We found A12 pod around Robson Bight.  They cruised along and there were about five in the pod.  Large-finned males and the more dainty females.  Went south on Johnstone Strait and saw A4 pod with a very new baby still a little yellow.  One of the orcas slapped his tail twice – quite photogenic.  Saw Dall’s porpoise on the way out.  So, all in all a very satisfying trip – great weather, great viewing. Additional Comments: Watched the fisheries test seiner reel in net with about 20 salmon.  Nanaimo bars are a national treasure.

Date: 24/Jul/08

Report by: Janice Hannay & Pam Vuckson

From: Victoria, BC

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

- orcas just north of Campbell River;
-  saw a new calf;
- nice long boat ride;
-spectacular scenery;
-  seeing orcas ride the wake of a freighter

Additional Comments

-         appreciated the knowledge of orcas and local area
-         confidence of Captain and crew;
-         nice to have a light lunch included
-         fast, safe water craft allowed us to reach the orcas;
- appreciated variety of nationalities among passengers and glad for them that they saw orcas!  (Good for BC tourism

Date: 21/Jul/08

Report by: the Jaffrey's

From: Inverurie, Scotland

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We saw at least three pods of orcas, about 20 altogether.  We also saw some porpoise and eagles.  Stopped off to drop supplies to an orca watching station.  Saw transient whales hunt down a porpoise.  Took lots of pictures, one of which had three orcas spy hopping.

 

Additional Comments: Enjoyed the home made soup and cakes.  The two captains were very friendly and informative.   Everybody had a brilliant day and enjoyed it very much.

Date: 19/Jul/08

Report by: Margaret Forster

From: Kelso Scottish Borders, Scotland

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Sea lions, eagles, seals, 3 humpback whales, and a black bear with three tiny cubs. We went right out to the end of Vancouver Island – next stop Japan.  Sea lions were fascinating playing round boat.  We were really close to first whale, watching it blow and dive.

 

Additional Comments: Plenty chat, but need to work on your Scottish accent.

Date: 17/Jul/08

Report by: Dieter, Ursula, Bern & Ilse

From: Germany & Nanaimo

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Whales, bear with cub, seals and lots of wonderful scenery; native ceremony (canoes en route to Duncan).

 

Additional Comments: Captain and his son were, as always, great tour guides and hosts.  We will be back again!!

Date: 16/Jul/08

Report by: Jordana Feist

From: Surrey, BC

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

 

Johnstone Strait, Broughton Strait, Robson Bight & Broughton Archipelago – We saw eagles and an aerie, humpback whales, minke whales, porpoises, harbour seals and a young, thin black bear on the beach foraging.

We also visited an abandoned village, a restored village and pictographs.

Additional Comments:

 Thank you!

Date: 15/Jul/08

Report by: Alex Lessenger

From: Colorado, USA

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We saw a humpback whale, a family of four orcas, bald eagles, two harbour seals, sea gulls and a logging barge.  We saw the orcas and humpback whales feeding.  We also saw about five whirlpools.  We went to Johnstone Strait.

 

Additional Comments: A mirror and a window are both made of glass.  When you look through a window, you see the world as it is.  When you look through a mirror, you see only yourself.  The difference between these two pieces of glass, is a mirror has a thin sheet of silver behind it.

Date: 14/Jul/08

Report by: Lisa and Roger

From: London

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)

 

On our way out to the islands we saw two humpback whales, our first glimpse of them! We were able to watch them stationary which were amazing. We went on to see many sea lions lazing on the rocks which were very entertaining. As we went out towards the open pacific we saw more humpbacks and listened to their blows.

 

Additional Comments:

 We saw bald headed eagles 100 on the rocks. Coming further down the straight we saw a mom and baby orca which was lovely. Then we followed a male at a distance- all very exciting!
Our Captain and his daughter were very informative and enthusiastic- we had a great day0 many thank you’s!

Date: 13/Jul/08

Report by: Milton Whitfield

From: Washington D.C.

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)

 

Our group of about 20 people with families from England, Austria, California, Spain and Washington D.C set sail about 10 AM in misty weather. But alas- the fog cleared and we were fortunate to have beautiful weather a great lunch onboard, good fellowship AND – of course what we all came to see- various animals in their natural habitat; including humpback whales, orcas, sea lions, eagles and oyster catchers.

 

Additional Comments:

 The crew were very knowledgeable, “set the decoys well”, and quite pleasant. A wonderful experience for all!

Date: 12/Jul/08

Report by: Debra Kumita

From: Ontario, Canada

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Left on the most gloriously beautiful day with an amazing assortment of lovely people from literally around the world.  Bill and Nicole provided a warm, relaxed, friendly atmosphere as well as a delicious lunch.  And the whales!!  Orcas everywhere, every family member right down to the babies as far as the eye could see and up close as well.  Absolutely incredible.  Add to that the Mackay’s passion, wealth of knowledge and experience and groundbreaking work with these incredible creatures, the area and local indigenous peoples and you have one unforgettable experience.  Also cool to drop off students working with research with the orcas.  A scene right out of the movies.  There are not enough superlatives!  Amazingly incredible!!

Date: 10/Jul/08

Report by: Sharon and Guillermo

From: Courtenay, BC

 

Good day everyone!  This report is written by passenger’s on board the “Naiad Explorer” today, Sharon and Guillermo , who are from Courtenay B.C. 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)

 

Humpback Whales
Native ruins
Pictographs
History of tribes and orca
Eagles

 

Additional Comments:

 Wonderful trip! Alas no orcas but we shall be back! Thank you for a truly wonderful adventure.

Date: 09/Jul/08

Report by: Wayne Hartman (11 yrs. old)

From: New York

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We saw bald eagles on their nests.  Pacific white-sided dolphins frolicking in the waves.  Seals sunning themselves on the rocks.  We also saw a black bar, about one year old, looking for food on the seashore.  We saw one humpback whale for a few minutes before he took a long dive.  Lastly, when the sun came out we toured through some beautiful islands, coves and bays.

 

Additional Comments: While we did not see any killer whales today, the cruise was great.  Also the lunch was delicious.  Thanks! 

Date: 08/Jul/08

Report by: Kathleen Lewis

From: Leeton, N.S.W. Australia

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

The orca whales, mother and baby were the highlight of my seven week trip to Canada.  It was a dream come true for me.  I’ll remember this day the rest of my days.  Other highlights – the mother seal with her young laying on a rock, looking at us like they were saying hi!  The bald eagles we saw, such a magic place, in fog, rain, then sunshine.

 

Additional Comments: A big thank you to Nic; such a lovely young lady and the crew; thank you Mr. Mackay for sharing the story about the birth of a baby orca with me; such wonderful information, so glad I went.  Can’t help but to love Canada and its friendly people.

Date: 06/Jul/08

Report by: Eelco Leemans

From: The Netherlands

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

To start:  This trip was way beyond my expectations.  Before leaving, the captain told us the orca’s had not been seen so far.  But after a while, there they were, including a brand new calf!  Plus we saw humpback whales, a minke whale, Dall’s porpoise, Steller sea lion, harbour seals and lots of eagles.

 

Additional Comments:

 I will recommend this trip to anyone travelling to BC.

Date: 05/Jul/08

Report by: Effie Tremblay

From: Qualicum Beach, BC

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

All around – Pacific white-sided dolphins, minke whale, humpback whale, sea lion, harbour seals, Dall’s porpoise.

 

Additional Comments: Amazing trip – diverse group of people from all over the world – locals too – everyone got along great.

Date: 04/Jul/08

Report by: Gareth, David & Susan; Lynn, Michle & Ethan

From: England & Vancouver; Boston, MA USA

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Running with the dolphins – watching them playing with us before we stopped and they all disappeared.  Eagles, especially on the nesting island; watching them all flying together when they thought one had caught a seagull – turned out to be a paper bag!  Being “teased” by the humpback who raised his head, but not his tail. (-Gareth, David & Susan) Dolphins playing in our wake; eagles young and grown and nest; humpback whale; sea lions, seals; birds; minke whale. (-Lynn Michele & Ethan)Additional Comments: Thoroughly enjoyed the soup – and the desserts.  Great commentary and information from the Captain and Nicole. (- Master Mariner David, Susan & Gareth) Captain Bill’s educating us about fish farms was enlightening.  We all need to spread the word!  Great soup and desserts. (-Lynn, Michele and Ethan)

Date: 03/Jul/08

Report by: Gillian Williams

From: England

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)

 

The Steller sea lions were all barking and barking.  A humpback whale and her baby and another one with a great tail out of the water.  Eagles on the rock good too.  Once fog lifted, lovely sun and sea very calm.

 

Additional Comments

Soup excellent, company great; didn’t get many photos – too excited.  The guy from Germany was our number 1 spotter.  Great trip – many thanks.


Date: 02/Jul/08

Report by: Sharon & Craig Smith

From: Nanaimo, BC

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We went via Broughton Strait to Blackfish Sound and Blackney Pass to Johnstone Strait and then to Weynton Pass.  We saw humpback whales, a minke whale, Dall’s porpoises, Steller sea lion and eagles (including one on a large nest).

Additional Comments:

 We spent the night at Hidden Cove and in the morning, Donna and Bill on the Naiad Explorer picked us up from the wharf for our whale watching adventure.  It was a smooth ride.  Lunch was great and coffee was hot and great.  We got dropped off back on the wharf.

Date: 29/Jun/08

Report by: Jeffery Tam, Jenn & Penny

From: Port Hardy, BC, Vancouver, BC and New Zealand

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)

 

No orca whale sightings today, but the humpback whales were amazing to watch; ;not to mention the additional sightings of eagles, sea lions and a sea otter.  My girlfriend, Jenn from Vancouver and cousin, Penny, from New Zealand had a wonderful time aboard the Naiad Explorer! P.S. Lunch was scrumptious too!

 

Additional Comments:

 Most enjoyable, I will personally be back in September to take in the view again.

Date: 04/Mar/08

Report by: Mackay

From: Port McNeill, BC

 


Date: 09/Nov/07

Report by: Donna Mackay

From: Port McNeill, BC, Canada

 

The latest update for the sidescan/submersible work to be done in Robson Bight is that the contract was being signed today and the work to be completed by the end of November. Let's all hope for a good weather window!

On another note, all of you know that the northern resident killer whales eat wild Pacific salmon.  Do you also know that farmed salmon with their incubation pens of sea lice are infecting and killing our juvenile wild salmon as they pass.  This must stop now before it's too late!  Please log on to www.savebcsalmon.ca and send the letter to the government.  THIS IS URGENT!


Date: 30/Sep/07

Report by: Haywire

From: Campbell River, BC

 

Many thanks to all of you who contributed to the "Save Robson Bight" fund, and in particular, Peter from Holland who topped off all the contributions to bring it to $35,000!!!  Contributions are still welcomed, and if there is an excess, the monies will be used to monitor the killer whales who were in the area when the spill occurred.  Please see www.livingoceans.org and www.saverobsonbight.com.

Trip Highlights:

What a glorious September day for the last whale watching of the year with the Mackays!!  What a start with the 3 amigos (A36's) and dolphins galore.  Humpbacks everywhere circling the boat; my, what smelly breath  Then off for a little soup from Nicole's soup kitchen, a little Orca 101 from the captain, then a beautiful show from the A30's who came back to town to end our day.  A fabulous way to spend a rainy day.  Many thanks to the captain and crew!!


Date: 26/Sep/07

Report by: Cynthia Kimura

From: Calgary, Alta.

 

Thank you to all who contributed to the "Save Robson Bight" fund!  As of yesterday, Living Oceans Society had collected $32,600 - enough for them to go ahead and book the equipment!  THANK YOU!  www.livingoceans.org  www.saverobsonbight.com

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)  

Under cloudy skies we departed Port McNeill for Johnstone Strait.  As we watched the clouds move about and the sun peek out, we witnessed a spectacular display of at least 20 Pacific white-sided dolphins jumping out of the water alongside the boat.  We marvelled at their colours and their ability to “ride the wave” caused by the boat!  Soon after we experienced a group of killer whales heading south; the males with the larger dorsal fin, the females smaller, but leading the pack.  After lunch, as we returned to home base, we were distracted by a humpback whale sighting, an eagle in flight, seals sunning themselves, and a number of ducks and loons plus a great blue heron!  

Additional Comments: 

A most delightful day spent with a most friendly and accommodating crew!  “Many thumbs up!”

 


Date: 25/Sep/07

Report by: Francia Wiehahn

From: Windhock, Namibia

 

Trip Highlights:

Up Johnstone Strait and close to Robson Bight
- traced the path of a killer whale pod led by a matriarch with a damaged dorsal fin. En route we saw Stellar sea lions and bald eagles. We also saw some white-sided dolphins and en route to Hidden cove Lodge, where we dropped off 2 passengers, 3 humpback whales.


Addiitonal Comments:


It was an unforgettable experience and the captain and crew were fantastic! Very clued up and friendly. We'd return for the on-board lunch and dessert anytime... long live the Johnstone Strait orca.


Date: 24/Sep/07

Report by: Peter, Petra, Burl and Ilse

From: Holland and Belgium

 

Donations are still urgently need for equipment to be sent to Robson Bight to survey the fuel truck and other equipment sitting on the ocean floor.  For more information, please see www.livingoceans.com and www.saverobsonbight.com.

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)  

We saw orcas, humpback whales, sea lions, seals, bald eagle and dolphins.  

Additional Comments: 

It was a great wonderful experience.  We really enjoyed.


Date: 23/Sep/07

Report by: Paula Phillips

From: San Diego, California

 

Donations are still urgently needed for the Robson Bight fund!  Please see www.livingoceans.org and www.saverobsonbight.com.

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)  

Another spectacular day on the water with the Mackay’s!  We headed north towards Port Hardy where we found the A30 pod of killer whales.  Lots of echolocation and amazing vocalizations!  We stopped to have lunch and were soon surrounded by Humpback whales.  Could you ask for a better view?  Upon rejoining the A30’s, we watched Graeme and Jared scooping up fish scales to gain more knowledge as to what our amazing northern residents eat.  As we were heading back we had the experience of a lifetime!  OFFSHORES!  Hydrophone gave us lots of echolocation and to quote Bill, “Looney Tunes” sounds.  Nicola was thrilled!  We will travel with the Mackays any time.  They have great whale Karma.

 


Date: 22/Sep/07

Report by: Elise Houghton

From: Rockwood, Ontario

 

Contributions to the "Save Robson Bight" fund are still needed urgently - please see www.livingoceans.org and www.saverobsonbight.com.

Today's sighting of killer whales is thanks to the information provided by the ferry Queen of Prince Rupert.  Many thanks to the captain and crew!

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)  

North (west) from Port McNeill on a sparkling Saturday after a shower that gave us a double rainbow.  We saw orcas! – hard to know how many – eight, ten – a dozen or more – the matriarch, pairs, brothers, young ‘uns, calves right beside and beneath the boat.  We had orcas breaching right beside us, and blowing their spouts in a gorgeous backlight.  We saw porpoises, seals basking on the island where we sheltered for lunch. There were seabirds too – divers (scoters?) – and we HEARD the stunningly clear, varied and haunting echoes of the whales soundly signing and signalling.  Unforgettable!  

Additional Comments: 

For me this was an experience of ecologically sensitive, educational, sustainable business at its best.  Nature appreciation, a specially designed boat and engine, knowledgeable and hospitable captain and crew, a breathtaking scenic route, respectful interplay with the whales (who seem to enjoy it) – a trip and a business to remember and learn from.  Many thanks!

 


Date: 21/Sep/07

Report by: Mr. Tyreman

From: The UK

 

Please contribute the "Save Robson Bight" fund!  Every little bit helps!  Please see www.livingoceans.org and www.saverobsonbight.com

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)  

Left McNeill at 10:00 a.m., picked up 4 more souls from Hidden Cove and went down Johnstone Strait.  Looked for whales, but found none.  Played with dolphins on the way back before sighting a humpback whale off Malcolm Island.  At least four humpbacks and one baby.  Found sea lions and more dolphins before landing passengers back at Hidden Cove to be greeted by a black bear on the beach.  

Additional Comments: 

One great day.  Many thanks.


Date: 20/Sep/07

Report by: The Sidnell Family

From: White Rock, BC

 

Please contribute the "Save Robson Bight" fund - for information and to make a donation, please see www.livingoceans.org and www.saverobsonbight.com.  

 

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)  

Up Weynton Pass to see Steller sea lions and humpback whales

  • Down Blackfish Sound and into Blackney Pass and found the A30 pod of killer whales scattered at the entrance to Johnstone Strait off Cracroft Point and toward Hanson Island
  • Back up the way we came, saw the A30s again on the Orcalab side of Blackney Pass.  As they continued into Blackfish Sound we stopped to watch a humpback whale off Parson Island.

  Additional Comments: 

Wonderful 7 days out on the water, thanks to great crew and captain, who always make you feel welcome.  Soup and dessert always good too.  The Mackay family are the best!


Date: 19/Sep/07

Report by: Frank & Hedy

From: Holland

 

SAVE ROBSON BIGHT FUND NEEDS DONATIONS!  PLEASE SEE www.livingoceans.org and www.saverobsonbight.com.

Trip Hightlights:

Saw everything that breathes!!

- humpback whale - killer whales (transient) next to the boat - dolphins playing around the boat - sea lions and seals - water, trees, rocks, oh and more water.

Additional Comments:

Great bunch of crew; very relaxed.  Thanks for the highlight of our trip.

 


Date: 18/Sep/07

Report by: someone

From: Penticton, BC

 

Please donate to the "Save Robson Bight" fund to pay for sidescan sonar and an ROV to investigage the site where a barge tipped equipment into Robson Bight.  Please see www.livingoceans.org and www.saverobsonbight.com

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)   
  • Smell of sea lion poop
  • Humpback whale going under boat
  • Transient orcas
  • Wind and having rough ride
  Additional Comments: 
  • Awesome value
  • Very educational talk

Date: 17/Sep/07

Report by: Mike Rutledge

From: Comox, BC

 

WE ARE STILL WORKING TO RAISE FUNDS FOR THE SIDESCAN SONAR AND ROV TO BE USED IN INVESTIGATING THE EQUIPMENT THAT ROLLED OFF A BARGE IN ROBSON BIGHT.  TO DONATE, PLEASE SEE www.livingoceans.org and www.saverobsonbight.com.

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)   

Had the exceptional experience of seeing humpback whales, Steller sea lions, orcas and bald eagles – all up close in their habitat.  

Additional Comments: 

  • Excellent vessel and crew
  • Excellent interpretive session on the orcas
  • Definitely an experience that I can recommend to others!

Date: 16/Sep/07

Report by: Keith and Nancy Fournier

From: San Diego, California

 

SAVE ROBSON BIGHT FUND - WE STILL HAVE A WAYS TO GO!  PLEASE SEE www.livingoceans.org and www.saverobsonbight.com.

Trip Highlights:

We started the day watching humpback whales then moved on and saw Steller sea lions and seals.  We then went into Johnstone Strait and saw the A30 pod of killer whales who didn't disappoint us with a great show.

Additional Comments:

Bill, Nicole and Nicola are always great hosts.  The Naiad is super comfortable, warm and Captain Bill always makes sure we see orcas and have a good time.  The warm soup is a nice surprise too.  Captain Bill is the best captain on the water!  Thanks again for a super fun time.  We will see you next year.  For sure.


Date: 15/Sep/07

Report by: Ellen Hartlmeier

From: Richmond, BC

 

Thank you to the OrcaLive group for their contributions to the Save Robson Bight Fund!  If you haven't donated yet, please do so as soon as possible - see www.livingoceans.org and for information and news, please see www.saverobsonbight.com.

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)   

Our last day of a week-long holiday of whale watching today.  We headed down a misty Johnstone Strait, and observed the A30’s first heading into the Reserve and then coming back out – with A38, Blackney, paying us a close visit.  Our group then gathered to get off at Orcalab on Hanson Island – while the rest of the group continued.  After our 1 ½ hour visit, Bill, Tyson and Nicola came to pick us up again and we headed back towards Port McNeill – joined by a few Dall’s porpoises for a while. 

Additional Comments: 

Thanks to the Mackay’s for another amazing week – for making the experience for our Orca Live group so extra special again!  Thanks for the hospitality, going the extra mile – and, oh yes – the chanterelle mushroom soup.  See you next year!

 


Date: 14/Sep/07

Report by: Jo Holba

From: Hinton, Alberta

 

If you haven't already made a donation to the "Save Robson Bight Fund", we kindly ask that you do as soon as possible.  Please go to www.livingoceans.org and for news and information regarding the diesel spill, please see www.saverobsonbight.com.

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)   

We went around the islands, saw some transient killer whales, Dall’s porpoises, the A30 pod of resident killer whales, bald eagles, sea lions and harbour seals.  Had great information on orcas from the skipper.  It was a cold, foggy day, but a good day. 

Additional Comments: 

Great crew and good soup.  Compliments to the chef Nicole!  Great job.

 


Date: 13/Sep/07

Report by: Liui Simon

From: Port McNeill, BC, Canada

 

PLEASE DONATE TO THE "SAVE ROBSON BIGHT FUND" - FOR NEWS ARTICLES, PLEASE SEE www.saverobsonbight.com AND TO DONATE, PLEASE SEE www.livingoceans.org.

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)   

My trip highlights were the great crew and humpback whales.  We went around to Port Hardy and Malcolm Island viewing along the way sea lions, seals, humpbacks and beautiful open water.  This was an amazing first trip for me, and I can’t wait to go again!! 

Additional Comments: 

You guys were amazing!  Thank you so much for letting me come along.

 


Date: 12/Sep/07

Report by: Jerry Homes

From: Florida, USA

 

SAVE ROBSON BIGHT FUND NEEDS YOUR DONATIONS NOW!  FOR INFORMATION, PLEASE SEE www.livingoceans.org AND www.saverobsonbight.com!

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)   

When we left the dock it was very grey, but when the sun showed up, so did the dolphins and orcas.  The wildlife is amazing!  Dolphins jumping and orcas splashing in the flat, blue Johnstone Strait. 

Additional Comments: 

The crew of the Naiad Explorer are very knowledgeable; wonderful food, good treats and a cute biologist named Nicola!!

 


Date: 11/Sep/07

Report by: Robin Blues

From: North Vancouver, BC

 

SAVE ROBSON BIGHT FUND:  www.livingoceans.org and www.saverobsonbight.com

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)   

Picked up passengers at Hidden Cove and OrcaLab.  Headed out to Johnstone Strait.  Saw orca family from A30 – 9 whales.  Listened to their calls on the underwater microphone.  Saw sea lions, humpback whales, bald eagles and other birds.  Warmed up with soup for lunch.  Listened to Bill’s lecture on Orcas – informative and entertaining.  Watched sea lions feeding and resting on the rocks. 

Additional Comments: 

Amazing amount of nature up here!  Listening to the whale calls when you can see them swimming by is fascinating as well.  Great crew and a great trip – only thing missing was blue sky!  Thank you for the great day!


Date: 10/Sep/07

Report by: Gerry & Ron Myers

From: Minden, Nevada

 

We need to raise funds to investigate the equipment lying on the ocean bottom at Robson Bight and it needs to be done quickly!  Please take a moment and donate!   

Save Robson Bight Fund: http://whatcounts.com/t?ctl=195C042:4619B60D4462BB6EF322A172E983455C5B557DFCD6914F42

Please also see:  www.saverobsonbight.com

 

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)   

Departed Port McNeill at 10 a.m. in heavy fog!  White-out scenery through Johnstone Strait, but beautiful nevertheless.  Sunny blue skies by 11:30 and then the show started.  Lots of magnificent orcas near the boat, alongside, underneath!  A few porpoises, lots of sea lions, some humpback whales and birds.  Mother Nature provided us a fantastic day. 

Additional Comments: 

Great crew!  Super boat!  Tasty lunch.  Thanks for a wonderful day!


Date: 09/Sep/07

Report by: Norma Koning

From: The Netherlands

 

"Save Robson Bight" - please see www.livingoceans.org and www.saverobsonbight.com

Trip Highlights:

Black bear at Hidden Cove, transient killer whales of Cracroft Point, T46 group ID'ed by Ellen.  A30 pod of killer whales east of St. Vincent's Bight, playing with the boat and 3 humpback whales.  And we saw OrcaLab to drop off some people.  We waved at Paul!  A54 swimming with a salmon in her mouth.

Additional comments:

Awesome trip, lovely weather, super day!

 


Date: 08/Sep/07

Report by: Steve Press

From: Portland, Oregon

 

The coast guard ship Vector is now in Robson Bight reportedly carrying out the sidescan sonar in the area of the barge accident.  The ship reported that they would be there for approximately one hour.  Please see www.livingoceans.org or www.saverobsonbight.com.

 

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)   

Queen Charlotte Strait to east Johnstone Strait – 11 humpback whales, 0 orca, hundreds of Pacific white-sided dolphins and 3 Dall’s porpoises.  Highlight – humpback whale, dolphins and 6 sea lions all swimming together. 

Additional Comments: 

2 black bears seen in Hidden Cove.  Sunny and windy.  Afternoon sweets a hit!


Date: 07/Sep/07

Report by: Robyn & Penny

From: Australia and Sidney, BC

 

Living Oceans is just over half way to our fund raising goal to hire equipment to investigate and photograph the logging machinery, including a fully-loaded fuel truck.  Please donate!  www.livingoceans.org or for news articles, etc., please see www.saverobsonbight.com.

And, breaking news right now (1620 hrs.), offshore killer whales are in the area!

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)   

The weather was fantastic – sunny, saw lots of whales; A30 pod of orcas close to Robson Bight; saw 3 humpback whales together – out towards open sea and a sea lion colony.  Superb lunch and afternoon tea.  All around a fantastic day – more than we expected.  Well done, Bill and crew – great commentary, Bill. 

Additional Comments: 

We would recommend this trip to anyone who visits Vancouver Island.


Date: 06/Sep/07

Report by: J. Vreeken

From: Holland

 

We still need your help to help save Robson Bight!  For more information and to donate, please see www.livingoceans.org and www.saverobsonbight.com.

Trip Highlights:

We went where the skipper brought us from; Port McNiell - heading east.  Saw a lot of whales, sea lions and birds.  The captain told in a nutshell about the killer whale families.  Had a good lunch and good weather.


Date: 05/Sep/07

Report by: Marilyn Tarry, Loraine Coyle and Heather Davies

From: Nanaimo, BC and England

 

We need to raise funds to hire the equipment necessary to look at the equipment that rolled off a barge on August 20.  One of the pieces of equipment was a fully loaded fuel truck.  For more information please see www.livingoceans.org or www.saverobsonbight.com.

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

3 humpback whales; many orcas – I11’s, I15’s, A36’s.  Absolutely fantastic!!!  Really enjoyed seeing so many whales (shame about the weather).  Marilyn and Loraine’s second trip – even better than the first trip.  Rained all day, but didn’t spoil our enjoyment.

Additional Comments: 

Good crew, good boat, good food.  Thank you for all the information.  See you next year!!!


Date: 04/Sep/07

Report by: Nader Gendy

From: Cairo, Egypt

 

Save Robson Bight fund - www.livingoceans.org and www.saverobsonbight.com.

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)  

 Down Johnstone Strait south, saw three transient orcas, followed them for a while and we watched dolphins.  I enjoyed this trip and I enjoyed the lunch, and I like the captain’s sense of humour.


Date: 03/Sep/07

Report by: Penelope Voekel & Michael Taft

From: Los Angeles, California

 

e still need to fund raise to get the logging equipment and fuel truck evaluated with sidescan sonar and a submersible with camera.  Please visit www.livingoceans.org or www.saverobsonbight.com.

In the report below, there is reference to the rescue of a kayaker today and we wish to thank Hella Martin of the Robson Bight Warden Program for single-handedly pulling a man, much larger than herself, from the frigid waters of Johnstone Strait.  She certainly saved his life, and we merely provided back-up first aid expertise and a warm boat with blankets.  Well done Hella!

 

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

Oh my God!  We encountered the super pod, one of the most beautiful, amazing, awe-inspiring sights a human can see.  We saw A, G and R clans, 113 killer whales in total.  We saw a minke whale, a humpback whale, Dall’s porpoises and spotted some possible transient killer whales.  We saw the majestic dorsal fins of the 3 brothers (A36’s) and we rescued a kayaker who had flipped over.  We also met Alex Morton and her daughter and her great black dog.

 Additional Comments: 

This was an incredible day; UNBELIEVABLE!!!


Date: 02/Sep/07

Report by: Theresa Patenaude

From: Nanaimo, BC

 

For information and donations to the Save Robson Bight fund, please see www.livingoceans.org and www.saverobsonbight.com.

Trip Highlights:

Excellent trip.  Went up Blackfish Sound - A30's resting peacefully.  Met up with more whales - forty or so orcas - I15's, I31's, A5's, A36's, A24's - spyhopping, tail lobbing, great action.  Also saw 2 humpbacks swimming in lower Blackfish Sound.

Additional Comments:

Awesome day and great crew.  Would recommend for everyone.


Date: 01/Sep/07

Report by: Perilstein family

From: Seattle, WA

 

 Regarding the Aug. 20 diesel spill in Robson Bight, please see www.livingoceans.org and www.saverobsonbight.com!

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)   

What a fabulous trip!!  What entertaining hosts – we enjoyed every moment – we had the thrill of watching the humpback whale cavort with the sea lions.  Such a special experience it was.  We would recommend this to everyone!!  And we will…great company!!!  Informative and fun.  Would do again.


Date: 31/Aug/07

Report by: Chantelle Tucker

From: Victoria, BC and Playa del Carmen, Mx.

 

Save Robson Bight - see Living Oceans Society (www.livingoceans.org) and also www.saverobsonbight.com.

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

  •  possibly 100-200 Pacific white-sided dolphins – massive group off of Malcolm Island (Mitchell Bay);
  •    A30’s resting along Swanson Island;
  •  A23’s or A25’s chasing many Dall’s porpoises – baby breaching, multiple times;
  • Big, huge male A38 breach along with A30’s traveling and spy-hopping, baby pec slapping;
  •  3 humpback whales milling in Blackfish Sound-          Sea lions hauled out at Stubbs Island in Weynton Pass 

Additional Comments: Always amazing and magical. Those Pacific white-sided dolphins were AWESOME!  Thanks, till next year!


Date: 30/Aug/07

Report by: Barry & Sabine

From: London, UK (yes, it's us again)

 

Fund raising is going well for the Save Robson Bight project!  For details and to donate, please go to Living Oceans Society (www.livingoceans.org) and for information see www.saverobsonbight.com.

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)   

Gee whiz – today mist lay over the ocean, but it lifted and we saw orcas, orcas, orcas – including baby orcas jumping along side their mother.  We also saw 2 humpback whales – it was INCREDIBLE -  we must have seen 100 orcas all in all!  BRILLIANT!   

Additional Comments: 

The Mackay clan and Nicola were great hosts once again!  The soup and cake were mighty tasty, too!


Date: 29/Aug/07

Report by: Sian Spence

From: Wales, UK

 

Fundraising for Robson Bight - sidescan sonar and submersible - go to Living Oceans Society (www.livingoceans.org).

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)   

We had a wonderful trip, seeing and listening to more than 50 orcas.  We saw one full breach, it was magnificent.  The weather was perfect and the scenery breathtaking.  We also saw some Steller sea lions and listened to their roars.  Bill and the crew taught me an enormous amount about the whales.  Altogether a perfect rip, thank you very much.  I will always remember it.

Additional Comments: 

It was awesome and I had a whale-tastic time!  I hope you clean the oil spill, all the best.  Take care of our whales!


Date: 28/Aug/07

Report by: Sabina & Barry

From: London, UK

 

Thank you everyone who have contributed to the Save Robson Bight Fund!  We're still a long way off from our goal of $35,000, but you've made a good start.  For details, please see www.saverobsonbight.com or www.livingoceans.org

Trip Highlights:

Rough seas, low greay skies - nonetheless we soon came across a pod of orcas who seemingly enjoyed the rain a lot - they breached and generally entertained us.  Then after lunch we saw a humpback as well as Dall's porpoise and sea lions.  We also picked up Paul (French biologist) who had GREAT KNOWLEDGE of the pod.


Date: 27/Aug/07

Report by: Jean le Cheminant

From: Cortes Island, BC

 

Re:  Robson Bight Barge Spill
 
            We are fundraising to conduct a deep sea dive in Robson Bight this September.  Sidescan sonar will pinpoint the exact location of logging equipment which fell to a depth of 350 metres inside the Michael Bigg Ecological Reserve.  The accident took place on Monday August 20th  Among the equipment is a fuel truck which may still contain 10,000 litres of Diesel.  Experts are unclear how much of the fuel remains in the tank.  Once the exact location of the equipment is know, a Remotely Operated Camera will survey the damage, taking high resolution video.  Vancouver deep sea dive expert, Phil Nuytten, has offered to conduct the dive for a very reasonable price, and fundraising is currently underway.  Our target is $35,000. 
 
            Many people and organizations are contributing to this effort including: 
 
Greenpeace Canada
Living Oceans Society
Mackay Whale Watching
Nuytco

OrcaLab/Pacific Orca Society

Raincoast Research
Stubbs Island Whale Watching
 
            Donations can be made at any branch of Coastal Community Credit Union by asking for the “Save Robson Bight Fund”.  f donors require a charitable tax receipt, they can log onto the Living Oceans Society website and click on the “Oceans Fund” on the home page. 
 
            Thank you for your assistance in fundraising for this urgent project. 

And now, for today's report:

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)  

 OrcaLab; story on diesel spill, orcas at Robson Bight, etc., etc; porpoises surfing, black bears; hydrophone.  Great educational talk and info.; low-key but effective motivation to awareness. 

Additional Comments: 

Excellent!  Thanks!  Coffee and goodies were good too.


Date: 26/Aug/07

Report by: Lauren Cipriano

From: Boston, Massachusetts

 

Re:  Robson Bight Barge Spill
 
            We are fundraising to conduct a deep sea dive in Robson Bight this September.  Sidescan sonar will pinpoint the exact location of logging equipment which fell to a depth of 350 metres inside the Michael Bigg Ecological Reserve.  The accident took place on Monday August 20th Among the equipment is a fuel truck which may still contain 10,000 litres of Diesel.  Experts are unclear how much of the fuel remains in the tank. 
 
            Once the exact location of the equipment is know, a Remotely Operated Camera will survey the damage, taking high resolution video.  Vancouver deep sea dive expert, Phil Nuytten, has offered to conduct the dive for a very reasonable price, and fundraising is currently underway.  Our target is $35,000. 
 
            Many people and organizations are contributing to this effort including: 
 
Greenpeace Canada
Living Oceans Society
Mackay Whale Watching
Nuytco

OrcaLab/Pacific Orca SocietyRaincoast Research
Stubbs Island Whale Watching
 
            Donations can be made at any branch of Coastal Community Credit Union by asking for the “Save Robson Bight Fund”. 
 
            If donors require a charitable tax receipt, they can log onto the Living Oceans Society website and click on the “Oceans Fund” on the home page. 
 
            Thank you for your assistance in fundraising for this urgent project. 


Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)   We first went for a beautifully scenic trip out towards Port Hardy.  Then we came back between the islands to watch humpback whales.  They blew and rolled over the water and twice put their tails into the air to wave at the boat.  We moved on to a family of orca whales (killer whales) who were swimming back and forth having lunch.  One baby whale kept popping up beside its mother.  They looked like Olympic synchronized swimmers.  Finally, we headed over for a tremendous view of some sea lions sun bathing on a nice rocky island.  They put on a show for us arguing over who could have the sunniest spot on the rock.  We moved around the island only to find another group – no fewer than 12 sea lions all barking about what a beautiful day it was. 

Additional Comments: Also the soup is delicious.


Date: 25/Aug/07

Report by: Julie

From: California

 

 Re:  Robson Bight Barge Spill
 
            We are fundraising to conduct a deep sea dive in Robson Bight this September.  Sidescan sonar will pinpoint the exact location of logging equipment which fell to a depth of 350 metres inside the Michael Bigg Ecological Reserve.  The accident took place on Monday August 20th Among the equipment is a fuel truck which may still contain 10,000 litres of Diesel.  Experts are unclear how much of the fuel remains in the tank. 
 
            Once the exact location of the equipment is know, a Remotely Operated Camera will survey the damage, taking high resolution video.  Vancouver deep sea dive expert, Phil Nuytten, has offered to conduct the dive for a very reasonable price, and fundraising is currently underway.  Our target is $35,000. 
 
            Many people and organizations are contributing to this effort including: 
 
Greenpeace Canada
Living Oceans Society
Mackay Whale Watching
Nuytco
Stubbs Island Whale Watching
 
            Donations can be made at any branch of Coastal Community Credit Union by asking for the “Save Robson Bight Fund”.   If donors require a charitable tax receipt, they can log onto the Living Oceans Society website (www.livingoceans.org) and click on the “Oceans Fund” on the home page.  Donations by credit card can also be made through Living Oceans. 
 
            Thank you for your assistance in fundraising for this urgent project. 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)   Today we had a day-long whale party!  We headed out to Queen Charlotte Strait and the whales knew right where to find us in the morning fog!  We were first greeted by the I-15’s and I-31’s and were later joined by the R’s as well as the A-36’s.  Our cameras couldn’t take pictures fast enough as we tried to decide which direction to look first to view all the activity.  An extra treat was listening to the beautiful, along with the comical, vocalizing of the playful pods while we ate delicious Nanaimo bars!  The 20+ northern sea lions we saw may not have been too happy of the whales’ presence…but we could not be happier!  What a fantastic day!  Thank you Mackays! 

Additional Comments: 

Coming back “home” to beautiful B.C. would not be complete without a trip with Mackay Whale Watching.  The warm welcome as soon as you step aboard, the fun, friendships, great food and whale education definitely makes this a trip you’ll never forget!...see you in a few days!! J  ««««« rating!!


Date: 24/Aug/07

Report by: Donna Schaffer

From: Edmonton, AB

 

 Donate to the “Save Robson Bight Fund”  Today! 
 
We are raising funds to conduct a deep sea investigation in the Robson Bight (Michael Bigg) Ecological Reserve.  Underwater cameras will allow us to assess the status of the wreckage in Robson Bight from Monday’s spill and make recommendations to government on a long term strategy to minimize ecological impacts. 
 
You can help us make this happen by donating at any branch of Coastal Community Credit Union.  Just ask for the “Save Robson Bight Fund”. 
 
Other ways to Donate: 
 
If you require a charitable tax receipt, donate to the “Oceans Fund” on the Living Oceans Society website.  http://www.livingoceans.org/index.shtml

Now, on to today's report: 
 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)   Great whale sightings!  Saw 3 separate pods.  All very acrobatic – much tail slapping, spy hopping, breaching and one orca insisted on swimming on his back and slapping his flippers (the backstroke – as such).  Two beautiful Pacific white-sided dolphins, one a tiny baby – a precious sight.  Also one Minke whale and one humpback.  These marine mammals need our protection.  We must not let them go. 

Additional Comments: The Mackay family is wonderful.  They care about each other, their environment, and the people who come to enjoy it with them.  I feel privileged to know them.


Date: 23/Aug/07

Report by: Jim Byers

From: Kelowna, BC

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)   More whales than we even dreamt possible.  Transients, residents, spy hopping.  An hour with hardly a moment without one or more fins visible.  At one point I counted over 10 (ten!!) on the surface at one time.

Additional Comments: 

This family delivers!!


Date: 22/Aug/07

Report by: Allen & Linda Guntler

From: Calgary, Alta.

 

Quick update on the diesel spill situation - it's unclear how much is still left in the sunken fuel truck.  Officials estimate that what has appeared on the surface of Johnstone Strait is in the hundreds of litres - frightening when we know the truck contained 10,000 litres!  The first casualties are just beginning to appear.  Today, the Naiad Explorer crew found a dead common murre near Boulder Point on the north side of Malcolm Island.  The "Tuan" also found a dead common murre and a rhinoceros auklet that was near death.  Unless these casualties are removed, the threat is reintroduced into the food chain.

 

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)   Whales, whales, and more whales.  Great information from all crew members, much new information served up with good Canadian humour and they also provided beautiful weather.  Would go again next trip on the island.  A destination.  Did I mention sea lions, eagles and porpoises.  Lunch was great too! 

Additional Comments: Widened my awareness of the fragility of our environment and how we need to protect it.  The tour was a total pleasure.  Thank you!!


Date: 21/Aug/07

Report by: Corinne

From: Victoria, BC

 

 Notice:  If you were a passenger on board our trip on July 2, 2007 and have lost your camera, please contact us to claim, giving description of the camera and yourself.

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)   We were very lucky on our trip today.  The weather was perfect for whale watching.  On our trip we saw the A pod and G pod and learned that all the pods have different sounds.  Johnstone Strait is beautiful with majestic mountains, small islands and with abundance of wildlife.  A must see!

Additional Comments: Bill Mackay and his family are wonderful.  They are willing to share everything they know about whales and the wildlife in this area.  Mackay Whale Watching is a five hour trip and every minute is an astonishing adventure.  If you have a chance to go whale watching – “DO IT”.  The whale is a special mammal that we need to protect for future generations to see and enjoy.


Date: 20/Aug/07

Report by: Mike & Carroll

From: Coombs, BC (goats on the roof place!)

 

Last night, unable to simply sit by and do nothing, the crew of the Naiad Explorer ventured out into Johnstone Strait to survey the fuel slick and witness what was happening.  We first encountered the smell of diesel near Beaver Cove, with the heaviest concentration between Kaikash Creek and Robson Bight.  As we sat still, collecting a sample, we deployed the hydrophone and heard a pod from A clan and then watched them swim through the slick.  At the same time, we could hear G clan calls as well.  Wordlessly, we returned home at 3:00 a.m.

The Mackay Family

And now for the whale watching report from August 20:

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Johnstone Strait, Blackfish Sound areas, saw T18 and friends, a very happy northern sea lion (going the opposite way!), a samll minke whale, spent time with the A12's who were heading south.  Saw Steller sea lions snoozing on some rocks.

Additional Comments:

Great mix of passengers from Denmark, Germany, Belgium and USA.  Great trip, grey skies, but the crew and the lunch made up for it.  A ;must see and do trip!  This is our third, of many more to come.

 


Date: 19/Aug/07

Report by: Julie and Pat Warrington

From: Bristol and Scunthorpe, UK

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)   A fantastic day – I15’s, I31’s, heard the A30’s, visited Cracroft Point, then into Blackfish Sound for a very close humpback whale.  Lunch, then the wonderful A36’s and two minke whales, followed by Steller sea lions and harbour seals.  Great company too!  Highly recommended – you can’t help but have fun. J 

Additional Comments: We’ve been on many whale watching trips, but the Niad is the best for so many reasons.  Thanks Cap’n Bill, 1st mate Kristy and the lovely Nicola.  Thank you all so much, I miss this place every day, but I’ll remember this for a long, long time.  Take care of you, cos we’ll be back (for the ninth time!).


Date: 18/Aug/07

Report by: Les Burger

From: Vancouver, WA, USA

 

Trip Highlights:

Wow!  Great weather, great trip, learned a lot, saw a lot and ate well!  After a stop at Hidden Cove, we proceeded to Robson Bight where we saw several members of I pod.  We managed to follow I110 (juvenile), I33 (mom who is 27 years old), and I62 (son who is 19) for quite some time as the other I pod members "slept".  Then west to Donegal Head to see six members of A12 pod, befoe a brief stop to visit with a dozen or more Steller sea lions.  For the bird watchers, we saw one eagle and a parasitic jaeger.


Date: 17/Aug/07

Report by: travelers

From: Fort collins, Colorado

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.)   Humpback whales…slapping their tails, breaching, blowing – long show; saw it on the way out and in. Additional Comments: Great lunch – hot soup, desserts.  Nicole – wealth of information, very helpful, enjoyed her book.  Captain Bill’s stories.

Date: 16/Aug/07

Report by: Barb Kennedy, Gail Williams & Dianne Webber

From: Armstrong, BC, Courtenay, BC and Comox BC respectively

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

 

Barb says:  Went to Blackfish Sound, Queen Charlotte Strait and Lizard Point.  Saw Pacific white-sided dolphins, Dall’s porpoises and the oh so fabulous Orcas – A clan and G clan (about 65 whales in total).  The teenager, A55 was a greedy one, eating the fish caught by the gals – naughty boy!  By the way, we saw two Peregrine falcons on our way back.  There was a bird book on board too!  Tyson even regaled us with a song! (part of his job). Gail & Dianne say:  We picked up passengers at Alder bay and Hidden Cove.  Day started with thundery skies but cleared to a beautiful day.  We went to Queen Charlotte Strait – we saw whales, lots of whales!  Porpoises playing in the wake of our boat.  We heard the distinguishing sounds of the different pods of whales.  The passengers are friendly – crew were excellent – lunch awesome – a great time had by all!  And yes, we will definitely be back!  Thank you for an amazing time. Additional Comments: Barb: the weather looked gloomy at the beginning, but to our surprise, it took a 360 degree turn and our day was filled with sunshine.  Capt. Bill Mackay and son, Tyson, were so knowledgeable and their whale watching outfit is “second to none”.  This was our third time whale watching with them and wouldn’t go with anyone else.  Thanks to the Mackay again for making our trip so special.  This adventure with Mackay Whale Watching is highly recommended to all of you who enjoy nature.

Date: 15/Aug/07

Report by: Robyn, Kari, Jessica, Jakob and Grace

From: Okotoks, Alberta and Port Hardy, BC

 

Trip Highlights(where we went, what we saw, etc.) 

 

Started at Alder Bay and Hidden Cove.  In Johnstone Strait we saw and heard A-clan Orcas (the cats) and G-clan Orcas (the donkeys).  Awesome spy hops, tail slapping and vocalizations.  After a delicious lunch we headed to Blackfish sound where we saw a mom humpback whale with her calf who put on a show for us with spy hopping, pec fin waving and tail slapping.  Dall’s porpoise and Pacific white-sided dolphins were also spotted. Additional Comments: The crew was amazing!  They made the trip fun, friendly and comfortable.  I’m sure everyone aboard would agree that the displays of power and beauty seen today were awesome!

Date: 14/Aug/07

Report by: Barbara Keen and Mel Jaeggle

From: North Vancouver, BC

 

Trip Highlights: (where we went, what we saw, etc.)
Queen Charlotte Strait, Lizard Point and Donegal Head. Many orca spread out all over the place including A36s. Lots of vocalizations on the hydrophone. At the end of the trip we saw two humpbacks who were breaching all over the place!!! Also Dall's porpoises. Straitwatch engine noise ANNOYING!!
Additional Comments:
What a great day! Beautiful weather, great captain and crew. We would go again tomorrow if we had the time. Thanks Mackays!!

Date: 13/Aug/07

Report by: Vicki, Jim, Phil and Peter Volrath

From: Uganda and the UK

 

    
Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 
 
Orcas (2  from A pod)
Humpback mother and child
Porpoises and dolphins
It was great to see Bere Point from the sea!
The huge seal and the eagles' nest
 
Additional Comments:
 
We love Bill's wit and Jim says thanks for showing him the cockpit!!  As wildlife nuts you could tell us more and more and we'd lap it up.  The talk on orcas was fab - if only it was easy for everyone to find a mate without speaking the same language.....
THANKS FOR A FANTASTIC DAY!!!!!!
        

Date: 12/Aug/07

Report by: Diran (age 6 1/2), Andrew and Neil

From: Hollywood, Wales and the UK respectively

 

Trip Highlights:

What an amazing trip; we saw five or six groups of killer whales and two humpback whales.  What an exceptional time and to be at one with nature.  A great trip with a well experienced company.  Thanks, Bill and Tyson.


Date: 11/Aug/07

Report by: Bill Scanlan

From: Brownwood, Texas

 

   
Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 
 
We are a group of six people who are travelling in our homebuilt kit airplanes (3 VANS RV7A).  We came up from Texas to Olympia, Wa., where we hooked up with another group of flyers (12 airplanes, 27 people).  We had a lead aircraft guide who led us to Abbotsford, Quesnel, Whitehorse, then Fairbanks, Anchorage, Seward and finally Kethchikan.  We spent a couple of days in each town exploring the area, taking tours and eating magnificently.  The group split up in Ketchikan and the 3 airplanes from Texas flew into Port Hardy for a couple of days at a B & B (the Orange Tabby).  Owners recommended a whale watching tour, and we were lucky enough to connect with Mackay.  It has been a fabulous experience seeing orcas, 2 humpbacks, and being very close to all best whale watching ever!  We are on to Orcas Island tomorrow for a week, and then flying our little airplanes back to Texas.  Don?t miss the Mackay Whale Watching experience!
 

Date: 10/Aug/07

Report by: Fay Sinden

From: London, UK

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 
 
We saw a lot of orca - about 4 groups.  Also 3 humpbacks, sea lions, eagles.  This has been an amazing day, getting close to so much wildlife and marine life.  Excellent Captain and crew to learn about the different family groups really made a difference to how I will see them in the future.  Will learn more!
 
Additional Comments:
 
All the crew were so friendly, helpful and informative.  They made this a real supreme, helping us understand what we were seeing and how things had changed over the years.  And good soup. 
 
    

Date: 09/Aug/07

Report by: Karen Hughes

From: Lincoln, Nebraska

 

    
Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 
 
The waters were alive with orcas - A12s, A30s and I11s, to name a few.  We got excellent views, sounds and shots, especially right off Cracroft Island.  We also got to see a humpback whale and a Steller sea lion.  For birds, we saw many common murres, rhinoceros auklets, bald eagles and, of course, sea gulls.
 
Additional Comments:
 
What started as a cloudy, grey day turned into a warm, sunny day and the water was smooth like glass!  Thanks for a great day (and special thanks to Chris for pointing out all of the Orca Live spots to me!)  You have a great crew!  (My photos will eventually show up at flickr.com/photos/flowrbx - there are already photos there from two years ago.)

Date: 08/Aug/07

Report by: Enrique and Sue Cameselle

From: Spain and UK

 

 
Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 
 
Captain X (sorry I forgot your name) (Captain Bill) - very funny, entertaining, wealth of knowledge and took us to all the right places!  Big chap in red (again, problem with names) (Assistant Captain Chris) - again, made the day with all his chatter and got everyone mixing.  Beautiful scenery, beautiful whales, seals, birds, eagles - just totally spoilt.
 
Additional Comments:
 
Very professional set-up - fun, yet you learn a lot - has definitely made us want to learn more and is excellent value for money (you could charge more and it would still be so).  Thanks for a wonderful day!
   

Date: 07/Aug/07

Report by: Bob Burk

From: San Francisco, CA

 

    
Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 
 
We had a fantastic day aboard the Naiad Explorer seeing two of the orca pods, A12 and A24, we also heard the R group swimming with A12.  Saw large sea lions, and then off to see a mother and baby humpback whale playing in the seaweed.  Captain Bill is inspirational with his education and history on the whales.
 
Additional Comments:
 
Great trip, great food, great crew and a wonderful day in spite of the morning fog.

Date: 06/Aug/07

Report by: Ingrid McFee & Crew

From: Vancouver, BC

 

Trip Highlights:

Today in Johnstone Strait we saw several orcas - 2 big males and a few females.  We even watched them breach!  We followed several humpbacks - wait for the tail shot : ).  The crew was great - they treat you as family and are fantastic naturalists able to answer all our questions.

Additional Comments:

The food was great - yummy soup and sweets!  Thanks for a great afternoon!   


Date: 04/Aug/07

Report by: Mackay Family

From: Port McNeill, BC, Canada

 

We're sorry our daily reports have not been available, however we are ecstactic to witness the union of our son, Tsyon, with Megan, the best daugther-in-law that we could ever wish for in our dreams.  The wedding reception was graced and blessed by dear friends in the First Nations community and we will be forever in their debt for the honour they graced our family with.  Thank you to all!


Date: 03/Aug/07

Report by: Jan & Bob, Sherri & Bob, Keith & Donna

From: Campbell River, BC

 

    
Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 
 
We went to the east side of Malcolm Island and Foster Island and in the nearby vicinity.  We enjoyed a delicious lunch at Foster Island.  We saw Brits, Spaniards, Danes and Dutch folk.  Also Orca whales (A30 and A36 pods), 2 humpback whales, Pacific white-sided dolphins, I jellyfish, 3 sea lions and eagle's nest.
 
Additional Comments:
 
The lunch was great - hit the spot!  Captain Bill and Skipper Chris and crew were exceptional - funny and informative.

Date: 02/Aug/07

Report by: Nicole Adimey

From: Little Hanson Island

 

 
Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 
 
We went east to Naka Creek and then up through Blackney Pass to the back of Malcolm Island.  Saw lots of whales.  Pods included:  A30, A36, A24, R7.  Saw lots of Dall's porpoises, Pacific white-sided dolphins, bald eagles, one harbour seal and two northern loons.
 
Additional Comments:
 
We had such a beautiful day on the water.  Sunshine and flat seas.  The crew was very helpful and very informative about the whales, birds and general area.  We love the place and the people and will come back for the rest of our lives!!
   

Date: 01/Aug/07

Report by: Peggy Smith

From: Palm Coast, Florida

 

 
Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 
 
We saw lots of fog!  No, it did clear off at about 1:00.  We saw 2 humpback whales, one had half a tail.  We saw another one or two humpbacks.  We saw several dolphin fins.  There were a couple of bald eagles where we dropped off people on an island to be picked up by a helicopter.  We saw no orcas today but we rode a long way and searched really hard!
    

Date: 31/Jul/07

Report by: Jessica Smith

From: Cheshire, England

 

  
Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 
 
The sun was shining as we headed east down Johnstone Strait to begin our search with excitement and expectation running high; we were not disappointed.  We first saw Dall's porpoises, joyfully swimming around us before the show really began with numerous killer whales coming right up close to the boat.  We were lucky enough to see the A30 and A24 pods spyhopping and riding through the waves which was awesome!!  The activity didn't stop when we paused for lunch when we saw loads of Pacific white-sided dolphins frolicking in the waves which was really exciting.  A fantastic day.
 
Additional Comments:
 
Food was lovely and all the crew were very friendly and informative.  The history and extra information were very interesting and the hydrophone was excellent!  I would definitely recommend this trip to everyone!
  

Date: 30/Jul/07

Report by: Mark Compton

From: London, UK

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Crystal blue skies and a mirrored sea were the setting of today's trip.  We travelled out to Queen Charlotte Strait seeing a humpback whale and her calf.  Moving on, we could see the odd dorsal fin of orca breaking but as we slowly motored around, more fins broke the surface.  Two orcas swam behind the boat as we were still and it was possible to see them even under the crystal blue waters.  Moving on we saw sea lions feeding as well as bald eagles returning to their young in a nest.  There were also minke whales in the Strait.

Additional Comments:

One of the best days of whale watching I have been on - unhurried with a great crew who know the area and the local wildlife.  Bill, the Captian took time out to inform us of the different orca families in the area and which orca we saw.  When the weather is this good and the sea this flat, there is no better place to be.  Definitely to be recommended to anyone who wants to experience the best the north of Vanouver Island has to offer.    

    

Date: 29/Jul/07

Report by: Stan Wardle

From: Montrose, Scotland

 

  
Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 
 
Visited Port Hardy and Johnstone Strait.  We have seen over the past two days many, many orcas, sea lions, bald eagles and fantastic scenery. 
 
Special Note!  My wife is severely disabled and has tried for 8 years to see orcas and this is the first time we have been successful, thanks to an excellent crew for all their help.
 
Additional Comments:
 
I can honestly say that this company went out of their way to make our visit and these trips to Canada the highlight of our holiday.  The boat was excellent, the cook was brilliant, the skipper was the best yet.  The booking office and store help made our booking and access onto the boat so easy.  Thank you all, and thank you for being so pleasant and informative.  We wish you all well in the future.
  

Date: 28/Jul/07

Report by: Lisa and Stuart

From: Wales, UK

 

  
Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 
 
-         ORCAS!!!  A30 pod (2 large males, A38, A39)
-         Minke whale x 2 - Donegal Head
-         Porpoise
-         We went everywhere!!!  Queen Charlotte Strait
-         Leach's petrel (bird)
 
Additional Comments:
 
-         Fantastic tour with fantastic guides.  Great knowledge and humour!!
-         Cannot fault anything about the tour!
-         Many people on the tour had a dream to be met and it was!!
-         Going out with Mackay Whale Watching should be a compulsory part of visiting Vancouver Island.  Thank you very much!
  

Date: 27/Jul/07

Report by: Tom Rosted

From: Denmark (cmoing here primarily for kayaking)

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Killer whales seen from the distance, coming right close up to the boat passing by.  Followed a pod for a while coming up nicely now and then.  Saw one of them make a spectacular "spyhop" and another one dive, flipping his white tail.  Went to look for humpbacks, and I got my life's experience!  A mother and calf played closely to us with numerous breaches - it was awesome!  Eagle's nest and sea lions when heading back.    (crew comment:  A24 pod of killer whales seen today.)

Additional Comments:

I think I will have to lock up my camera in a bankbox when I come to Port McNeill!  During the trip Captain Mackay taught us all about the orcas - past, present, future.  Excellent - Bill is a natural born teacher.  Thanks a lot for a magnificent day!

    

Date: 26/Jul/07

Report by: Joyce Holloway

From: Cape Girardeau, Missouri, USA

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 
 
Enjoyed the different islands, all the scenery of the mountains, eagles, seals, BUT AWESOME seeing the whales, especially the mother humpback with young one putting on a show for all of us.  FANTASTIC when she came out of the water with her full body.  WOW!  Spelled backwards, still WOW.  Weather was great.
(crew:  we also saw the A24 pod of killer whales.)
 
Additional Comments:
 
Your crew was so courteous, helpful and the soup, roll for lunch was delicious.  Then came the petite desserts.  Yum, yum.  Enjoyed the talk on the whales, sounds they make, etc.  But could not hear everything real good so would suggest microphone, if possible.  Thank you again for a "wonderful memory".

Date: 25/Jul/07

Report by: Lisa Krueger

From: Hailey, Idaho

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 
 
Great views of the entire Johnstone Strait as they persevered to get us to the orcas!  The A24s and A36s were amazing!  The 3 boys played together and one of the A24s came up right next to the boat and swam beside us!  A very special experience with a great crew.  Be sure to go with Mackay - good fun, great food and the amazing orcas!

Date: 24/Jul/07

Report by: Lesley-Anne Burley

From: Wiltshire, England

 

  Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

On our trip today, we saw dolphins, porpoise (the best), many pods of orca, plus mom and calf humpback whales and sea lions.

Additional Comments:

The trip was amazing sitting in the sunshine with wonderful views and seeing all the above.  What could be better.  This family run business is superb.  A trip of a lifetime; 5 star recommendation.  

    

Date: 23/Jul/07

Report by: Chuck Lockhart

From: Boulder, Colorado, USA

 

   
Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 
 
Orcas, of course.  Stayed on a sleep mode pod until they came awake and went into hunt mode.  Very exciting.  The underwater microphone added an audio perspective to an "incroyable" visual experience.  The weather cooperated magnificently.
 
Additional Comments:
 
Always go with Mackay.  They know their orcas.  Thanks for a great experience.
 

Date: 21/Jul/07

Report by: Patty and Mark

From: the Comox Valley, BC

 

    
 
Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 
 
Saw 3 family groups of killer whales, harbour seals, Steller sea lions and lot of eagles on Stubbs Island. 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Fantastic time, excellent lunch, great hosts!!

Date: 20/Jul/07

Report by: Trista Wiebenga

From: Simcoe, Ontario, Canada

 

    
Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 
 
Highlights are knowing that there are great Canadians looking out for our beautiful country and all our precious species that we live with.  The bonus was getting to see the A12 pod, seals and eagles.  The chowder was also great.
 
Additional Comments:
 
We need more people like Bill and his crew to open our eyes and remind us what we have here.  The earth would be able to continue forever without us, but we will be on the endangered list if we keep ignoring what's happening to the earth and our non-human friends.  Thanks Bill and crew.

Date: 19/Jul/07

Report by: Ralph and Liesbeth van der Stel

From: The Netherlands

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

After a foggy and rainy start of the day we saw a lot of whales.  Some of them liked to play in the waves.  Unexpected fun was the chase of a salmon for Mr. Mackay jr.'s dinner meal.  We made a lot of good pictures (sorry Mr. Mackay, no Canon!).  Lunch and dessert was very good too.

Additional Comments:

We liked the enthusiasm of the captain and his crew very much.


Date: 18/Jul/07

Report by: Smit family

From: The Netherlands

 

    
Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 
 
We saw a group of 5 orcas and listened to their singing.  Beautiful.  Later on we saw another two.  During lunchtime we had this great view over the orcas.  There is no restaurant on earth that could provide that view.  Forty minutes back we saw a large group of eagles fishing, 2 humpback whales, mother and child, and later, 3 sea lions. 
 
Additional Comments:
 
It was great.  You've made our dreams come true.  Thanks!
    

Date: 17/Jul/07

Report by: Mark & Gina

From: "Beautiful and scenic" Palos Park, IL USA

 

    
Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 
 
Followed "A" group of orca out of Queen Charlotte Strait as the orca were joined by a group of voracious, feeding Pacific White-sided dolphins.  Sushi!!!  As lunch was served, a mother humpback whale and her frisky calf put on a good show, interrupting our meal with repeated breaching, tail lobs and pectoral slaps.  The little humpie calf appeared to be a flying dill pickle as it soared out of the water.  Steller sea lions cruised for a meal near eagles perched in spruces

Date: 15/Jul/07

Report by: Blair Lewis

From: Vancouver, BC

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

Great tip!  One humpback and a great afernoon watching A clan of orcas.  Very knowledgeable captain, knows the waters and the local whales.  Friendly and great humour.  I'd recommend the trip to anybody.  No - on the other hand our species seems to wreck ecosystems in anything but small numbers, so don't come!  Stay away, it was awful.

Additional Comments:

The weather gods also smiled.  Orcas were a joy to watch.  Friends don't let friends eat farmed salmon.  Ban fish farms from the B.C. coast!  (And the corrupt politicians who endorse them.)    


Date: 14/Jul/07

Report by: Karen, Les, Les, Judy, Barbara, Rob, Betty and Paulette

From: Yalbata! Vancouver! Nanaimo!

 

   
Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 
 
·        frolicking humpback; sassy and cheeky
·        seeing huge male orca and his grand fin - A33
·        watching 4-5 orca sunning and snoozing
·        seeing 2 groups of dolphins and 4-5 porpoises
·        eagles, sea lions
 
Additional Comments:
 
·        Would love to come back!
·        Weather was awesome.
·        Crew was entertaining and educational!
·        Food "hit the spot".
 

Date: 13/Jul/07

Report by: Thomas Putsis

From: Weeki Wachee, Florida

 

  
Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 
 
Pod of Dall's porpoises.  Several (2-3) pods of orca at very close range, surfaced alongside Naiad Explorer and "human watched" for several moments.  Four bald eagles were sighted.
 
Additional Comments:
 
Both the captain and his daughter were highly knowledgeable and attentive to the entire guest complement.  Soup and dessert were very tasty.  Appreciated the extra time out on the water, the captain was not rushing us back to land.
  

Date: 12/Jul/07

Report by: Hettie Kranen

From: The Netherlands

 

 
Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 
 
Direction, Port Hardy.  Beautiful weather.  After 1 ½ hours we were surrounded by killer whales; jumping out of the water, swimming next and behind the boat.  Lunch was welcome while listening to the whales.  It was a great day!
 
Additional Comments:
 
Nothing to complain about.  Thanks to Nicole who convinced us to go with her father.
 
   

Date: 11/Jul/07

Report by: Geoff and Erica Einon

From: England

 

  
Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 
 
We were promised a great day - and it surpassed expectations.  Four hours (at least) of solid orca watching, showing every display in the book.  Three orca clans showed up and kept us entertained; clans A, G and R,( a total of over 50 killer whales).  Good sighting of humpbacks on the way back a bonus; plus porpoises and a few bald eagles flying over.  A great trip, highly recommended.
 
Additional Comments:
 
If you are a photographer, bring plenty of memory.  Photo opportunities are fantastic! 
      

Date: 10/Jul/07

Report by: Alisha Shaw

From: Vancouver, BC

 

  
Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 
 
We started off in a sea of fog which lifted, eventually, to reveal huge sea lions and then eagles on a rock.  After lunch (red clam chowder - yum!) we went closer to the ocean in search of the whales.  After being deceived by many lumps of log and seaweed, we finally saw a whale!  A humpback with a great black tail.  Then, when almost home, a lady spotted transient killer whales.  Four of them.  My camera has many photos, and I can't wait to show them off to my friends!  Good thing they didn't try to eat us.
      

Date: 09/Jul/07

Report by: Potter & Dobnel group

From: England

 

    
Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 
 
Saw humpback whales (mother and calf) - amazing.  Sea eagles feeding on small fish; seals and sea lions sunbathing on the rocks.  Pictographs made by natives many years ago - really fab!!  Saw Orca Lab and Paul Spong at Hanson Island.
 
Additional Comments:
 
Food excellent and crew very friendly; have amazing knowledge about the wildlife, area and history - an excellent day.
 
Nicole should be commended for the beef broth and the quality and QUANTITY of cakes. - (The fat boys)
    

Date: 08/Jul/07

Report by: Burt Krull

From: St. Albert, Alberta

 

    Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)

We went past Telegraph Cove to Stubbs Island; a mother and calf humpbacks cruised with us for about 20 minutes.  The calf was having fun tail splashing.  We saw harbour seals sunning themselves; pups as well.  We saw bald eagles everywhere, a magnificent sight.  We searched and searched, but the killer whales still have not returned.

Additional Comments:

Nicole's restaurant is unique and did a great job.  The water was flat, great for travelling.  This was a great experience today.

    

Date: 07/Jul/07

Report by: Jill and Tyler Boucher

From: Abbotsford, BC

 

    Trip Highlights: (Where we went , what we saw, etc.)

Like about 50 transient orcas!!! Or it seemed like that many; they were all around us for about an hour or so.  Then we headed out to see the sea lions on the rocks.  A bunch of them kept venturing closer and closer to the boat.  They looked like a herd of wet cats trying to play with us.  Saw a ton of bald eagles and a couple of seals having a nap.  Saw a few massive humpbacks and a couple of porpoises on our way towards the orcas.  We were hoping to see if they would get caught by the orcas, but we couldn't find them again.

Additional Comments:

Way better than we were even hoping!  So informative and entertaining.  The boat is comfy and clean and the food is perfect.  The Mackay's will be highly recommended from us!  Thanks for a great day!!

    

Date: 06/Jul/07

Report by: Bob and Ruth Gardner

From: Grand Forks, BC

 

    
Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 
 
Saw - humpback whales, seals, bear, First Nations pictographs, deserted First Nations village, eagles, along with beautiful scenery, great fellowship and wonderful service.
 
Additional Comments:
 
The day was great and would highly recommend to anyone - good kick for the buck.
    

Date: 05/Jul/07

Report by: Sam

From: Brazil

 

    
Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.) 
 
Went west of Port Hardy and to the mainland searching for the orcas but had no luck.  Instead, quickly saw 2 humpbacks.  Took a close look at Steller sea lions and harbour seals sunbathing on the rocks and fishing and playing in the water all around us.  Bald eagles everywhere, soaring over us and spying on us from the rocks.
 
Additional Comments:
 
Wonderful crew and delicious on board food!

Date: 04/Jul/07

Report by: Paul and Mary Stott

From: West Vancouver, BC

 

    
Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)  5 hours motoring
 
1.      Humpback whales; mother and a playful calf.
2.    Dall's porpoises; pod of three
3.     sea lions; large group actively playing and jumping
4.    bald eagles
5.     harbour porpoises
hydrophone inconclusive
 
Additional Comments:
 
Good running commentary, knowledgeable resources, excellent grub.  A fine boat!
 
    

Date: 03/Jul/07

Report by: Claire & Jan

From: Isle of Wight, UK

 

    
Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)
 
Saw humpback whales, mother and calf.  Two more humpbacks, one breached.  Dall's porpoises, sea lions.  A great trip with lunch included.  Bald eagles, acrobatic display.
 
Additional Comments:
 
I would recommend it!
 
    

Date: 02/Jul/07

Report by: Will Solltau

From: Sointula, BC

 

   
Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)
 
Blackfish Sound - humpback whales
Queen Charlotte Strait - the most awesome display ever of orcas from the southern resident pods.  We saw them spyhopping, feeding and behaving amorously!!!
 
Additional Comments:
 
Fantastic!!!
     

Date: 01/Jul/07

Report by: Tyson, Megan and Kaia

From: Port McNeill, BC Canada (Happy Canada Day!)

 

   
Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)
 
This flat calm morning we headed off to Blackfish Sound, where we saw 3 humpback whales.  We then dropped off two guests from Nimmo Bay onto a small island, where the helicopter picked them up and whisked them back to this exclusive resort.  We then proceeded northwest to the Echo Island area, where we saw Pacific white-sided dolphins, Steller sea lions, Dall's porpoises and harbour porpoises.  We also spotted about 60 bald eagles, all perched on a tiny rocky islet.
 
Additional Comments:
 
Grandpa Bill was a big hit with Kaia, and he didn't even have to change a diaper!
     

Date: 30/Jun/07

Report by: Virginia & Klaus Lautairbach

From: Germany

 

Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)
 
We saw the A30 pod...much, much killer whales.  They jump, spyhop and they were very active over the water and we have time to look.  The weather was good and the sea was calm.  We also saw an eagle nest; adult feed the chick.
 
Additional Comments:
 
The reason we came here was to see the orcas.  Five days kayaking, we did not see them.  Now we see them...wonderful.
 
        

Date: 29/Jun/07

Report by: Mima Manning

From: England

 

    
Trip Highlights:  (where we went, what we saw, etc.)
 
The A-8's (family group of killer whales) in the sea!  The soup and the crew!  A humpback and her calf - wholly crap.  The largest rafts of Leach's storm petrels I've ever ever seen!  A birthday celebration for Marrelle - 26 today - who is from Holland.
 
Additional Comments:
 
It rained unfortunately; the Japanese were well behaved, then we left them on a small island, waved goodbye and left them crying.  Think they get picked up three months later if someone remembers.
 
    

Date: 04/May/07

Report by: Bill and Donna Mackay

From: Port McNeill, Vancouver Island, BC

 

We are overjoyed to welcome the newest member of the Mackay family pod, Kaia Mackay, Born to Tyson and Megan on May 3.  We're all looking forward to Kaia's first boat trip!

Incidentally, three killer whales came into McNiell harbour yesterday - one male, one female and one young one.


Date: 04/Oct/06

Report by: Mike, Valmay & Ellie

From: Australia

 

    
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Went down Johnstone Strait and found the A pod of orcas near Robson Bight.  Two big males, 5 or 6 females and 3 baby orcas;  some feeding, some cruising.  One came right under the boat!  Then out to Plumper Island and watched 4 humpback whales feeding on krill along with thousands of sea ducks.  Found a pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins and they rode the bow waves of our boat.  Finished the day off looking a 70 Northern sea lions on a rocky outcrop.  And just to top it off, saw a black bear on the shoreline!
 
Additional Comments:
 
We came on a whale watching trip with skipper and guide, Bill Mackay 10 years ago.  We weren't disappointed then and we certainly weren't today either.  See you again in 10 years time!!
 
I liked our trip; I saw lots of wildlife I would never get to see in Australia.  (Ellie Svikis - 7 years old)
    

Date: 01/Oct/06

Report by: Hannah

From: England

 

    
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
What we saw:  Orca, sea lions, humpback whales, dolphins.  Highlights were the Orca, little disappointing as they were not too active.  Humpbacks came pretty close to the boat.  Best highlight was the dolphins bow riding, which was awesome.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Overall, it's been great; the captain was very fun and knowledgeable.
 
    

Date: 30/Sep/06

Report by: Karen & Doug

From: Calgary, Alberta

 

    
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Awesome trip with Bill and Nicola; saw tons of humpback whales and orcas - unbelievable experience - everyone should go on this trip; good food and even a black bear viewing on shore.  Worth every penny.  Thanks so much.
 
Additional Comments:
 
Awesome!  Also saw 60 sea lions - great!
    

Date: 25/Sep/06

Report by: Paul & Viv Vallentyne

From: England (West Mersea)

 

  
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
The fog was really thick and we could hear the orca.  We saw the grandmother with her grandson from A12.  We also saw the A30 pod.  We also saw harbour seals and Steller sea lions.  We had a glimpse of a humpback, two bald eagles.  This is our 4th trip with Bill, so when you go with the best, you get the best.  The fog lifted and we had a great trip back.
 
Additional Comments:
 
Tyson served up a great soup and roll for lunch; he will make a great husband next August, as long as he does as he is told.  And big thanks to Nicola for all her help.  See you next year guys!
 
Nan and Ken, we hope you read this - Mum & Dad
      

Date: 23/Sep/06

Report by: Ellen Hartlmeier

From: Richmond, BC

 

   
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Headed east down a foggy Johnstone Strait to Naka Creek, where we met up with the A30's who were travelling west.  One of the calves did a few amazing breaches, and A38, Blackney, paid us a visit as he was cruising by.  We headed west with them at a respectful distance toward the east boundary of the Reserve, where we observed some amazing foraging behaviours.  The vocals were superb, and at this point the A30's were joined by the A12's.  We then had a wonderful chanterelle mushroom soup for lunch and headed west toward Weynton Passage and out west in search of humpback whales.  We found 3 out in a flat calm Queen Charlotte Strait.  Got a couple of views of their beautiful flukes.  An amazing number of birds out there too:  common murres and others.  On the way back we stopped at Stubbs Island to see about 30 Steller sea lions basking in the sun.
 
Additional Comments:
 
An awesome day!  Wonderful crew as always - with biologist Nicola from Germany!  And the soup was to die for!  An instant fave!  Thx gang!  Til next year!
     

Date: 22/Sep/06

Report by: Scott

From: Sidcup, Kent, UK

 

  
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Johnstone Strait - we saw A30 pod of orcas including A39, a large male called Pointer.  The juveniles enjoying a bit of playtime.  We travelled north to Queen Charlotte Strait where we saw 2 humpback whales on a perfect, calm, glassy sea.  We also saw Steller sea lions, a fork-tail storm petrel and numerous other sea birds, including 2 bald eagles.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Mr. Mackay never lets us down; another day spent in this special part of the world.  Thank you.
 
P.S.  Congratulations to Tyson on his engagement.
      

Date: 21/Sep/06

Report by: Karen & Fred

From: Washington, DC, USA

 

    
 
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
·        4 humpback whales
·        Eagle
·        A12 and I11 pods of orcas (beats me)
·        Fork-tailed storm petrel - that's a bird!!
·        Rock full of sea lions
·        A whole bunch of cute little porpoises
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Freakin' Awesome!!  Great crew - wonderful day!  Thanx so much; Nikon rulz.
        

Date: 20/Sep/06

Report by: the Owen party

From: Staffordshire, UK

 

  
 
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Jane:  Saw my first humpback!  Was great to hear the transients calling!  The A30 pod looked very relaxed today.  Saw a couple bald eagles.  Bit wet and foggy today, but didn't stop us seeing whales.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Nice boat; enjoyed the trip.  Thanks a lot guys.
      

Date: 16/Sep/06

Report by: Jan-Bart & Yvonne

From: The Netherlands

 

 
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Lots, lots, lots of orcas.  Orcas rubbing in the gravel on the beach (A and G pods).  Dolphins; sea lions in the water and on rocks. Humpback whales (2), tail flip.
 
Additional Comments:
 
Very good Captain Bill and "everything woman", Nicola.  Incredible nice weather.  Total experience was SWEET!!
 
       

Date: 15/Sep/06

Report by: John Johnson

From: Vancouver, BC

 

   
 
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
·        Loads of killer whales; breaching, spyhopping, flukes;
·        Humpback whales
·        Harbour seals
·        Steller Sea lions
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
·        A wonderful day.  We could have walked across Johnstone Strait on the backs of the whales; there were that many.
·        The staff were very professional and genuinely nice people.  We would do it again.
 

Date: 14/Sep/06

Report by: Nora and Charles

From: Carmel, CA and Brentwood Bay, BC

 

    
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Tyson and Bill!!!  Attitude, personality, good looks.  Orcas, humpback whales, sea lions, weather, nice boat, good food.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
All kidding aside, you guys run a great charter; fast boat and the food was terrific.  Thanks a bunch!  We'll be back.
    

Date: 13/Sep/06

Report by: Steve and Rev. Iris Laine

From: Boca Raton, FL

 

    

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):

 

Spectacular whale watching!  We've been whale watching several times before and never experienced anything like this.  Our captain and son were excellent and so knowledgeable about what we saw and where we went.  We would recommend it highly!

    

Date: 12/Sep/06

Report by: Rita

From: Germany

 

    
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
First we went to Plumper Island where we saw about 11 sea lions sleeping on a rock normally frequented by harbour seals.  Really neat how the crew mentioned this eviction by the sea lions.  Then we went to Bold Head where we saw 2 humpback whales right beside the boat.  We saw four humpback whales in total.  Then we saw a nice group of sleeping orcas (A12's).  When we arrived they switched over to feeding behaviour.  After this sighting we went to Johnstone Strait where we sighted a huge group of orcas.  They were spread out all over the area.  We followed a female and a calf.  They started to play with the kelp.  Then we followed two males (A38 and I64) and one female orca. It was really nice; the sun was shining and you could see rainbows in the blows of the whales.  That was just gorgeous!  Also we could see the orcas swimming underwater because the underwater visibility was just great.
 
Additional Comments:
 
Tyson pointed out lots of birds:  a parasitic jaeger, red-necked phalaropes, common murres, rhinoceros auklets and a fork-tail petrel.  It was an absolutely wonderful trip!  I enjoyed it a lot.  Thank you!
    

Date: 11/Sep/06

Report by: Alan and Carole

From: Port Alberni, BC

 

    
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Out to Queen Charlotte Strait - AWESOME sights.  Killer whales cavorting, one beside the boat, under and up on the other side.  As many as 15 dorsal fins (at one time) counted; we saw humpback whales - beautiful tail "shows", sea lions - one going out, one coming in.  What a show today!
 
Additional Comments:
 
The lunch was great, whale sounds added to the ambience.  A must way to spend a day!
    

Date: 10/Sep/06

Report by: Lucy Harrison

From: Vancouver, via Somerset, UK

 

    
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
After a long trip south we found a large pod of orcas that had decided to spread out around the boat - provided excellent opportunities for all to take pictures.  A number seemed to be feeding on salmon trying to hide under the boat; lots of oohs and aahs from the crowd as the orcas sped towards us!  Then towards the mainland to check out a reported sighting of humpback whales - we were not disappointed - though they were "steaming" at high speeds.  Past Steller sea lions and harbour seals and back to check on our original pod of orcas.  Still feeding and racing around the boat!  Perfect.
 
Additional Comments:
 
Great, friendly staff; soup fantastic to keep away the chills, and Nanaimo bars - what really are in them?!  Thanks for a great trip - will recommend you to all my friends and family!
    

Date: 09/Sep/06

Report by: Bob & Julie

From: England

 

    
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Followed A pod identified by dorsal.  Saw Orca bow ride and surf; unbelievable; Orca all around us.  Then moved on to Queen Charlotte Strait, saw 3 humpbacks (cow & calf).  One mad humpy tail slapping - waiting for a full breach.  This has to be the best whale watching trip we have done.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
The soup was excellent.  Without doubt the best group you could book with.
 
    

Date: 08/Sep/06

Report by: Helen Millar

From: Chemainus, BC

 

   
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Blackfish Sound:  We saw two pods of Orcas, spyhopping, flukes and fins, pods swimming along side our boat.  Didn't want it to end - fantastic show.  Thanks.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
SWEET!!!
     

Date: 07/Sep/06

Report by: Andrew Gallaher

From: Poway, California

 

   
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
On the way east from Port McNeill:  a little black bear on the beach; then a few orcas out in the Strait; up past Donegal Head, a group of humpback whales putting on a show; some excellent broccoli, chicken cheddar chowder; then at the convergence by Plumper Islands, a large pod of orcas!; a bald eagle, some island maggots and then home.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
My son figures that a whale watching captain is no problem for him (and only in 3rd grade!).  Thanks again.
 

Date: 06/Sep/06

Report by: Doug Newman

From: Calgary, Alberta

 

    
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
We left Port McNeill at 10 a.m.  Our day started well near Alder Bay when we saw two black bears on the shore.  We then went into Blackfish Sound and came onto a cow and calf humpback whales.  They surfaced and blew 50 ft. from the boat!  We ran into a large pod of Orca on the south side of West Cracroft Island in the Johnstone Strait.  At one point, there were at least ten in view!  Porpoise and eagles were also seen.
 
Additional Comments:
 
The weather was superb.  Our hosts, Donna and Bill, obviously love what they do and were most informative with their knowledge of the area.  In particular, their respect for the Orca comes through loud and clear.  There are good and bad investments in time and money.  This trip is a great investment!  Thank you so much!
 

Date: 05/Sep/06

Report by: Nigel & Jan Hurford

From: Newark Notthinghamshire, England

 

    
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Good omen for the trip was one black bear as we approached Hidden Cove, a bald eagle landing close to the boat.  We soon came across 5 or 6 humpbacks, one showing full tail within 10 meters of the boat.  Moved on and orca soon followed with 8 or 10 in a pod.  We then watched two other pods of orca of between 7 and 12 that were eventually mobbed by a small school of Pacific white-sided dolphins.  We cruised on to see harbour seals and Steller sea lions.
 
Additional Comments:
 
Superb boat with excellent acoustic hydrophone; tasty lunch and wonderful informative narrative by Bill about the orca.  The scenery is breathtaking and the sunshine a bonus.  Come and enjoy!

Date: 04/Sep/06

Report by: Carroll & Mike

From: Coombs, BC

 

  
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
We saw orcas, the A's, G's and I's with a special visit from Springer, A73.  We also saw Pacific white-sided dolphins and a rare encounter with the Dall's porpoises.  We spent a beautiful day in Queen Charlotte Strait and off of Bere Point.
 
Additional Comments:
 
A once in a lifetime kind of day with the knowledgeable and gracious Bill and Donna Mackay.  True friends of the orcas!  This is truly a day trip to be repeated.  A "must" for everyone.  Thank you.
      

Date: 03/Sep/06

Report by: Holly Fyfe

From: New Zealand

 

    
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Heaps of Orca!  Humpback trumpeting, fin slapping and heaps of tail slapping.  Young Orca playing with dolphins; heaps of vocals, lovely to hear.  Dolphins chasing fish and having lunch.  Great weather too.
 
Additional Comments:
 
Very funny and informative tour; my second time out and loved it just as much as the first time.  Will recommend this trip to everyone! 
 
P.S.:  If you have any jobs going let me know.
 
Thanks so much!  See ya again!

Date: 01/Sep/06

Report by: Audrey H

From: St. Louis, MO. U.S.A

 

    
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Today was a "super pod" day- when a collection of different pods were heading the same direction for some type of "Orca rendezvous". We were treated to a variety of Orcas doing spy hops; a glimpse of "Springer" the orphan Orca; and even a humpback later in the day. The trip, the captain, the crew, the cuisine, and the sights and sounds were quite simply perfection!
 
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
As an annual visitor to B.C. each summer, I saw more Orcas today than all of my other whale watching tours combined. It was an amazing sight to see probably 80 to 100 Orcas passing so near to our boat. The weather was perfect, the captain and crew so very nice and informative. I would suggest Mackay's to anyone who wants an experience they'll remember  and talk about for years.
    

Date: 31/Aug/06

Report by: Jim & Sheryl Dreger

From: Carvel, Alberta

 

    
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
The weather couldn't have been better for our first whale watching experience.  We saw a bear and two cubs, numerous humpback whales, sea lions and dolphins.  The captain and crew were very informative and entertaining.  This has been the highlight to our honeymoon.  Thanks for the memories.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
This was truly an experience ? would have been a cherry on the cake if we got to have seen Orcas.
    

Date: 30/Aug/06

Report by: Mary Kelso

From: Courtenay, BC

 

  
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Whales!  Whales!  And more whales! It was a super pod day with 100+ whales from A, G and R clans; first in Weynton Pass, just 30 minutes after leaving Port McNeill, second big group joined by 2 humpbacks at top of Blackfish Sound.  Third group we saw at Cracroft Point on the edge of Johnstone Strait.  Confirmed A30's, A11's, G18's, G29's, I-11's, I15's, I31's, R2's, W's and way more that couldn't be identified.
 
Additional Comments:
 
Thanks to Bill Mackay and his family for a wonderful day!
      

Date: 29/Aug/06

Report by: John

From: Austria (no kangaroos; no whales!)

 

  
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Hidden Cove - Cormorant Island - Blackfish Sound
We saw a lot of Orcas, in pods and single.  Also humpback whales playing together.  So much more orcas in a great pod; one more humpback playing with Orcas; black bear!!
 
Additional Comments:
 
It was just awesome and one of my best whale watching trips here on the island.  I can highly recommend Mackay Whale Watching to my best friends and I'll visit Port McNeill next year again.  Of course I'm on this great boat with these friendly people again.  Thank you to the crew of Mackay for this lifetime experience.
 
      

Date: 28/Aug/06

Report by: Melissa Jackson

From: Olympia, WA, USA

 

    
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
"Awesome" whale watching adventure today in the fog.  Suddenly Orcas surfaced without warning and I saw several of them, one mom with her calf.  One actually breached and also saw their long line of fins in resting position.  Also very exciting to see a black bear on the beach at Hidden Cove Lodge.  I am thrilled to be here and was so fortunate to take some great Orca, eagle, bear, Dall?s porpoise and seal pictures today.  Captain Bill and crew made me feel right at home.  His Orca knowledge is incredible.  I can hardly wait to return.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Fantastic experience.
    

Date: 27/Aug/06

Report by: Betty & Cheryl

From: Red Deer, AB and Victoria/Gabriola Island, BC

 

    
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
We travelled on Johnstone Strait, stopping to pick up passengers at Alder Bay.  We saw several Orcas of the "G" clan, a humpback whale and her baby, harbour seals, and awesome scenery!  Also, a black bear and twin cubs on a beach we passed by.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
A wonderful family affair!  Everyone from "Mom" in the office to "Dad" and "daughter" on the boat made us feel so welcome!  Lots of information shared and "service" with a smile - including our researcher!  A terrific day!  Thank you so much!
    

Date: 26/Aug/06

Report by: Julie

From: California

 

  
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
This morning, the friendly whales of Johnstone Strait wasted no time with starting the show.  The I-31's started the party by passing really close to our boat.  Then the I-15's decided to "one-up" them by entertaining us with some tail slaps, spy hops and several breaches.  The A-8's tried their luck with a possible salmon snack that might be hiding under a passing log boom.  The A-25's joined us as well, and then came Springer and the A-11's!  It was great to see her looking fat and happy!  After a fantastic lunch we later found "Maude", the mama humpback and her calf; while heading right for our boat we were given some great "fluke" photo ops!  As the end of the day neared, the sun came out and we were treated to some sightings of juvenile and adult eagles, harbour seals and even a river otter.  Another fantastic trip with the Mackays!
 
Additional Comments:
 
It's so great to be back up here and see the Mackay's!  I'll definitely be back as soon as I can!  Thank you, thank you for a great trip!
      

Date: 25/Aug/06

Report by: Janice and Ron Dong

From: Los Gates, California

 

    
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
So many Orcas! Loved the ones who came right up to the back of the boat! Then there was the large salmon hiding from the Orcas under our boat; which brought the Orcas right to us. Great! Finally two humpbacks arching and diving together... perfect final touch!
 
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Bill your talk was so informative. It really added so much to the trip. Hope we see Tyson, but if not tell him he got us here.
P.S. I like the message you convey!!

Date: 24/Aug/06

Report by: Carol & Joe Orchard

From: Toronto (but now residing in Nanaimo, BC)

 

   
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
We were able to take countless photos and hours of video of many different pods of Orca, harbour seals basking in the sun on rocky shores, a huge eagle's nest; even an enormous humpback whale.  Imagine 5 hours - privileged to visit wildlife yet respect their environment.  Lunch was wonderful.  This family owned and operated business educated us, fascinated us and left us awestruck and humbled.
 
Additional Comments:
 
When our relatives come from Ontario we will most definitely return and be enchanted all over again.
     

Date: 23/Aug/06

Report by: Katherine Woodcock (13)

From: Hampshire, England

 

  
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
First of all we travelled along the coast and we saw about three pods of Orcas, including Springer (an orphaned Orca).  We watched them throughout the morning.  There were a lot of porpoises with them.  We saw a black bear walking along the beach.  After lunch we spotted several humpback whales, harbour seals, sea lions, bald eagles and jumping salmon.  Overall it was a spectacular trip and everyone enjoyed it.
 
Additional Comments:
 
It was a fab lunch and it was amazing to be able to listen to the whales calling each other through a microphone.  I would definitely recommend this trip to everyone!!  It was brilliant value for money!
 
  

Date: 22/Aug/06

Report by: Emily & Kira

From: Berkeley, CA

 

    
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
We left Hidden Cove and headed towards the east side of Malcolm Island.  We saw 2 humpback whales blow and show their flukes.  Then three porpoises swam by near the boat.  Further up Malcolm Island we started to see Orcas.  We saw them rubbing themselves along the beach.  Using the underwater microphone, we were able to hear the scratching of the orcas on the stones.  We were able to hear lots of calls, too.  As we went up along Malcolm Island we saw more and more groups of resident Orcas.  We identified different groups from their calls and dorsal fins (A, C, & D clans).
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
We really want to go whale watching again!!  The Nanaimo bars for dessert were a big hit!

Date: 21/Aug/06

Report by: Larry & Archelle Reynolds

From: Gig Harbor, WA

 

   
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Great trip with people from all around the world.  Travelled past Robson Bight to Adam River.  We saw LOTS of Orcas.  Very active - spy hops, tail flaps and breaches.  Also, fishermen netting salmon.  On the way back, we saw a humpback whale, harbour seals, and harlequin ducks.  Lunch and dessert were terrific.  Also, it was a beautiful sunny day.
 
Additional Comments:
 
This was our 2nd day in a row and it was even better than yesterday.  Captain Bill and Nicole did a magnificent job.  We really enjoyed the trip.  We'll be back again.
     

Date: 20/Aug/06

Report by: Holly & Lane Sorrelle

From: San Francisco, Califorinia

 

    
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
SE of Robson Bight, sunny clear day! Captain Bill found a pod of orcas. Orcas swam towards the boat and moved NW towards Robson Bight.  Lots of whale sounds and lots of great photo taking. End day with some sea lions, eagles nest and seals.  Dall's porpoise swimming off the bow of boat on return to Port McNeill.
 
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Wonderful talk on orcas during a hot soup and bread lunch.  Thanks for a very special day to always be recalled with a smile!  Thanks to captain Bill and crew for their excitement in sharing this with all of us!!! We loved it.  
    

Date: 19/Aug/06

Report by: Gail & Mike Brown

From: N. Wales (but living in Ladysmith)

 

   
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
The humpback whale breaching and slapping the water with its pectoral fins.  We also saw I pod with the large male - 6 killer whales in the pod in total.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Lunch was good in a sheltered cove.  Company was great too; lots of friendly people.  Glad someone had sharp eyes for a big splash!
     

Date: 18/Aug/06

Report by: Dave, Tanya, Joshua & Damian Gervats

From: Kelowna, BC

 

    
 
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
We were thrilled to see many Orca; it looked to be about 2-3 pods.  We spotted Springer who was orphaned and joined up with another pod.  The boat was perfect for viewing and photographing.  The crew was informative, very knowledgeable and friendly.  We got to listen to the whales, but they weren't very chatty today.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Many thanks to the staff; a real highlight to our trip.  And the salmon chowder was great too.
    

Date: 17/Aug/06

Report by: Mark Petrov & Dna Molnar

From: Dewinton, AB (outside Calgary)

 

  
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Malcolm Point is where we went and what we saw were Orca whales, Dall's porpoise, Harbour porpoise and a variety of birds.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
This whale watching event was very memorable to us as we are prairie ranchers and don't get to see this every day.  This has been unforgettable and once in a lifetime opportunity to be enjoyed by all.  Thank you for the experience and will definitely spread the word.  Thanks for lunch and watching my daughter!
 
      

Date: 16/Aug/06

Report by: Lynda & Mick

From: Rossland, BC

 

   
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
1.    Orcas
2.    trawlers
3.    seiner - interesting! (seeing how they operate)
4.    sea otter and seals
5.    humpback whale
6.    Robson Bight
7.    Eagles
 
Additional Comments:
 
The best part was the informative talk given by Bill!  We really enjoyed the whole trip though!
 
     

Date: 15/Aug/06

Report by: Anne

From: North Vancouver, BC

 

    
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Down Johnstone Strait, saw killer whales in the Reserve.  Around Hanson Island, behind Malcolm Island, saw a humpback whale and seals on Stubbs Island.
 
Additional Comments:
 
Excellent company, good lunch and saw Paul at Orca Lab wave to us.  Many countries represented on the boat today - Germany, France, Holland and Italy.
    

Date: 14/Aug/06

Report by: Rowland (Family) Pod

From: Alberta

 

    
 
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
North of Port Hardy.  Bill's skill in tracking killer whales brought us into pod after pod of killer whales.  Must have seen at least 75 killer whales; and no other whale watching boats in sight.  Too bad for the competition.  Also saw over 10 humpback whales.  The North Island shoreline provided spectacular views.  Nature at its finest.
 
Additional Comments:
 
Mackay's have one of the best tours going.  Their boat is exceptionally comfortable.  My children age 6-11 enjoyed the 5 hour tour without ever complaining of being cold or uncomfortable.  They could see from all vantage points and the top deck made their view totally unobstructed.  The lunch was super; salmon chowder, I believe.  This even will be the highlight of our 3 week holiday.  Thanks Mackay Family!
    

Date: 13/Aug/06

Report by: Kim & Jeanine

From: Toronot & Coquitlam

 

    
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
- Whales (orcas were A30's I 15's Approx. 30 in total) Minke & a humpback whale.
- Seals
- Watching whales surfing in cruise ship wake.
- Captain Bill and Nicole =)
- Good soup m, m, m good!
 
 
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Wonderful trip!! Gorgeous weather! Perfect timing from captain on keeping up with the whales. Enjoyed the hydrophone.
    

Date: 12/Aug/06

Report by: Ed & Jackie

From: Muskoka, Ontario

 

    
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
We went out to the Johnstone Strait. We saw many orcas, sea lions, harbour seals, and bald eagles (both mature and immature.) We also saw an eagles nest. We saw many fishing boats and two cruise ships.
 
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
The lesson about the Orca pods was most informative and enjoyable to listen to; due to the captain's very capable and humorous delivery. We overheard everyone commenting on what a great experience this has been. I am sure many will want to come back and they will be telling their friends about what a great time they had!!
P.S. The lunch was great but the goodies were even better!!!
    

Date: 11/Aug/06

Report by: Jeff Edelman

From: Irvine, California, USA

 

    

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):

 

Weather was overcast and cool, and perfect for wildlife viewing. Sea mammals included a pod of about nine transient ORCAS, two steller sea lions, humpback whales, seals, and Dalls porpoise. Birds we saw included murres, phalaropes, and several bald eagles. Great lunch, great crew, and it was a fun trip!

    

Date: 10/Aug/06

Report by: Barry & Mariele

From: The Netherlands

 

    
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Johnstone Strait and we saw over 50 killer whales (3 different clans and Springer).  Springer came close with dolphins.  We also saw some porpoises and the dessert was a humpback whale.  FANTASTIC!
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Excellent trip, very nice and knowledgeable captain, nice food.  Also very nice to hear the killer whales with their different languages, especially when you're expecting a baby!  Really recommendable!  Thanks a lot.
    

Date: 09/Aug/06

Report by: Chris & Kathy Morris

From: Parksville, BC

 

  
 
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
After picking up two people from Hidden Cove, We did not have to wait long before we found "lots" of whales.  Three pods in all, the A12's, A24's and B7's.  There was lots of spyhopping, tail slapping and fins slapping.  The whales put on a great show for us.  We also saw eagles and their nest as well as seals.  The porpoises played along side the boat as well.
 
Additional Comments:
 
It was an awesome trip.  Welcome to the folks from around the world.  The salmon chowder was really good and all seemed to enjoy it.  Hats off to a very informative and knowledgeable crew, as well as being a lot of fun.  Thanks for the great day.
      

Date: 08/Aug/06

Report by: Alisa & Mark Free

From: Collierville, TN

 

    
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Amazing is not a grand enough word for our day. After accompanying C-6 group of Orcas we found A, G, and R.  A superpod of at least 100 killer whales in Blackfish Pass. This is an unforgettable experience. There were orcas everywhere one looked. It is impossible to describe how exciting this day was.
 
Additional Comments:
 
We motored for a while with White-sided Dolphins and harbour porpoises. Loons, eagles and numerous gulls entertained us through the short lulls in whale watching action.

Date: 07/Aug/06

Report by: Curt Walker

From: Pemberton, BC

 

    
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Blackfish Sound:  Pacific White-sided dolphins, Dall's porpoises and harbour porpoises.
Queen Charlotte Strait:  9 different humpback whales
Foster Island:  Minke Whale
 
Additional Comments:
 
We had a brilliant day touring through the straits, islands and passages off the coast of Northern Vancouver Island.  Our trip started in the northern Broughton Archipelago Islands and we were chased by dozens of playful, friendly Pacific White-sided dolphins intent on racing one another in our wake and across our bow.  These dolphins were joined several minutes later by some Dall's porpoises, who swam alongside our boat for some time.  After an outstanding lunch of homemade soup, bread and cake by first mate and head chef Nicole, we were treated to a great display of whales throughout the afternoon.  Travelling past the Foster Islands and into Queen Charlotte Strait we saw a Minke whale moving slowly in the distance.  We were later surrounded by up to 9 different humpback whales who had all passengers snapping photos frantically, getting some unbelievable shots.  One American tourist commented "I just burned through another 1 gb memory card".
 
What a day!  Thanks to your staff for a memorable, outstanding experience.  See you in Whistler!
    

Date: 06/Aug/06

Report by: Susan Dawson

From: Manchester, UK

 

    
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
This was truly the best day of my life so far!!  We saw in excess of 60 Orca - all residents from A, I and G and R clans.  We began our journey in fog but the fog lifted as we encountered our first pod of resident Orca - A clan.  Then came the overwhelming magical experience - in excess of 60 Orca were suddenly everywhere, breaching, spyhopping, and it seemed, coming to look at us!  It was truly magical!  Our journey back, we encountered a pod of transient Orca and a black bear foraging on the beach at Hidden Cove.
 
Additional Comments:
 
This was our second trip this week; we came out Friday and were delighted then.  We saw transient Orca and 2 humpbacks, a mother and calf - this was a superb day.  A friendly, very knowledgeable, genuine staff ensured a comfortable and informative trip.  We'll be back and my post doctoral research area is now decided - human/Orca interactions.  Thank you for a special 2 days - looking forward to coming back.
    

Date: 05/Aug/06

Report by: Rebecca Wilkinson

From: Victoria, BC

 

    
 
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
We went to Naka Creek in Johnstone Strait and we saw A39 and his brother, A38, who is his older brother.  We also went past Robson Bight.  We also saw a new baby whale from this year.  I had a real good time.  But there is one more thing we saw; Dall's porpoises.  In total we saw all of the A30 pod.  It was fun!
 
    

Date: 04/Aug/06

Report by: Janet, Andrew & Sean Fitton

From: Burnley, Lancs., England

 

  
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Out to sea towards Hanson Island.  Saw a group of transient Orca who have been in the area for a day or so.  Continued and found a mother and calf humpbacks - it appeared that one of the transient Orca was stalking the calf but after diving and then regrouping the calf was safe.  Headed south along Vancouver Island - saw 2 groups of 3 resident orcas.  Impressive to see them up close.  Saw bird life too - osprey searching for fish.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
What can we say:  the crew are fantastic, not just professional but knowledgeable about the whales, Orca, etc.  Vessel is well laid out - ideal for watching out.  Lunch was great, especially the chocolate fudge cake.  A great day out - thank you.
      

Date: 03/Aug/06

Report by: Alice Ducharme

From: Campbell River, BC

 

  

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):

 

·        Soaring eagles and huge nest, humpback mother and calf, transient orcas, bear cubs, all in one magnificent trip!

·        Great desserts; yummy Nanaimo bars, delicious soup.

·        Superb crew:  friendly, courteous and knowledgeable and very accommodating.

·        Great boat, very comfy.

  

Date: 02/Aug/06

Report by: Verrall Feeney

From: Qualicum Beach, BC

 

    
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
We had the most wonderful day.  First sight a humpback whale after a short sail.  Killer whale pods A12, A11, A30 and A8 were swimming on both sides, being followed by Dall's porpoises.  We listened to the whales talking "meowing" to each other.  Also had some wonderful shots of eagles and seals.  Captain Mackay gave a most informative talk, a day to keep in our memories.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
The salmon chowder was marvellous and Nikki really looked after us.
    

Date: 01/Aug/06

Report by: Kersti & Stephanie

From: Echo Bay, BC

 

   
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Seeing Orcas up close!  After 3 months in Echo Bay we had seen everything but killer whales.  One trip on the Naiad Explorer changed that!  Learning he local history of the Orcas and how to ID them.
 
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Chris has a cool hat!  How does it stay on?  Nice boat!  Thanks so much for taking us out; it was a blast and a real treat!
 

Date: 31/Jul/06

Report by: Kendra Parnham

From: Port McNeill, BC, Canada

 

    
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Mackay Whale Watching took us south of Port McNeill towards Adam River, and what a day!  We saw 3 pods of killer whales and followed them for quite a while.  Absolutely Amazing!!  Once we left the pods we found a Humpback whale playing in a cove, an eagle's nest, and to top it all off, we saw around 8 Steller sea lions.  It couldn't have gone any better.  Thanx!
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Your staff is hilarious!  I had so much fun!  Great service, and I will definitely recommend Mackay Whale Watching to everyone from town and out of town!  Thanks again!
    

Date: 30/Jul/06

Report by: Nina Ali & Anne Hurtnett

From: London, UK

 

    
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Telegraph Cove and beautiful humpback whales.  Amazing photos.  We saw a family of Orcas playing together in their natural environment, which was spectacular to see.
 
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
The commentaries of the crew about the history of the area and the marine life was very entertaining (Chris told me to say that!!).

Date: 29/Jul/06

Report by: Wendy Glos

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

    
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Today the Naiad pulled out all stops to deliver us an Orca-rich day.  After an ambitious two hour scenic run toward Campbell River, we were united with FOUR regal Orca A pods.  We watched over a dozen beauties in all, including males with their prominent dorsal fins, moms and babies.  They put on a show of tail slapping, spy-hopping, mixed in with a bit of napping on the surface.  There was even a baby breaching!
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
The Naiad crew provided further highlights to our day through their humour, education and yummy grub!
 

Date: 28/Jul/06

Report by: Pat Warrington

From: North Lincolnshire, UK

 

    
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Humpbacks, minke, harbour seals off Malcolm Island, Orcalab research station, Cracroft Point (a garden shed pinned to a large rock where Orcalab videos the whales).  An awe-inspiring day - wonderful company - folks from USA, Mexico, Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Guyana, Canada and the UK.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
I've been 4 times now with Captain Bill and, although the Orca were hiding, the day was just as inspiring as ever.  Thank you to Bill, Donna and Chris.
    

Date: 27/Jul/06

Report by: Dianne Letendre & Dean Bates

From: Penticton, BC

 

   
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Bere Point/Lizard Point:  followed 6 Orcas (A12 pod); 3 humpbacks, one with a calf; eagles (lots), Steller sea lions.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Captain Bill guided us nicely through rough seas.  Great salmon chowder lunch.  Saw huge tail of big humpback preparing to dive.  Orca spyhopping and tail-slapping.  Great sunny day!  Thanks!
 

Date: 26/Jul/06

Report by: Luisa Richardson

From: Campbell River, BC (originally Venezuela & Barbados)

 

    
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Friendly, fun crew; humpback whales, large pod of Orcas, including a famous one called Springer.  Heard the Orcas and had them swim right past the boat.  Also saw porpoises, a Steller sea lion (huge!), a seal, eagle, eagle's nest, lots of gulls and fish jumping.
 
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Great trip, interesting Orca 101 session - good lunch and again, crew was friendly, funny and very good-looking (male & female) - not to mention knowledgeable!
 
    

Date: 25/Jul/06

Report by: Larry & Janet Bantle

From: Mississauga, Ont.

 

   
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
NW up Queen Charlotte Strait, past Port Hardy - saw first humpback, moved a bit and saw a pair of humpbacks showing off their tails.  At Richard Rock saw a herd of Steller seal lions, and two more humpbacks.  Saw rare sea otter on his back, paddling along.
 
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Soup was very good - hats off to the cooks.  Dessert squares yummy.  Crew friendly and informative.  Nice relaxed boat ride.
     

Date: 24/Jul/06

Report by: Mike & Rosalind

From: Parksville, BC

 

    
 
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Almost to Japan.  Mike saw one sea lion, four eagles and two yellow kayaks.  Upon returning from Japan, we saw eight awesome sights of humpback whales.
 
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Didn't see any Orcas but had a great time.  Crew were great, and thanks to Chris for his interesting stories.
    

Date: 23/Jul/06

Report by: Beryl Shaw

From: Berkely, California

 

    
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
We saw humpback whales feeding; eagles and nest; petroglyphs; porpoises - black and white, scooting alongside our boat.  Great!  Loved the staff. 
 
    

Date: 22/Jul/06

Report by: Robyn, Dene & Mona

From: Seattle, WA

 

    
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
1.     It was Dené's birthday (29, again!)!
2.     It started out foggy, but Mother Nature cleared the fog from her eyes and the afternoon was blue sky and sunny!
3.     Captain Bill, Nikki and RCMP Chris were fabulous hosts and entertained us with stories, anecdotes and lunch (Nikki - well done!).
4.     Captain Bill was determined we'd find some sea critters and we did - humpback whales, sea lions and bald eagles, as well as Dall's porpoises!
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
We started our day in Telegraph Cove and we are so glad we decided to take the whale charter from Port McNeill.  They go "above and beyond" to see that their passengers get their money's worth and I would highly recommend this group to others.  Thanks for a GREAT day!  We'll be back!
 
    

Date: 21/Jul/06

Report by: Bill Mackay

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

    Due to other commitments, we did not have a whale watching trip today.  However, about 117 killer whales were present in our area today!  We are excited about the prospect of tomorrow!

Date: 20/Jul/06

Report by: Helen

From: Seattle, WA

 

 
 
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Seeing and hearing the A12's off of Adam River in Johnstone Strait!  Then the mother and baby humpbacks diving in synch!  Of course all the seals basking on the rocks were great!  May they serve as a model to us all!
 
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Bill's comments taught me (a lifelong Northwesterner) a great deal about the lives and habits of the orcas.  It was a wonderful deepening of my experience.  Also, he made a special effort to understand what everyone hoped to see -- orcas, humpbacks, seals -- and delivered us them all!  The hydrophone helped to give us a small glimpse of the Orcas' life underwater.
 
       

Date: 19/Jul/06

Report by: Rick & Gail

From: Nanaimo, B.C.

 

    
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Had a great day!  We went to Robson Bight where we saw many, many Orca.  At times a large group were just swimming right at the surface of the water and would blow air all at once.  The big attractions though, were the two Minke whales that sailed with us for a while and then the four humpbacks, 3 of which were very near the boat.  What a wonderful sight.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Bill and Nicole were great hosts and the chicken soup and dessert were a special treat.  Loved every minute!  Everyone should do this trip at least once in their life.

Date: 18/Jul/06

Report by: Nathan & Sandra Seable

From: Qualicum Bay, BC (originally from Oregon)

 

    
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Fantastic!  After living on Vancouver Island for over a year, we can honestly say we have now "experienced" Vancouver Island.  Breathtaking scenery, clean air and lots of water.  A highlight would definitely be the numerous Orca whales that surrounded us near the reserve, but the friendly atmosphere, tasty lunch, and knowledgeable crew completed the whole experience.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
This is the best anniversary we've had!  Thank you.  We will certainly urge our friends and our guests at the Qualicum Bay Resort to have this experience.
    

Date: 17/Jul/06

Report by: Kinsey Smith

From: Georgetown, Ontario

 

    
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
We went to the west, Queen Charlotte Strait.  It was really pretty!  We saw lots of Orcas! I really liked when they breached!  I got lots of great pictures!  Some of the Orcas went under our boat; we didn't expect them to do that because when we saw them they were so far away!  It was GREAT!!!  In the last little while, Rob spotted the humpback whale, twice!  They can hold their breath really long; I was surprised!
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
The crew was great and hilarious!  The lunch was delicious and I had an amazing time!  I have gone on this trip twice already and I would definitely do it again!
    

Date: 16/Jul/06

Report by: Frances Jardine

From: Aberdeen, Scotland

 

 
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
The whole trip was a great treat and one always to be remembered.  We saw humpback whales and Orcas while visiting the waters of Johnstone Strait, Robson Bight and Weynton Pass.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
All the staff were friendly, helpful and the food was good, especially the cake; my husband has a sweet tooth.  The boat itself was comfortable, very clean with all the amenities for a good day trip.
 
   

Date: 15/Jul/06

Report by: Anne Mamdy & Vita Gonzalez, Rotary Exchange Students

From: France and Equador

 

    
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
We were in a boat.  We saw humpback whales, orcas, sea lions, eagles, dolphins, fish, porpoises, awesome scenery, awesome pictures, cool boat, great crew and captain.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
The food was awesome, we did not get seasick.  Really informative trip.  We learned a lot about whales and wildlife.  Everybody should do it!  They won't regret it.
    

Date: 14/Jul/06

Report by: the Thompson family

From: Abbotsford, BC

 

    
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
We believe we were on the east side of Malcolm Island.  We saw 2 transient male Orcas (because Bill said they were male).  We saw 2 bad-breathed humpback whales.  We saw lots of porpoises.  We saw lots of eagles flying and some seals on the rocks.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
The skilful skipper, aka Bilgepump Bill, did a tremendous job of keeping the whales in sight the entire trip.  Nicole prepared an excellent lunch that we enjoyed in the comfort of an awesome boat.  Thanks for an incredible day.
    

Date: 13/Jul/06

Report by: Micky Willekens

From: Barendrecht, The Netherlands

 

    
 
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Well, we went not as far as two days ago!  Today we cruised around in the area and met the A12's and the 3 big brothers!!  We also have seen humpbacks (a mother and a calf).  So we had a really whale filled day; it was sooooo great.  I must say one of the best rainy days in my life.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Sorry for bringing the rain...again just like two years ago.  Thanks for the nice trips we had with you today, two days ago and two years ago.  Maybe we'll meet again!!
 
Oh, yes and if it's a boy...we'l'l call him Bill!
    

Date: 12/Jul/06

Report by:

From:

 

    
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
David and Mary say:  "We went from Port McNeill to the north shore where we had an exciting day!  We saw many Orcas and had a rare opportunity to see humpbacks...up close!  A Great Trip!  Captain Bill and Nicole were great hosts!  It was a super experience."
 
David and Mary Wesley, Missoula, MT
 
June says:  "We went from Port McNeill to the north shore where we saw dolphins, humpback whales and Orca which were a delight to watch.  This experience has been the highlight of our holiday."
 
June Gautrey, Leigh, Reigate, Surrey, England
 
 
    

Date: 11/Jul/06

Report by: Cathy Zarker

From: Sparks, Nevada

 

 
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
After a scenic tour south, we found ORCAS!!  We saw members of A8, All and A12.  Several came up right behind the boat where one of the females rolled on her back, pec and tail slapped!  Her way of saying "hello".
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Totally awesome trip!!  Can't wait to do it again!!
       

Date: 10/Jul/06

Report by: J. Duncan

From: Bridgeport, Texas

 

    
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
-         numerous Orcas - Johnstone Strait
-         harbour seals
-         humpback whales/baby - open seas
-         2 islands - eagle & nest, & then 2 eagles
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Really a great time.  Bill was a great host and teacher.  Enjoyed hearing about Orcas.  Using hydrophone was really neat.  Daughter serve nice soup at lunch.
 
    

Date: 09/Jul/06

Report by: Janet & Peter Spragge

From: England

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
                        
Everything was a highlight - a day we will always remember - especially at lunchtime, the wonderful sight of an orca breaching - it seemed to come from under the boat and out to sea.  Bill Mackay's knowledge, expertise and humour was outstanding.  We couldn't believe the number of sightings we had.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Many thanks from Kathleen & Malcolm Kean - it gave our family and us a wonderful experience - we will be back.
            

Date: 08/Jul/06

Report by: Julie Purdy

From: San Diego, California

 

    
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
We really enjoyed this trip (2nd this week); enjoy the whales and white-sided dolphins.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Love the soup!  Loved Nicole's magic trick.
    

Date: 07/Jul/06

Report by: Susan & Ewen Cameron

From: Scotland

 

  
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
A pod of 6-7 Orca - followed them for some time while the "slept".  Also came across a small group of Dall's Porpoise before we came upon a pair of humpbacks.  Also heard the Orcas calling on the hydrophone - along with the pile driver!  Water calm - perfect for whale watching.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Chose to go on our first whale watching trip with the Mackays because of their Scottish name and reputation for finding whales - we certainly chose well!!  Thanks for a great day - we will remember this for a very long time.
      

Date: 06/Jul/06

Report by: Iqbal Alam

From: Vancouver, BC, Canada

 

    
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Headed east through Johnstone Strait.  Came across our first Orca within the first hour.  Eventually, followed a family of eight Orcas heading west.  Stopped off to see harbour seals and an eagle's nest.  Searched for a humpback whale which had been seen in the area - without success!
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Fantastic day out.  Recommend it to everyone reading this report.  Thank you to the Mackay family.
    

Date: 05/Jul/06

Report by: Gavin O'Connell

From: Bournemouth, England

 

    
 
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
One of the most breathtaking moments of my 26 years was seeing an Orca jump and land on its back 100-150 feet off the back of the boat.  AMAZING!!!
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Watching 30+ dolphins follow the ship, leaping out of the water and a great lunch.  Thank you!

Date: 04/Jul/06

Report by: John Koerber

From: Asheville, N.C.

 

    
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
A truly remarkable journey through Johnstone Strait - orcas in abundance - for seemed about 2 hours.  Lunch and a great little pastry, and off to see a black bear with two cubs; later, a great eagle's nest with babies---WHAT A WONDERFUL DAY!
 
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
A very professional, kind and informative team.  Very well worth every second and, needless to say, the money!
 
    

Date: 03/Jul/06

Report by: Paul & Maggie

From: Maui, Hawaii

 

    
 
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Orcas, Orcas, Orcas.  Big ones, little squirts, tall fins, and breathing.  We heard them BREATHE!  Saw all kinds of behaviours, a few breeches (that's where they jump out of the water and go kerSPLASH!).  Also the microphone in the water was so kewl!  We could hear them click and vocalize and hum and even rub on the stones.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Yesterday we went on another trip with another company.  We saw no whales.  It was so fantabulous to come with you guys and see a whole big ol' group of orcas.  Plus we got to see some humptyback whales, which was OK, but we see those all the time on Maui.  Now ORCAS, that was the BEST!  We will be back for sure.
    

Date: 02/Jul/06

Report by: Rachel

From: Oakland, California

 

    

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):

 

Captain Bill seems just as excited as we all are about coming upon the whales.  He knows how to find them and get right next to them!  We saw at least 2 pairs of humpbacks, one with a calf.  They came up for lunge feeding together many times.  Then, with the help from other communicative boats, Bill took us right to the orcas - 8 or 12 adults and a couple of calves.  Lots of tail slapping and spy hopping!  Also saw lots of bald eagles and seals.  A fun and exciting day!

    

Date: 01/Jul/06

Report by: Ian Wright

From: Melbourne, Australia

 

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):

 

We were treated to a really wonderful display of wildlife at its best.  We probably saw over *100 orca whales (*A11's, A12's and A36's , about 15 orcas) and at least 10 humpback whales.  The orcas put on a magnificent display - they surfed our wake and performed amazing manoeuvres catching fish.  The humpbacks slapped their tails, breached, and generally gave a dazzling performance.  What a day -how could it be surpassed?

 

    

Date: 30/Jun/06

Report by: Mark Morison

From: Wanaka, New Zealand

 

 
 
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Went south down Johnstone Strait.  Highlights were orcas - viewing and hearing through hydrophone, beach rubbing, and talk and information regarding whales.  Yummy soup and cake.  Conservation ethics.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Excellent tour.  Well run by Bill -  good humour and enthusiasm.  Nice to see people involved in the protection of the orcas.  We'll wave from our kayaks.
       

Date: 29/Jun/06

Report by: Tanya & Jim Wiigs

From: Calgary, Alberta

 

   
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
We went past Robson Bight and down to Cracroft Island where we came across 4 orca.  We were happy to see one was A73, Springer.  After we had lunch with the A11 orcas, we saw a black bear on a beach turning rocks looking for food.  He came really close to the boat.  We went up past orcalab to Weynton Passage and saw 6 or 7 Dall's porpoises.  We also saw an eagle's nest with an adult and chick it with the other adult in a tree close by.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
The weather was great and the water calm.  We couldn't have had a better day.
 
     

Date: 27/Jun/06

Report by: Dave Paterson

From: Windsor, Ont.

 

    
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
-         Rock paintings, Indian village and burial sites - awesome experience.
-         Captain's knowledge of area history fascinating and eye opening for me.
-         Young family with 2 daughters - left boat at Hidden Cove dock
-         Foraging black bear about 200 meters away on a beach.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
-         Interesting people - man from Denmark, Marilyn from Federal Government - Marine Mammals.
-         Tyson - excellent host - great and interesting stories - good cook.
-         No orca - but excellent experience.
        

Date: 24/Jun/06

Report by: 1st Cumberland Scouts

From: Cumberland, BC

 

    
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
We saw many breaching humpback whales, black bears on the shore, porpoises (both Dall's and harbour).
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
From the troop:  "It was fun; thank you for taking us!"  "A lot better then I thought." "It was great!  Really great; thanks for taking us."  "It was sweet!  I liked it."  "Wonderful scenery, great boat and food; thanks."
    

Date: 22/Jun/06

Report by: Donna Mackay

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

    We have all been waiting with great anticipation for the first appearance of the season of the northern resident killer whales.  We have just received a report from the Cape Caution area (located on the mainland side, near River's Inlet)  of two groups of orcas heading towards us.  The first group has approximately 12 individuals and the second group was a little further away and spread out. 

We will be monitoring their progress and hope that they will be in our area for our first trip of the season on June 24!


Date: 27/Mar/06

Report by: Bill & Tyson Mackay

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

After receiving several reports of killer whales off the tip of Malcolm Island, we drove out to Cluxewe Resort to see if we could sight them from shore...and sure, enough we could see the blows in the distance, along with a lot of tail lobbing acivity.  Since there didn't seem to be anyone else available, we then headed out of Port McNeill on the "Naiad Explorer" to get some ID photos.  ID photographs were obtained of eight killer whales, as well as recordings of their sounds from our hydrophone.  From the sounds, we think are they are offshore killer whales - a rare sighting treat for this time of year!

Today was also our first sighting in Port McNeill of a returning rufous hummingbird at our feeder.  Spring is truly here!


Date: 18/Jan/06

Report by: Bill Mackay

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

After receiving a report of orca activity not too far away from Port McNeill, I encountered a group of about six transient killer whales near Pultney Point on Malcolm Island (directly across from Cluxewe campground on Vancouver Island).  The group was not vocalizing underwater, so I was unable to obtain any recordings to pass on to DFO.  Great day to be out on the water today - calm seas and no rain; a pleasant change from our usual weather at this time of year!

As an aside, on December 29, 2005 we encountered two humpback whales off the entrance to Knight Inlet.  It was an extremely stormy day, but we were able to see that one was full grown and the other a junvenile.


Date: 18/Jan/06

Report by: Bill Mackay

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

After receiving a report of nearby orca activity, I came across a group of about 6 transient killer whales just west of Pultney Point on Malcolm Island (right across from Cluxewe campground on Vancouver Island).  They were not vocalizing underwater, so I was unable to gather any recordings.  It was a beautiful day on the water - no wind and no rain!

As a side note, on December 29, 2005, we spotted two humpback whales off the entrance to Knight Inlet.  It was an extremely stormy day, but we did note that one of the whales was full-grown and the other was a juvenile.


Date: 03/Oct/05

Report by: Roy & Mary Bennett

From: Victoria, BC

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Our main reason for the trip was to see Orcas, but we saw so much more.  First we saw three Humpback Whales, later we passed a Steller sea lions and we watched a bald eagle grooming himself. But the highlight was watching the Orca ‘A’ clan all around us. What an awesome experience.
 
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
While we ate our chanterelle mushroom soup we were entertained by the mother and calf humpback whale. Another first time for us was to watch a purse seiner unloading its catch.  *What a wonderful crew, very knowledgeable*. Everything was truly awesome! 

Date: 02/Oct/05

Report by: Capt. Dave Tyre

From: M.V. Driftwood, Queen Charlotte Lodge

 

 
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Lots of great whales!  A12 pod of orcas and two I31’s were near Cracroft Point – great vocals!  Humpback whales were everywhere.  Sea Lions at Fife Sound were a great bonus.  Commentary by Capt. Bill kept everyone in stitches.  Orca 101 is a must for enthusiasts.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Crew was fabulous!  Lunch excellent.  As always, Mackays provide the best day.  It’s always more than a whale watching trip.  Go with the best.  Safe, comfortable and always entertaining.  (Welcome home Tyson!)

Date: 26/Sep/05

Report by: Lorraine

From: Basildon, England

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
A12 and A36 pods of orcas ? chasing/eating salmon.  We saw a black bear on the beach, bald eagle when we stopped for lunch, and on our way back, 3 humpback whales and Steller sea lions.  Brilliant!  And harbour seals ? with pup.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Crew were informative and friendly and I would recommend this trip!  Well fed and appreciated ? thank you.

Date: 24/Sep/05

Report by: Caroline, Coreen & Cayley

From: England/Canada

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Seeing Orca --- Lunch – Nanaimo Bars!
Sea lions
Humpback & calf
Dall’s Porpoise
Witty commentary aka bullshit!
 
Additional Comments:
 
Lovely day, unbelievable scenery; trip gave a lot of time to see a lot of things.  Number of people was great – not too many, not too few.
Enjoyed meeting and chatting with a vast variety of people – from England – Australia.

Date: 23/Sep/05

Report by: Janna, Emilie, Jen & Brett

From: The Earth

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
We went from Port McNeill, out past Port Hardy to Browning Pass – Yay!!  We saw seagulls, kelp, waves, cruise ship, driftwood, lighthouse, lots of trees, fog, sun, more waves AND…OH YEAH…WHALES!!!
 
3 Orcas
7 humpback whales – one was jumping around a lot
1 Dall’s porpoise
1 Pacific white-sided dolphin
More seagulls, islands
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Very fun day out…and that's an understatement!!  A BIG HAPPY Thank you to the Mackay’s.

Date: 22/Sep/05

Report by: John, Carolyn & Adrienne Sidnell

From: Whiterock, BC

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Went way north to the beautiful islands NE of Port Hardy.  Saw mother and calf humpbacks while sipping our super soup lunch in a sheltered inlet (Bates Pass).  Then back out into Queen Charlotte Strait to see two more humpback whales.  A glorious day on the ocean with friends.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Our thanks to Bill and Donna for our great tour/zig zag search of the ocean waters!  No orcas.

Date: 21/Sep/05

Report by: Diana & Rick

From: Ukiah, California

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Orcas in the mist – the day started off enveloped in fog.  We set off for Hidden Cove Lodge to pick up extra passengers – as we headed out of the cove, we came across our first pod of whales.  Just the beginning of an exceptional day of whale watching – UNBELIEVABLE!  No exaggeration, we saw several pods of up to twelve (or more) whales; including two newborns.  As the fog lifted, we also circled a mother and calf humpback whales, while orcas passed on either side.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
What a spectacular day!!  Knowledgeable and friendly crew.  Delicious lunch followed by treats and sweet goodies.  Thank you for making our visit to the region to memorable.  We’ve taken many whale watching trips over the years – this was the best!

Date: 20/Sep/05

Report by: Katie Jones

From: San Juan Island

 

 
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Today we went up to the Queen Charlotte Strait where we saw loads of orcas (A’30’s and some I’s to be exact).  Lots of social behaviour and some close passes, and a new baby!  We also saw 2 Humpback whales, bald eagles, Dall’s porpoise, Pacific White Sided Dolphins and harbour seals.
 
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
It’s been a GREAT couple of days!  Thanks a lot!

Date: 20/Sep/05

Report by: Katie Jones

From: San Juan Island

 

 
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Today we went up to the Queen Charlotte Strait where we saw loads of orcas (A’30’s and some I’s to be exact).  Lots of social behaviour and some close passes, and a new baby!  We also saw 2 Humpback whales, bald eagles, Dall’s porpoise, Pacific White Sided Dolphins and harbour seals.
 
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
It’s been a GREAT couple of days!  Thanks a lot!

Date: 19/Sep/05

Report by: Charles and Susan

From: Bloomington MN. U.S.A. =)

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
What an adventure!  Our first whale watching trip!  We were most impressed by the size of the whales as they passed the boat, huge dorsal fins on the males, we could even hear them BREATH!
 
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Bill and Nicole were great hosts.  Nicole served a nice lunch and dessert (we loved the Nanaimo bars)!  Thanks for everything!
 

Date: 18/Sep/05

Report by: Tony & Alice Andrews

From: Cambridge, England

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Round Malcolm Island into Queen Charlotte Strait – we saw about 20 orca (A-36 big boys and I-31 pod, etc.).  Went to look for humpbacks, but were unlucky.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Had a great trip.  Bill, the captain, was a great guy and explained all about the orcas.  His lovely daughter served us excellent food and we all got great photos.  The boat was fast, comfortable and warm.

Date: 17/Sep/05

Report by: Linda K.

From: Port Townsend, WA

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Super weather and super orca and humpback watching!  We saw eagles and porpoises, too!  Even seals and sea lions.  Great lunch by Nick! J Yummy soup!  Bill Mackay is a great teacher and comedian!  Love it!
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Dick was right – a superb trip!

Date: 16/Sep/05

Report by: Lisa Williams

From: Yorkshire, UK

 

 
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
We saw many orcas who were permanent residents, all of which Bill and Donna could identify.  The sounds were unbelievable.  We also saw a group of transients some way off shore which was awesome.
 
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
A superb and very interesting day.  Thank you so much!

Date: 15/Sep/05

Report by: Diana

From: Powell River, BC

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Many, many whales- all very vocal – A and G pods, approximately 65 whales in total.
We also saw Bald Eagles, harbour seals and Steller sea lions, a black bear and a porpoise
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
A perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon.  We all learned a lot.
P.S. good soup!

Date: 14/Sep/05

Report by: Leona

From: Germany

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
On this blustery Wednesday, Captain Bill warmly welcomed people from Germany, Denmark, Holland, the USA and Canada (via England).  After picking up passengers from Hidden Cove and Alder Bay, We sped by Malcolm Island and Hanson Island, sighting Steller sea lions, eagles and gulls of all types and a few groups of transient orcas.  Off Robson Bight and the rubbing beach, we were greeted by members of the A families as well as the I-15’s, including I-41, whom I have come to love!  When Captain Bill lowered the hydrophone into the water we heard echolocation and knew it was orca lunchtime.  The A-30’s and A-12’s were calling and several family members swam very close to the Naiad, which had stopped.  Around the Sophia’s we saw A62 with her baby A83 and several more orcas on our way back to Port McNeill. 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Many thanks to Donna & Bill for their warm hospitality aboard!
 

Date: 13/Sep/05

Report by: Nancy & Keth Fourner

From: San Diego, California

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Johnstone Strait:
I-15’s foraging; saw I-41 with his bent over dorsal fin;
A-30’s – above water vocalization; spyhopping, rolling over, tail slapping.
Queen Charlotte Strait:
Several humpback whales and the A-12 pod of orcas.
 
Additional Comments:
 
Great soup and fun crew!!  Nice weather.  We come to Port McNeill every year for 1 week to see the orcas.  We are never disappointed when we go out with the Naiad Explorer.  Our cruise lasts over 5 hours with most of the time spent with the orcas, humpbacks, eagles or seals.  Thanks Bill and Donna for a super fun time!  See you next year!!!

Date: 12/Sep/05

Report by: Saskia & Vincent

From: The Netherlands

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
When we just got started, there were a few black bears.  Then there were a lot of Orcas coming right at the boat.  After a great lunch there was a humpback whale; it was coming out of the water with his whole body!  Later on there was another one…and a lot of Dall’s porpoises.  On the way back we stopped to see the seals and bald eagles.  It was great.  Doesn’t get any better!
 
Additional Comments:
 
We’ve already been with Mackay 5 years ago and came back especially for them.  This week we’ve been going whale watching twice and probably going again tomorrow.  It’s really worth it.
 
P.S.:  From Capt. Bill - we saw the A30's, A12's, A36's, I15's and I31's.  They were all actively foraging - in fact, one female swam to the stern of the boat with a fish in her mouth!

Date: 11/Sep/05

Report by: Stan & Kay Taylor

From: Solvang, CA, USA

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Saw everything:  Orcas (A36, A30, I15, A12 pods) – large males, babies – swam right up to the boat!; Humpbacks (2 or 3); Dolphins swimming along the boat; Eagles; Seals.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Fantastic group of people; owners were wonderful, very nice and most informative – trip far exceeded our expectations.  Thank you so much!  And the lunch and dessert were yummy.

Date: 10/Sep/05

Report by: Dave and Carol Cass

From: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

 

 
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
- Queen Charlotte Strait etc.
- Many orcas actively fishing. A’s and G’s
- Babies playing (breaching, spyhopping, rolling)
- Humpback whales
- Harbour seals
- One of our best trips ever (several trips since 1989)
 
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
-         This was a great trip- the people mix was especially good.
-         Lunch was just right and delicious
-         Weather incredibly good, bordering on perfect (10/10)

Date: 09/Sep/05

Report by: The Keltie Family

From: Deep Bay, BC

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Jensen (age 5) – I’m glad we started our day by seeing the humpback whale.  When I heard the whales talking, I wished that I could talk with them.
 
We were treated to sighting of seals sunbathing, preening eagles and the travels of A pod orca group.  What an amazing way to spend our Family Fun Adventure Day.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Logan (age 3) was fascinated with Captain Bill’s boat helicopter (rotating radar)!  Donna and Bill were wonderful hosts.  A great experience for us to share with our kids.  The numerous sightings of a variety of wildlife in their natural habitat was a real treat.  Being able to see the beautiful scenery in this area was simply breathtaking.

Date: 08/Sep/05

Report by: Sandra & John and Anneke

From: Duncan, BC and Holland

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
We didn’t let a gray wet morning dampen our excitement as we set out.  Indeed, very shortly we wee surrounded by over 100 Pacific white-sided dolphins.  They put on an exceptional show for us doing high jumps, back flips and belly flops!  Later as we enjoyed our lunch the whales swam nearby catching theirs.  We spent an enjoyable hour with the A12 pod and crossed paths with them again later.  We also saw eagles, seals and lots of sea birds.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
This is a well organized, well run vessel!  Bill and Donna shared their love and knowledge of these beautiful mammals with us.  Great day!

Date: 07/Sep/05

Report by: Bob & Cathy Fisher

From: Cleveland, Texas

 

 
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
We saw eagles, porpoises, orcas and a humpback whale.  Yesterday we saw “super pod”.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
This is our third day this year going whale watching with Mackay Whale Watching.  Every day was different and every day has been a fantastic adventure.  Great days of whale watching.  We will be back.
   

Date: 06/Sep/05

Report by: Jan & Jenny van Twillert

From: The Netherlands

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
This was for us the best whale watching day ever.  We saw in total 80 individuals.  At first we saw the I15’s with I41 and his collapsed dorsal fin.  They travelled together with the G17’s.  They were in the area for the first time this year!  Also the A30’s were present today. We saw A50 (Clio) with her calf A84, who did wonderful breaches and tailslaps.  Other activities were resting lines, spyhops, lobtailing…it was absolutely amazing.
 
Additional Comments:
 
At the end we catch up with the A8’s and A11’s who came back from the east.  On top of this all there was a group of Pacific white-sided dolphins.  At one moment we’ve had whales all around us.  This all happened in Johnstone Strait near Robson Bight.  Thanks Bill and Donna for this wonderful trip!

Date: 05/Sep/05

Report by: Ilja Gutte

From: Amsterdam, The Netherlands

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
First we saw transient and heard it too!!  Excellent views of a resident pod (I15), resting, spyhopping, tail splashing, beach rubbing, blowing.  Followed them for a long time, everybody got a good chance to shoot some fantastic pictures.  Great weather too, with stunning views, including eagle, eagle’s nest and harbour seals.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Excellent commentary by captain; very interesting and entertaining!  He knows the orcas and the area.  Lovely service by his daughter.  I recommend these guys to anyone.  As far as I know (and heard from locals), the best in the area.

Date: 04/Sep/05

Report by: Tammy Chevalier

From: Albertville, MN

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Today’s trip was awesome!  We saw everything from fish jumping out of Johnstone Strait, to Dall’s porpoises, eagles perched high in tree tops and harbour seals sunbathing on rocks.  But the highlight of the day was all the killer whales we were able to enjoy.  I absolutely loved listening to them communicate with each other when the hydrophone was placed in the water.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Thank you for a great whale watch tour!

Date: 03/Sep/05

Report by: Peggy Foreman

From: Seattle, WA

 

  
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
My heart has never been so happy!  Orca whales on every side of us. We encountered A-38 first just off Hansen Island, male’s females and even a young one when we were with the I’s.  We saw them hugging the shore and Dall’s porpoise swimming amongst them   Hearing their blows and calls to one another speaks something in my soul.  There is so much that I want to know about this animal – it is quite addicting.  After spending hours with these magnificent creatures we meandered by tree covered islands and took in the eagles, harbour seals, stellar sea lions and more.  The Dall’s porpoise seemed to pop up everywhere – yet the time with the Orcas will last in my mind forever.  Their blows will be the breath that fills me until tomorrow. This place is so sacred and I can’t tell you how great it has been to see them swimming so free in this place called heaven. What a phenomenal day to be in the Johnstone Strait.
 
Additional Comments:
 
You guys ROCK!  Thanks for the memories!
 
  

Date: 02/Sep/05

Report by: Chris King-Nevravmont

From: Edmonton, via England and places

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
My memory is not good for names but faces of the people I shared today with will never leave me. They have been with me to share a day of gifts from the sea, the trees, and the land of beauty. May I always remember the gift of today- let the memories never fail!!
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
See you next year for my next adventure with you. Love Chris
P.S. “to Captain & Mate” you’re the best!!

Date: 01/Sep/05

Report by: Alexander Morton

From: Echo Bay

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
It was a beautiful cruise, smooth water, dramatic rain squalls and fog. The whales were feeding on the sockeye leaping everywhere. Bill and Tyson Mackay are not only very good looking, they made the trip fun. I live on the water and still love to see the coast on the good ship Naiad.
 
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Great soup!

Date: 31/Aug/05

Report by: Will

From: Washington D.C

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Weynton passage and Charlotte Strait- 3 male’s descendant from first identified resident Orca. Saw A 30 and I 15, saw Orca with fallen over dorsal fins and small young.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Excellent trip! The best outfit of whale watching on the North Vancouver Island. I highly recommend the trip to anyone who wants to whale watch. Great people operate the trip. You will have the time of your life!

Date: 30/Aug/05

Report by: Penelope Voekel

From: Los Angeles, CA, USA

 

    

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):

 

We went to the Mike Bigg sanctuary…the favourite spot where the orcas rub on the rocks. We observed several groups of whales near the shore.  Eventually a large number of orcas moved in until they completely surrounded the boat.  360° orca action!  As a fishing vessel sped past, several large males decided to get a free ride (wake riding as it’s called) at 2 times their normal speed.  The two came right in front of our boat vocalizing at top volume.  Then we saw a sea blubber (large jelly fish) and many sockeyes.  Then we went island hopping and saw lots of harbour seals, some gorgeous bald eagles and a merlin who had caught a small bird for its lunch.  Captain Bill told a lot of great stories about how it used to be before the orcas were protected and how local people (1st Nations and whites) came together to make sure that these northern residents are happy and healthy and not being shipped off to nasty aquatic parks around the world.  Long Live the Orcas!


Date: 29/Aug/05

Report by: Louise Braybrooke

From: Bridgnorth, Shropshire (UK)-ex Malcolm Island

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
-Transient Whales
-Humpback Whale that almost breached!
 Well-it had a good try!
-Seals-lots of them
-Resident whales and dolphins that obligingly came close to the boat
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
-Educational, informative, great soup!  Great fun!
-A helpful, friendly and good humoured crew who obviously know their stuff and are great ambassadors for the cause of marine conservation…and I can’t believe they get paid for it too!
10/10!

Date: 28/Aug/05

Report by: Mike Reaume

From: Camlpbell River - Port Alice, BC

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Killer whales (resident)
Transient Orca
Sea lions
Beautiful islands
Minke Whale
(Capt. Bill:  5-7 transient orcas were in pursuit of a Minke whale; we believe the Minke eluded them.)
 
Additional Comments:
 
Excellent lunch served by Tyson – Wonderful trip – recommended by all.  Captain – super job and very informative.  Vessel is good to ride on.  Love to come back again.  Thank you.

Date: 23/Aug/05

Report by: Ev Schmidt

From: Van Isle Adventures, Nanaimo, BC

 

 
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
It was a super sunny day for seeing lots of whales!!  Robson Bight had some fishing boats and plenty of whales coming right to our boat.  One even poked his head up and another one breached.  On the way back we saw at least 4 or 5 eagles – one eating a fish!!  Harbour seals were lazing on the rocks, sunning themselves and making us envious to live in such a beautiful place!!
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Thanks to Captain Bill and 1st mate Tyson for a super day!!  P.S.  The soup was great!  P.S.S.  So were the Nanaimo bars!
   

Date: 22/Aug/05

Report by: Agustin Garcia

From: Leon, Spain

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
We went to Queen Charlotte Strait.  The main highlight was at the beginning a big orca up to 10 meters height over the sea.  Was a wonderful trip.  After all we saw a lot of whales.  Stunning and amazing sea sites.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Superb crew.  We did enjoy very much.  Fantastique le voyage

Date: 21/Aug/05

Report by: Julian & Nikki

From: Birdgnorth, England

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Pod of seven Orcas breaching, heading east.  Sea was calm but visibility was poor just like an English Summer’s day.  Then went searching for other pods, but with no success despite exhaustive efforts.  However, still had a whale of a time.  Also saw two Steller sea lions in rip current.
 
Additional Comments:
 
This was our second day with Mackays – we came out yesterday and enjoyed ourselves so much that we came out again today!  We felt we received an excellent, professional and friendly service with was also very educational – I really enjoyed the use of the hydrophone.  The food is also excellent – nice warming soup and Nanaimo bars! – becoming our favourite!

Date: 20/Aug/05

Report by: Alexander Jacob

From: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
We started from Port McNeill and went north-west among the islands.  The first extraordinary thing we saw was a bald eagle.  We saw a lot of Pacific white-sided dolphins.  There were also a lot of Dall’s porpoise.  We got to see orca whales and were able to identify them as individuals of a pod.  It was really something to watch playful dolphins race with the boat.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
The salmon chowder we had for lunch was just superb!  Just fantabulous!  The Captain had a very humorous and captivating way of explaining the ecology and marine life.  His attachment to the environment was obvious!  Last, but not least, the noise reduction technology of the boat says a lot about the care taken to reduce the impact of humans on marine life (whales in particular).

Date: 19/Aug/05

Report by: Janek Kuchmistrz

From: Vancouver, BC, Canada

 

 
 
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
We saw mermaids – oops, sea lions.  But best was the baby orca playing, flapping his tail fin in the water with his family.  Also came up upon a fishing boat with a purse net full of pinks and coho salmon, bringing in the catch.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Late arrival Jayne wasn’t happy with lack of cellular reception and stayed below deck.  Fish eye ball soup was spectacular – Tyson even gave out seconds.  Winds were brisk, but it was AWESOME!
   

Date: 18/Aug/05

Report by: Lori Jones

From: Victoria, BC

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
We started out to the east, down to Robson Bight and then towards Kelsey Bay, travelling with the I15’s and a few orcas from G’s.  There was breaching and great acoustics from the pickle!!  (hydrophone)  We then turned back to the west and encountered some transient orcas (marine mammal eaters).  They had lunch – a Dall’s porpoise.  They were the T18’s.  From there we went to Blackfish Sound and had a terrific show from the A36’s, 3 full-grown males – brothers.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
What a day!  Awesome crew and a very enthusiastic group of passengers.  Lunch was marvellous.  I would highly recommend this for anyone – young or old.  Thanks guys – for everything.

Date: 17/Aug/05

Report by: Chief Robert Joseph

From: Gwa was

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
This super trip was a real treat and helped us create a cross cultural experience that few have experienced in their lifetimes.  The people we invited along will never forget.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
The crew was excellent, the boat was awesome, and the captain was incredible and knowledgeable.

Date: 16/Aug/05

Report by: Graeme Keppie

From: Australia

 

 
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
The highlights were observing the pods of different orcas.  The orcas “waved” at us.  Some dolphins were riding the waves. The size, impressiveness and serenity of the whole orca experience made the trip a memorable experience.  It refreshes the soul.  Take the trip, you will enjoy it.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Wonderful crew, excellent boat, great commentary and what a chef!  The bald eagles young and old were worth viewing.  Black bears and cubs also seen at the beginning of the trip.  Neat.

Date: 15/Aug/05

Report by: Denise West

From: Norfolk, England

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
To heaven and back – via Boulder Point – where we saw a pod of 7-12 orcas spy hopping, tail slapping and A33 (identified by very knowledgeable Captain, Bill) breached 3 times right at the rear of the boat.  Great sounds over the hydrophone, great photo opportunities of resting adults and playful youngsters, and then Dall’s porpoise, eagles, Steller sea lions, harbour seals…all in sun lit mountain backdrops.  Wow.
 
Additional Comments:
 
Great humour, great service, very personable crew (“Tyson for Mayor!”) and we’ll be back for more.  Thanks for making our trip.

Date: 14/Aug/05

Report by: Michael Tickner

From: Lions Bay, BC

 

 
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Three different groups of resident orcas including large males and young orcas, a group of transient orcas, dolphins and I think porpoise!  The salmon were jumping.  The trip went as far as Robson Bight.  Also saw eagles and seals.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
As always, a great boat to be on.  Lots of information on Orcas and coastal history.  A good day, good food, great crew.  We’ll be back.  Many thanks!

Date: 13/Aug/05

Report by: Linda Grinaker

From: Houston, Texas

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
We saw a bald eagle as we approached Hidden Cove, later a river otter, several porpoises and then we came upon them – the A12 pod, I believe.  That was so wonderful to follow this pod as the fog of the morning cleared.  We ate our lunch as the orcas were having theirs…just hanging out with them in this beautiful area…
 
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
The crew was terrific – gave me an experience I was longing to have for many years.  Thank you!  I’ll be back if at all possible!

Date: 12/Aug/05

Report by: Sandy Yetman

From: Calgary and didn't get sick...yet.

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
We went to Alder Bay and Hidden Cove to pick up additional passengers, and to Port Hardy area and the “big sea”!  We saw bald eagles, sea lions and many sea birds.  The humpback whales were spectacular for us today!  Our first sighting was a very active humpback whale slapping its tail on the water and waving its pectoral fin.  Off Port Hardy, we saw a Minke whale.  Toward the end of the day we spotted another large humpback whale, not to mention a large white cruise ship.  Our mushroom soup lunch was awesome!
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
A great time was had by all.  Thanks to the crew!

Date: 11/Aug/05

Report by: Chrissy

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

 
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Saw many, many orcas; very active.  2 humpback whales and transient killer whales.  Residents were from R clan.  Transients were T18 with T20 and others.  Surfer vocals – and I don’t mean the singing of the crew.  R clan vocals outstanding!
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Crew outstanding.  Handsome cap, but that Tyson – swoon…
Great food, great crew, great day.

Date: 10/Aug/05

Report by: Kristina Burt (12 years old)

From: Calgary, Alberta

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
We saw tons of orcas, resident and transient, as well as Dalls porpoise and harbour porpoises.  We got to experience two humpback whales flukes and were so close to them we could feel their wake when they jumped.  Two Minke whales fed amongst us and hundreds of birds.  We also saw two black bears, two seals, two bald eagles and a great blue heron.
 
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Captain Mackay is a great captain and he loves kids!  He’s very informative and even lets kids steer the ship sometimes!  It’s always lots of fun.  It was a great day on the sea.

Date: 09/Aug/05

Report by: Gwen MacKenzie

From: Brampton, Ontario

 

 
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Dolphins Amazing!  Lots of Orca, 5 humpbacks, eagle, osprey, a Leach’s storm petrel and Dall’s porpoises.  Last but not least, 2 seals!  All in all, a fine day at sea!
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
We had such an amazing time, thanks so much!  Crew out of this world.  We will definitely visit again when next on the Island.
Gwen, Scott, Keysta & Colin Mackenzie – 1st time!
Don & Grace MacKenzie – 3rd time!

Date: 08/Aug/05

Report by: Nancy Shaver

From: Parksville, BC

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
First thing a black bear on the beach, just out of Port McNeill, then the A12 resident orcas, cruising close to shore and fishing, rolling and playing.  Then over to Blackfish Sound and watched 3 humpback whales, fantastic!!  On ride back,
Dalls porpoise riding the bow and wake, plus lots of eagles!  What a great day.  Many thanks!!
 
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
The crew was super and the lunch was great
 

Date: 07/Aug/05

Report by: Wendy Glos

From: Port Hardy, BC

 

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):

 

Our wildlife adventure began with the sighting of a bear furrowing along the beach just outside Port McNeill.  Two bald eagles were looking down on him from high in the trees.  Along the Johnstone Strait, several seals were lounging on rocks against a beautiful backdrop of islands shrouded in mist.  Then came the Orcas!  An A pod of 5 or 6 showed off their dorsal fins, at times in unison.  Some spyhopping and tail lobbing were also observed.  We could easily identify one grand male, as well as a female with her calf.  After a sighting of a solo Orca, we came upon the 3 orphan males in Blackfish Sound.  One swam right under the boat.  During the trip, some very frisky Dall’s porpoises showed off for us as well.  Both nature and the Naiad gang provided us with memories to last a lifetime.

Additional Comments:

We had the special privilege of cheering on Rob Dyke during a portion his swim around Vancouver Island.  He has taken on this amazing feat to promote swimming and boating safety for the Canadian Red Cross.

Date: 06/Aug/05

Report by: Jo & Greg

From: Cornwall, England

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Went towards Telegraph Cove and saw a pod of orcas (grandmother, children, grandchildren) – they came close in and it was amazing to watch!  Even better and closer up though was our perfect view of a humpback and calf!  Cruised through the islands – had delicious lunch of wild mushroom soup and tried our first Nanaimo bar!
 
Additional Comments:
 
Thank you for a fantastic day out which is great value for money!!!

Date: 05/Aug/05

Report by: Pat Cottingham

From: Vancouver, BC, Canada

 

  
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
This wonderful day started with a magical close encounter with mother and calf humpback whales (love those fluke dips!).  After a brief viewing of eagles and harbour seals, we circled to the western side of Hanson Island for viewing or orcas (A12’s), Pacific white-sided dolphins and Dall’s porpoises.  It was very enjoyable watching the various behaviours of the orcas…resting line, playing (2 youngsters in the pod), spy-hopping and eventually feeding on the sockeye “sliding” on the surface of the ocean.
 
Additional Comments:
 
A great day in paradise; good food (salmon chowder; yum!), good company, inte4resting and informative “Orca 101” presentation – although circling in the rip tide was a little reminiscent of the water action in a toilet bowl!  Thanks, Bill and Tyson.
  

Date: 04/Aug/05

Report by: Chris & Kathy Morris

From: Parksville, BC

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Waters off Alert Bay – Telegraph Cove.  We saw A-12’s and G groups of orca, white-sided dolphins, harbour seals, bald eagles, rhinoceros auklets and some of the most beautiful  scenery in the world.  Towards the end of the day, the whales were tail-slapping, breaching and some head bobbing (spyhopping).  “It was awesome.”
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
It was a great trip.  The lunch was delicious and the crew was very knowledgeable and experienced.  Their sense of humour was an added bonus.  Thank you for a great trip and we will be recommending Mackay Whale Watching to all our friends and family.  See you again next year.

Date: 03/Aug/05

Report by: Eileen Wilkes

From: England (Bolton Lancs)

 

    
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
On Johnstone Strait we were amazed at the pod of very vocal orcas (my adopted one, Simoom, being among them).  We followed them for two hours and 2 decided to come right under out boat six feet away from us.  We saw fish, eagles catching fish, bears on shore, and seals.  It has been one of the most amazing days of my life.
 
Additional Comments:
 
My wonderful family arranged all this and it’s been such an incredible experience to see this beautiful country and share it with them.  Thanks also to the excellent, helpful crew.

Date: 02/Aug/05

Report by: Denise deMontreuil

From: Victoria, BC

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Gorgeous weather today, calm water.  We saw (and heard on the hydrophone) A12 group of killer whales heading south, the grandma/matriarch leading the way.  A group of Pacific white-sided dolphins were buzzing around the lead whale and a couple of Dall’s porpoise passed in the distance.  After ogling the beauty of Robson Bight, we turned east into the Broughton Group where we viewed seals, eagles, Steller sea lion, rhinoceros auklet, phalarope, and many gulls.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Informative commentary, witty smart ass remarks and awesome soup – thanks guys!

Date: 01/Aug/05

Report by: Leo and Angie

From: Port McNeill, BC and California

 

  
 
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Went to Alder Bay, passed Stubbs Island and up the north coast of Malcolm Island and many orca between Malcolm Island and the mainland.  We learned how the orca communicate.  We saw about 11 family members of orca “G” clan on a beautiful smooth ocean.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
The high point of the trip occurred of the west point of Malcolm Island when orca from “G” clan surfed the wake of the Naiad Explorer.  Tyson’s salmon chowder was excellent, followed by delicious dessert  

Date: 31/Jul/05

Report by: Brent Wright and Tanya Stewart

From: Fort Bragg, California

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Several groups of Orcas in Johnstone Strait, including several juveniles.  A Minke whale briefly in Blackfish Sound, then lots of time watching a humpback mother and calf; the usual lots of other animals including bald eagles/eaglets, harbour seals, marbled murrelets, rhinoceros auklets, shearwaters, red-necked phalaropes and gulls, even a black bear on the beach.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
It was fabulous!!!  Good, warm soup for lunch with great dessert and good company.

Date: 30/Jul/05

Report by: Paul O'Reilly

From: Victoria, BC (That's in Canada!)

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
George Bank (Lizard Point).  Wonderful views of Orca pods (A clan, C10 pod), humpback whales, sea lions, bald eagles, Harbour seals, and Dall’s porpoises.  We enjoyed an expert and detailed narrative of Orca wildlife.  The hot snack (salmon chowder and buns) was deliciously world class.  Finishing off the meal was a decadent plate of sweets, including world famous Nanaimo bars.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Some idiot let Peter Barratt onto the boat!!  This trip was well worth every penny.  Good value for the price.

Date: 29/Jul/05

Report by: Tara Yuen (age 8)

From: Vancouver, BC, Canada

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
We went to Robson Bight.  We saw an Orca whale, Minke whale, killer whale, dolphin and a humpback whale.  There were three humpback whales; one of them was one meter away from the boat when it was above surface.
 
Additional Comments:
 
We had a great time and were very excited to see the animals.  We were very lucky to see eagles, seals, sea lions and even black bears.  The area was wonderful.  We learned about whales and had yummy dessert.  Thank you very much for a wonderful time!

Date: 28/Jul/05

Report by: Wim Keen, Carola Heine and Gord Parker

From: Pinneberg, Germany; Cuxhaven, Germany; Port Alberni, BC

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw): Wim says: Crew (very funny), but also very good knowledge and experience. • Surfing of the killer whales • Humpback whales (seeing their tails!) • Cruise ships (which even changed course to see the killer whales!) • Sounds of the killer whales Carola says: • Surfing whales • The nice and funny crew (it’s really nice to see such a nice father-son team working together!) • The sound of the whales (real good for the soul!) • The people on board • Nice service • You’re real flexible and you do things people like. Gord says: Humpbacks, Orcas in quantity! What a time! Good lunch, great company and fun passengers. Your crew were funny and handsome! Additional Comments: Wim says: Good view of several eagles, seals. Can I become a crew member so that I can see killer whales every day? Carola says: Everytime again! I never expected to see so many killer whales; perfect weather. A real good mood! Stay as you are! Gord says: Mackay’s run and put on the “BEST SHOW ON THE COAST”! Thanks…a day to remember for a long, long time!

Date: 27/Jul/05

Report by: Yasmin and Walter

From: Munich, Germany

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw): • Beautiful whales (Orca and buckle whales*) - *4 humpback whales (2 near Port McNeill and 2 in Queen Charlotte Strait); • Nice landscape • Seals and birds on a little island; • Blue sky and sun; • Nice people on the boat from all round the world; • We were told lots of interesting things about the animals we’ve seen. Additional Comments: We liked the crew. Thank you very much for this wonderful day!

Date: 26/Jul/05

Report by: Bruce and Roger Wilson

From: Kelowna, BC and Ontario

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw): Johnstone Strait – Fabulous – Unforgettable – Spectacular – Windy – Amazing – Informative – Respectful – Magnificent – Humorous – Gourmet taste – Overwhelming – Glorious – Prolific – Diplomatic – Orcas Galore (A72 – A38) – Harbour seals – Sea Lions – Pacific White-sided Dolphins – Dall’s porpoises – Eagles Galore!! – Salmon research - Additional Comments: Jody was right – you guys are the best!! Great to see a family work together to impart fun and knowledge to all of us. Your dedication to what you do is a fine example to all. Keep safe so you can do this for a long time to come.

Date: 25/Jul/05

Report by: Cathy Rector

From: Toronto and all the other wonderfull passengers from Belgium, Switzerland, Japan, New Jersey and lots of Canadians.

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw): Steller sea lions, Pacific white-sided dolphins that were bow riding, harbour seals, bald eagles, rhinoceros auklets, common murres, northern phalaropes, killer whales (A12’s), Minke whale, and Dall’s porpoises. Additional Comments: -Rating 10/10 by everyone. A fabulous, warm sunny day. -Not enough dessert -We had fun at the boat, I love it! -Great people, great scenery, but I agree…not enough dessert. -Wonderful boat trip and we enjoyed the “little talk” that came with it. It’s nice to know something about what you see.

Date: 24/Jul/05

Report by: Fam Dykstra

From: Holland

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw): It was a lovely day with lots of sun and we have seen about 15 orcas, some in family groups, others alone. We saw also 6 Steller sea lions and some eagles’ nest. We had a nice lunch, served by Tyson and the captain told us a lot about the orca groups and the wildlife around. Additional Comments: It was a very joyful day with a very pleasant crew and if we come again to Canada, we will book this trip again. Thanks a lot!

Date: 23/Jul/05

Report by: Helen Sophie de Brun

From: Holland

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw): Orcas, humpback whale, sea lion, seals, bald eagle, rhinoceros auklet, turkey vulture, pigeon guillemot, common murre, herring gull, belted kingfisher, crows and a black bear. Additional Comments: Thank you for the very nice day!

Date: 22/Jul/05

Report by: Michael

From: Redmond, WA, USA

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw): We travelled from Johnstone Strait to just beyond Robson Bight. Tendrils of fog came down the mountains as we searched for whales. After a delicious lunch served by Tyson, a genuinely humorous and affable guide, we spotted killer whales at the mouth of Adam River. We watched for over an hour as whales tail-slapped, surfed and breached. One came right to our boat and loomed up before my daughter, causing her to screech! Wonderful time! Well worth it!

Date: 21/Jul/05

Report by: Polly Burns (14), Rachel Cordon (13) and Peter Bailey (old

From: Edinburgh, Nottingham, Victoria.

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw): We saw 3 pods of killer whales, one of which was wake riding, 2 groups of dalls porpoises, 1 humpback whale and a 1 Minke whale. Around the area where the Minke and the humpback were feeding on fish, eagles were soaring around our heads. Beautiful scenery, lovely weather. Additional Comments: Thank you for an unforgettable experience. It was great!

Date: 20/Jul/05

Report by: David

From: The Netherlands

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw): We started out from Port McNeill to see the first orcas after about an hour. They were of course, a grand sight which was well ended with a nice meal on board. After some valuable information on the orca population in the Johnstone Strait, we continued on to see bald eagles, dolphins and seals. Lucky us! Thanks on behalf of the whole group!

Date: 19/Jul/05

Report by: Geoff Miles

From: Canberra, Australia

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw): Headed north to the Queen Charlotte Strait and followed two humpback whales for 15-20 minutes. Great to see them cruising along and for novices like ourselves, little did we know what was in store for us just down the creek. Down the Johnstone Strait to Adam and Eve Rivers, we caught sight of a couple of Pacific white-sided dolphins riding our bow; much excitement, but still more to come. Shortly after, we encounter the A12 pod of killer whales and start cruising alongside three of the family. It didn’t take long for them to catch the rest of the pod, then, wouldn’t you believe it, we take off in our boat and at least 3 or 4 orcas start riding the wake. Unbelievable; it was the most amazing experience and we have all the photos and videos to prove it!! Not finished there, the whole pod of 10-12 whales cruise alongside us for at least ½ an hour, showing us a couple of tricks and the little ones are way out of the water. On the way back, we pass right by a large cruise ship, make that 2; boy, what a great day!

Date: 18/Jul/05

Report by: Graeme Ralph

From: Sheffield, England

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw): - 2 humpback whales (a cow and calf) - 2 groups of orca; 3 males (brothers) swimming together and 9 or 10 from grandmother to grandchildren; - Also seals and eagles too numerous in count Additional Comments: Real highlights were a humpback breaching in front of the boat with mouth wide open and fish leaping for their lives, an orca leaping clear of the water, and the orcas’ synchronised swimming displays

Date: 17/Jul/05

Report by: Sherry Muller

From: Bow, Washington, USA

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw): Went down Johnstone Strait, Cracroft Island, Blackney Pass to Blackfish Sound. Saw black bear, Dall’s porpoise, Harbour seals, A12 pod of orcas, saw 2 breaches, eagles and their nest, seals sunning, pink salmon jumping, aerial dogfight between a northern phalarope and a parasitic Jaeger, black oystercatcher, rhinoceros auklets, pigeon guillemots – great bird watching, great calm seas, gorgeous blue sky, and a fabulous boat and crew. Wonderful to have such knowledgeable crew. Bill Mackay has spent his life in this area and knows it like the back of his hand. It was a very educational trip. We learned about the orca rubbing beach at Robson Bight and how and why the protective zone was established, and the significant part that Bill and Donna Mackay have played in its success. Son Tyson showed us books on orca identification and was always available to answer questions and point out special areas of interest. He also served a wonderful homemade soup and hot buns for lunch followed by a tray of cake and brownies. Riding on the NAIAD EXPLORER is a unique experience in itself. There was an interesting cross-section of people from several different countries, and Bill’s fun introductory talk made us all feel like friends. Eric and I would highly recommend the Mackay Whale Watching adventure…a very well-run program.

Date: 16/Jul/05

Report by: Alistair McShane

From: England

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw): Seeing a breaching whale and listening to a pod on the hydrophone. It was amazing to see so many killer whales together. Additional Comments: We had a great day learning about the whales and were so lucky to see so many humpbacks and orcas.

Date: 15/Jul/05

Report by: Troy Bright

From: Sointula, Malcolm Island, BC

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw): We went to the north shore of Malcolm Island, watched a lone humpback whale off to the west of Malcolm Point. He was a quiet whale and didn’t show us his flukes. Then we saw the A12 pod of killer whales foraging, socializing and some rubbed at Bere Point. After watching the A12’s, we moved to the Lizard Point area and spotted another humpback whale that swam close off the bow. We also saw bald eagles, Dall’s porpoise, jumping salmon, lots of seabirds and on the way home a small black bear on the beach just before Port McNeill. Additional Comments: I had a great day on the Naiad Explorer. Thanks Tyson and Bill for a great day.

Date: 13/Jul/05

Report by: Chantelle Tucker

From: Victoria, BC, Canada

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw): We arrived at Izumi Rock and we found the A36 and A12 pods milling about close to shore – tail slaps, baby breaching, spy hops. Some close passes with several groupings including one of the three brothers (A36 pod). In the middle of “class”, we were surprised by a young Minke whale bearing 4 scars and underwater we could see the white spot on the right pectoral flipper. A few close passes by the Minke before disappearing. After “class” we were graced by the A36’s as they swam in a synchronized pattern, misty blows sparkling against the water. On the way home we viewed multiple seals, eagles, kingfishers, phalaropes, oyster catchers, a huge eagle’s nest and beautiful bull kelp. The highlight was seeing the baby breaching non-stop and experiencing the A36’s travelling along side for approximately 30 minutes. Additional Comments: FABULOUS TRIP. I will be back!! P.S Awesome food and staff.

Date: 12/Jul/05

Report by: Eric and Cohen Chapman

From: Australia

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw): It sounded like there wasn’t any whales close by, so the Mackay team took us far down to the east in Johnstone Strait. Great move, as there were killer whales everywhere. I’m not sure exactly, but I think there were four different pods. Heading back to Port McNeill we spotted seals, porpoises and eagles. Additional Comments: If nothing else exciting happens to my son and me before heading back to Australia, it won’t matter. “We are both stoked!” It was an awesome trip. I’ve seen some whales, but nothing compared to the pod trying to keep up with the boat. Thanks!

Date: 11/Jul/05

Report by: Trish

From: Victoria, BC, Canada

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw): We started with bald eagles. They were single, in pairs, sitting and flying. One paralleled the boat, at close range for a while. Then we spotted “3 amigos” – 3 orca brothers. They came up for air all around us. Next, we spotted 2 humpbacks. They showed us their tail flukes in between their dives. On our way back, the three brother orcas gave us a great display of their dorsal fins and white markings. There were numerous, humorous groupings of seagulls catching rides on logs. We stopped in at a beach to watch a young bear checking out the area. Additional Comments: Great boat, crew, sights and experience, even in the rain. Thanks, Bill and Tyson.

Date: 10/Jul/05

Report by: Virginia & family

From: Berlin, Germany

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw): Today we went and saw many orcas. It was awesome! They were so close and we could listen to them on the hydrophone. We spotted a humpback whale as well and could see his tail flukes. There were seals and eagles and the weather was so nice; sunny and blue sky. We had a wonderful time on board. Additional Comments: We had some very good soup and the crew was really nice.

Date: 08/Jul/05

Report by: Averil

From: Victoria, BC, Canada

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw): - Humpback mother and calf - A36’s – 3 orca brothers, apparently not seen for some time - A11 pod and A12 pod of orcas - Orca “chasing” dolphins - Birds a-plenty, from great blue herons to rhinoceros auklets - Good guys from Nimmo Bay – helicopters too! Additional Comments: Bill’s commentary on history, orca groupings, preservation, regulations was well explained and very much appreciated. And, of course the company, the soup and goodies under the excellent hand of chef Tyson (not to mention apron!) were second to none. Thanks a million!

Date: 07/Jul/05

Report by: Mary Pat Frey & San Pearson

From: Toronto, Ont., Canada

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw): We left Port McNeill on a beautiful, sunny day (not), heading to Hanson Island. No bears on beaches today. As we reached the end of Hanson Island, we found a pod of orcas – fabulous – so many we lost count. It was nice not to be rushed. Next, we headed to the other side of Malcolm Island where we found two humpback whales – a mother and baby. What a fabulous show – the mother breached several times, even doing a 360° in the air. Finally, on the way home we made a quick detour to watch eagles feasting on a herring ball. Additional Comments: We learned a lot about whales, their culture. The Mackay’s are wonderful, entertaining hosts. This is a must see for anyone visiting this area. Thank you!

Date: 06/Jul/05

Report by: Mark & Jenny

From: Cheltenham, UK

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw): A12 pod very close to Telegraph Cove; then A5 pod (query A11’s) and met up with A12’s again at Robson Bight. A solitary humpback, then mother and calf. Plus harbour seals, Dall’s porpoises. Eagles, blue herons…and a mink at Alder Bay! Additional Comments: Water flat, mountains and forests wreathed in blue grey like an impressionist painting. Crew great – thank you.

Date: 05/Jul/05

Report by: Lisa & David Gibbons-Wood

From: Scotland, UK

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw): We headed out west past Port McNeill and after 20 minutes of easy riding (and that’s from a person who gets sea sickness after 5 minutes!) we came across the orca and Pacific white-sided dolphins. The crew were fantastic – they told us all about the different orca families and even put a hydrophone into the water to let us listen to the different calls. We got mind-blowing views of the orca. Additional Comments: An enjoyable ride for everyone, especially for those who are queasy on the sea. The boat is gentle on the water. The crew do everything they can to find sea mammals – we were the only boat out today that saw orca. We have been on two other boat trips whilst here – this was the best, by far! Highly recommended. As you say in Canada, Awesome!

Date: 04/Jul/05

Report by: Jean Morgan

From: Ashland, Oregon, USA

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw): We went on Johnstone Strait and saw many orcas. They were the A30 pod doing incredible manoeuvres. We saw 50+ sightings. We saw at least 20 humpback sightings. Also saw many bald eagles, Dall’s porpoises, seals, cormorants. The scenery of the islands was incredibly beautiful. Additional Comments: Lunch was yummy hot soup with fancy square cakes. The captain and his son are very friendly, professional, informative (I learned a lot today from them) and had a sense of humour. The boat was very comfortable and quite powerful when needed. Thanks!!!

Date: 03/Jul/05

Report by: Nancy Mertz

From: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, USA

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw): We went to the north side of Malcolm Island, where we saw about 10-12 northern resident orcas – A12 and A33 were hovering near, but apart from the A4’s – resting behaviour for a good hour. En route back off Donegal Head, we saw a humpback whale and her calf. We glimpsed a Minke whale once far off. Lots of eagles, northern phalaropes, rhinoceros auklets. We saw harbour seals on rocks in Weynton Passage. Additional Comments: Great day – great crew – great food!! Thanks for a lovely day.

Date: 02/Jul/05

Report by: Gerrie, Jose, Joke & Sonja

From: Holland

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw): We saw several humpback whales breaching – mother and calf. Also about 20 killer whales, one Minke whale, dolphins, seals and eagles as well. Absolutely breathtaking scenery. Additional Comments: Great trip, excellent skipper and son. Thank you for a great time. Lived up to our greatest expectations. Skipper and son were great hosts with genuine sense of humour which came very close to that of the passengers. Will definitely be back!

Date: 01/Jul/05

Report by: Monique Bernier

From: Quebec, Canada

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw): 20 minutes after leaving Port McNeill, we sighted a humpback whale near Malcolm Point. 15 minutes away, near Lizard Point, we sighted over 40 orcas (A4, A5, A12 and other pods). We also saw Dall’s porpoises and many harbour seals. Additional Comments: This company is more than perfect. Thank you very, very much!

Date: 30/Jun/05

Report by: Tyson Mackay, Mackay Whale Watching

From: Port McNeill, BC, Canada

 

We saw over 30 eagles, Dall’s porpoises, a Minke whale, harbour seals, rhinoceros auklets and 3 pods of killer whales (A12, A24 and A11 pods). A beautiful, sunny, calm day for our passengers from British Columbia and Maryland, USA.

Date: 28/Jun/05

Report by: Wayne Harris

From: Denver, Colorado, USA

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw): Leaving dock-side at Port McNeill, a group of nearly 40 proceeded east down Johnstone Strait. Under a beautiful sky, punctuated by a few clouds, our voyage was embraced by majestic mountains on both sides. The first wildlife observed were several bald eagles perched on a remote island, one of many in the passage. Humpback whales were soon in view, then Dall’s porpoises, playful as they were, seemed to taunt the amused passengers. After a delightful lunch, we spotted another humpback whale, a Minke whale and Pacific white-sided dolphins on the return trip to Port McNeill. Additional Comments: For anyone contemplating a trip to Vancouver Island, the trip to Port McNeill, and a five hour unforgettable trip with Mackay Whale Watching is a must! – Wayne Harris, Prime Time Tours (303) 988-8732

Date: 27/Jun/05

Report by: Tyson Mackay

From: Mackay Whale Watching, Port McNeill, BC, Canada

 

Today we had enthusiastic grade 5 students from Robert Scott Elementary in Port Hardy. It was a pleasure having keen young naturalists that snap up any information given to them. Captain Bill headed north out of Port McNeill this morning, blue skies and calm seas for our young passengers. After a short visit with a humpback whale off Port Hardy airport, we headed south down the back side of Malcolm Island. We saw common murres, rhinoceros auklets, eagles, gulls, Dall’s porpoises and 3 more humpback whales before we arrived in Johnstone Strait. At Eve River, we met up with the A12 pod of killer whales. A beautiful, sunny day in paradise!

Date: 25/Jun/05

Report by: Gerard Izaks, Jan & Tom Bentley and Sandra & Henry Hatch

From: The Netherlands, Hope, BC, and Canberra, Australia respectively

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw): The wonderful 25th anniversary for Tom & Jan, a gift from our children. We were a collective group of 5 lonely souls who experienced an event of a lifetime. We saw about 50 killer whales today! Clans A & D, and we have pictures identifying a whale (female) D9. What a kick! We definitely hope to return and certainly tell all our friends. Thank you all for a terrific day. Oh! Did I mention, the whales did play with us. We also identified a new baby. Additional Comments: A wonderful trip. Surreal to have lunch surrounded by orcas. A great lunch. Thanks Kristy. Enjoyed your expertise, Bill. Thanks a million!

Date: 03/Jun/05

Report by: "the group", Jackson Tours

From: Chilliwack, BC

 

We travelled from Port McNeill to Weynton Pass, where we had a wonderful lunch accompanied by sighting a humpback whale! We also saw bald eagles, cormorants, Steller sea lions, harbour seals, Dall's porpoises, sea gulls, jellyfish, mergansers, murres, rhinocerous auklets and a goldeneye duck! It's still a bit early for killer whale sightings and it is hoped that they will arrive back in the area later this month.

Date: 09/May/05

Report by: Bill & Donna Mackay

From: Port McNeill, BC, Canada

 

It's not whale watching season yet, but we had an incredible day with an Elder Hostel group anyways! This was a nature viewing trip and one of the first things we saw was a female black-tailed deer, swimming in Cutter Cove. We travelled up Knight Inlet (the longest inlet on the BC coast) to the Glendale River, where we were fortunate to see a large grizzly bear foraging on grass in the estuary. Not far away, we also saw a large black bear, also intent on eating fresh, young grass. As we travelled further up the inlet to Cascade Falls, we encountered over 100 Pacific white-sided dolphins, some of which clearly had fairly new calves. On our return home, we saw harbour porpoises and as we entered Blackfish Sound, we were fortunate to view two humpack whales (female and her calf)! Our day wasn't over yet - we also viewed about nine Steller sea lions basking in the sun on Stubbs Island and an eagle's nest (with one of the parents in the nest) in the Plumper Island group. It was a wonderful day! Meanwhile, we await the return of the nothern resident pods of killer whales. Last year, they returned on June 24.

Date: 21/Apr/05

Report by: Bill & Donna Mackay

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

When the weather is so incredibly wonderful and marine life so abundant, we are convinced we are living in paradise! We had reports of transient killer whales going past Port McNeill this morning, and this afternoon at 4:00, we watched a humpback whale in the waters just off Port McNeill. This is the earliest we have ever seen a humpback whale here!

Date: 20/Apr/05

Report by: Bill Mackay

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

Yesterday at 1315 hrs. (April 19), we encountered a group of six to seven transients in Wells Pass, heading out towards Queen Charlotte Strait. In the group were two males (not full grown) and one youngster. Although we didn't hear any vocalizations on our hydrophone, they appeared to be in quite a social mood, with lots of tail lobbing and spyhops. Today, we have a report of at least a dozen killer whales in the Shelter Pass area (off Port Hardy). We have received further details that this group has now split, with one group heading north and the other south.

Date: 03/Mar/05

Report by: Bill & Donna Mackay

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

It was a very windy day and the water was quite choppy as we conducted our crew runs. Nevertheless, we were fortunate to spot at least two male killer whales (transients) in Blackfish Sound, not too far from Donegal Head on Malcolm Island. We were unable to stop and investigate further as we were on a tight schedule. Also spotted today were harbour porpoises and a fair number of Pacific White-sided dolphins in Kingcome Inlet and Steller sea lions both at Pultney Point (at the light station) and at Ledge Point near Port McNeill.

Date: 25/Feb/05

Report by: Bill & Donna Mackay

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

We were fortunate today to view about 8 transient killer whales, just off Sointula (across from Port McNeill). We observed them taking a harbour porpoise and allowing the two calves present practice their hunting skills. There was a lot of percussive behaviour from the calves including breaching and tail slaps. Included in the group were T87 (male), T88 (female) and T90 (female). We are awaiting verification of the others from photographs taken.

Date: 11/Jan/05

Report by: Bill & Donna Mackay

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

It's a cold, gray day here today, but we ventured out on the water just off Port McNeill to view six killer whales heading to the west. We picked out who we think is the transient female T10 and there were an additional three females/juveniles and two large males. There were a lot of huge tail slaps, several breaches and upside-down swimming with pectoral slapping! What a wonderful way to brighten a January day.

Date: 26/Dec/04

Report by: The Mackays

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

Season's Greetings, everyone! For much of the day we have been watching two killer whales (one male and one female) foraging in front of Port McNeill. We haven't seen them close enough to identify them. Today's weather is glorious - a beautiful cool, clear day with spectacular views of the Coast Mountains on the mainland!

Date: 14/Dec/04

Report by: Bill Mackay

From: Port McNeill, BC

 

Late in the afternoon, while en route to Echo Bay, we encountered five killer whales (one male, three females and one juvenile) milling about and exhibiting some percussive behaviour at the north east end of Cormorant Island. We're not entirely sure who these whales were, but pictures were taken and we're waiting to learn who they were. Dec. 18/04 - Update: As of this writing, we still do not know absolutely who these killer whales are. It is very possible that they are a new found group belonging to the offshore community of killer whales! We are awaiting confirmation.

Date: 09/Oct/04

Report by: Kathryn Lightheart

From: Nanaimo, BC

 

 
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
A great day of whale watching under cloudy skies with sunny breaks.  After enjoying the A-30’s pod of resident orcas, we were treated to a spectacular show by a group of offshore orcas at the mouth of Dong Chong Bay on Hanson Island.  Lots of tail slapping and spy hopping.  Besides the orcas, we were accompanied for part of our journey by some Pacific White-sided dolphins frolicking in the wake.
 
Additional Comments:
 
Thanks for a great experience to Captain Bill and his family!!!  Looking forward to next summer.

Date: 03/Oct/04

Report by: Anni Seibert

From: Munich, Germany

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
WOW!  Where to start?  Blue sky, calm sea, and amazing scenery!!  First we met the G17’s pod at Swanson Island, and soon after we encountered the A36, A30, G2, I11, I15 and more pods as well. Absolutely gorgeous!  We travelled with them for a bit for identification and breathtaking pictures, and had lunch while one after the other passed us.  Close to 100 whales!!  Nicola says it’s a “superpod”, but Bill denies it (yet).  Had to leave the Orcas in search for two humpbacks to the west!
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
As always when I go out with the Mackays this day was my Canada highlight. Thanks a lot for everything and I hope to be back soon.  By the way, delicious cake, Donna.

Date: 02/Oct/04

Report by: Ria Halewinkel

From: Holland

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
It was great to see the orcas really close; they are so huge!  I felt so sorry for the sick whale (young grey whale), but that’s nature.  Also the seals, sea lions, and porpoises were great to see.
 
Additional Comments:
 
A lovely trip, a great experience for us from flat Holland, with just a little marine life.  And the birthday cake was delicious!  Thank you so very much!

Date: 29/Sep/04

Report by: Lee McKillican and the gang at Cape Lazo Middle School

From: Comox, BC

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
We visited the tiniest town ever (Sointula).  We saw tons of Pacific White sided dolphins (very cool), two humpback whales and a bunch of resident orcas.  The orcas were the A30 pod.  We caught up to the A30’s coming through Blackney Pass.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Thanks again to the Mackay family for yet another wonderful field trip.  Our 3rd annual whale watching trip.  See you again next year!

Date: 28/Sep/04

Report by: passenger

From: California

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Great trip, especially the orcas wake riding.  Great skipper and crew!  Good food too.
 
 
 
Additional Comments (by Nicola Rehn – on-board biologist)
 
The whales were so active today.  We got incredible sound and lots of exciting calls that we heard on the hydrophone.  They were breaching and spy hopping frequently.  We identified the following family pods:  A12’s, A30’s, A36’s and G12’s.  In total we had about 40 orcas.
 

Date: 26/Sep/04

Report by: Belinda & Remco

From: The Netherlands

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Although heading for orcas, the first we saw were humpback whales; they were awesome!  Killer whales and dolphins we saw plenty and they were sooo cute!  One small killer whale jumped out of the water, and two others came very near to the boat.  The little dolphins were speeding underneath the boat; they were too fast to photographOn the way back to Port McNeil, we saw a lot of harbour seals basking in the sun at Stephenson reefs, as well as bald eagles.  With the low tide, we also saw 2 black bears on the beach, rolling rocks over in search of crabs to eat.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
It was a great experience to meet with the Mackay’s as there are many whale watching trips, but we sensed a great passion here for whales, seals, dolphins, and so on.  We would recommend anyone that wants to observe and learn about whales to go with the Mackay’s.  They made this day unforgettable for us!!  Thanks.

Date: 25/Sep/04

Report by: Terry Stewart

From: Bristol, England

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
We went to Johnstone Strait and to the edge of the Robson Bight Ecological Reserve which is the first and only such site for orca whales.  It was very foggy in the morning, but we saw Steller’s sea lions, a school of dolphins which rode along with us and played in the wake of the boat for some time. They were really magnificent.  We also saw Dall’s porpoise which followed the boat for some time and a black bear on the shoreline.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
In the afternoon the sun came out and we saw the grandmother whale (A12) of a resident pod of whales and some of her family.  There were lots of seals on a small island and the “townies” among us held our breath in case one got caught by the transient whales which turned up again.  There were also two bald eagles on the island.  It was a breathtaking trip and Bill Mackay and his son Tyson were so knowledgeable that they made the whole trip really exciting.  If you visit this area you must do this trip.

Date: 23/Sep/04

Report by: Sylvia Coury

From: England

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
An orca right next to the boat!  A huge school of Pacific white-sided dolphins all round us as far as they eye could see.  The sea looked as though it was boiling!  They rode the bow waves, leaping and diving.  A humpback whale: - we were surrounded:  humpback, dolphins, orcas all at once!  A group of transient orcas chasing the dolphins and catching a baby dolphin.  We could hear it distress calls on the hydrophone.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Today was unbelievable – the excitement of speeding along with that school of dolphins – it just went on and on, and was so moving.  And watching the orcas chase the dolphins was just amazing, though I was longing for the dolphins to escape.  The dolphins were so joyful, having fund riding our bow waves.  That joy communicated itself to us all on the boat, and certainly to me.  An experience I will never forget.  Nor will Michael, our oldest whale watching today at only 86 years young!

Date: 21/Sep/04

Report by: Rafaela & Reinhard, Mirjam & Simon, and Andre & Thomas

From: Germany and Switzerland

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
We did see a lot of different animals!  First of all, of course, a pod of orcas, all together 8 and we followed them for about two hours, seeing them feeding on fish while having a good lunch ourselves.  Apart from that, we were amazed by the big sized Steller’s sea lions, about 37.5 seals and a bald eagle every once in a while.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
One of the reasons we picked “Mackay” was that we were already, during our first phone calls treated very nicely and not like “numbers”.  Thank you for all of that!

Date: 20/Sep/04

Report by: Don & Mary McGregor

From: Sydney, Australia

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
As we say back home “beudy Mate” – the best ever.  We saw it all!  Yes, the orcas of course in beautiful weather – the resident A12 pod nice and close (take plenty of spare film, batteries, etc.).  Then the sea lions and as I write, interrupted by seals basking on a small rocky island among the oyster catchers.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Up to date, the best time we have had so far in Canada BC (just keep the good weather going!).  Better mention the expert crew. They answered all our stupid questions and the technical ones as well and the father and son team went out of their way to make us feel at home (at sea).

Date: 19/Sep/04

Report by: Scott, Teri, Hayley and Katie

From: Nanaimo and Vancouver

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
3 Black bears, Pacific white sided dolphins (too many too count, Dall’s Porpoise, Steller sea lions, the A12 orcas and a bazillion seagulls. Oh and 2 Bald eagles. Weather and crew were fabulous. We are so lucky to be able to enjoy the coast in this kind of intimate setting, and the soup wasn’t bad either!
 
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
I learned a lot from the crew. Wow! It was my first time whale watching and I’m going to do it again. The crew was great, food was amazing and all the wild life was beautiful. Keep up the good work. We enjoyed Tyson’s smile and laugh, he’s a real cutie!

Date: 18/Sep/04

Report by: Bryan Gates & members of the BC Ornithologists

From: from all over Canada

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Triangle Island was our destination, in search of the many pelagic bird species of the north Pacific – albatrosses, shearwaters, storm petrels, Jaegers, etc.  The sea swell and N.E. winds spoiled our chances for Triangle, but we did get 12 miles offshore; saw hundreds of Sooty Shearwaters, a few Pomarine Jaegers, fork-tailed Storm Petrels, Leach’s Storm Petrels, many gull species and Red-necked Phalaropes.  The highlights were hundreds of Pacific white-sided dolphins riding our wake and leaping like birds.  A humpback whale, Minke whale and a few hundred Steller’s sea lions also added to our treasures.  Eagles, murres, auklets, Kittiwakes were also seen.  Our skipper told me that the sea otter spotted ahead was a “killer log” – but it was a beautiful sea otter (new skipper next year please!).  We will be back again next year, looking for flat calm seas and a clear run to Triangle and back.  It’s a big ocean, but it’s full of life and excitement.
 
Additional Comments:
 
Note the spelling of “Steller’s” – not “Stellar”.

Date: 17/Sep/04

Report by: Dave Tyre

From: Kamloops & Victoria, BC

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Out to Johnstone Straits and Blackfish Sound with hundreds of playful Pacific White-sided dolphins with some Dall’s porpoise mixed in.  Down to Baronet Pass where 3 transient killer whales ignored the nearby harbour seals.  Then down Johnstone Strait a little further where the A12 subpod of orcas put on a great show, including a fishing demonstration.  On the return trip another sighting of our 3 transients just off Port McNeill.
 
Additional Comments:
 
Great crew and captain!  Excellent soup.  Totally fun day!  Well done Bill & Tyson.

Date: 15/Sep/04

Report by: James

From: Cambridge, England

 

 
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
We saw literally hundreds of dolphins. They were all jumping, somersaulting, running in the wake of the boat, everywhere we looked.
 
Additional Comments:
 
Fantastic weather and sunshine all day. Captain and crew were very friendly, helpful and informative.

Date: 13/Sep/04

Report by: Ellen Hartlmeier

From: Richmond, BC

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Today was a very special trip!  We met up with about 25 orcas just off Bold Head.  It took only a little while and we realized these were not residents.  Offshores!!!  These rare orcas are only seen about once or twice a year.  All kinds of behaviours were seen – huge spyhops, a gazillion tailslaps and at Cracroft Point, multiple breaches!  We also heard their very different calls.  What a day!  Managed to get some good ID shots – which will hopefully give researchers an idea who we saw exactly!  We were with them until Naka Creek, when they disappeared into the mist.
 
Additional Comments:
 
Thanks Bill, Donna, Tyson, Nicola, and Lorna for a wonderful experience today!  PS:  Great soup and dessert as usual!!!
    

Date: 12/Sep/04

Report by: Nancy Mertz

From: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, USA

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
First we went north in Queen Charlotte Strait off Port Hardy airport – beautiful clear skies and view of the BC coastal range, then turned toward Blackfish Sound where we sat and visited with 3 humpback whales for the longest time and had a yummy lunch.  Then off to Fife Sound where we cut our motor and watched the Steller sea lions bark and posture and play with each other on their rock islets.  En route back, hundreds of Pacific white-sided dolphins frolicked for an hour in our bow and wake waves.  Hard to tell who was having more fun – them or us!
 
Additional Comments:
 
Thanks for a great day!  We even stayed out 2 hours longer than advertised.  Bravo Bill and Tyson!

Date: 11/Sep/04

Report by: Sheila Hill

From: Duncan, B.C

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
We saw over 50 + orcas and a few Humpback whales. Spent 5 hours with a great crew. This was our first time and we had a blast- Our two daughters, Teagan and Danielle especially liked when the orcas were jumping. It was amazing to see the family of pods swimming together.
 
Additional Comments:
 
I would definitely come again! The crew were awesome and very hospitable. This was a great first experience. Thank you.
 

Date: 10/Sep/04

Report by: John Howarth

From: Qualicum Beach, BC

 

 
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Between Hanson Island and Sointula we saw resident orcas from the I pod.  Particularly distinctive was I11, which has a “v”-shaped notch in her dorsal fin.
 
Additional Comments:
 
The entire experience was remarkable, not only because of the proximity of the whales, but also because of the knowledge of the entire crew!  Many thanks to Bill and his crew once again.

Date: 09/Sep/04

Report by: Lorna Deppe

From: Hamburg, Germnany

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Today we went east to Naka Creek.  There we got our first sight at the A30 pod of killer whales.  They were joined by some Dall’s porpoises (having fun?).  Then we drove near the Robson Bight Reserve, where we met the B7’s.  Through the hydrophone, we could hear their vocalization which was awesome.  Later on we met a bunch of Pacific white-sided dolphins.  They swam very close to the boat and we could get a good view of them under the water.  After that we went to Boat Bay and ran into the A36 boys gang – huge!  On our way back we saw a nice humpback whale, passing through a large group of sooty shearwaters (it was quite “birdy” over there).
 
Additional Comments:
 
We had a nice trip (as always with Mackay Whale Watching).  In addition to all the nice species we/ve seen, we finally saw a minke whale (proved by the on board biologist!). We enjoyed the lunch; it was with curry (hurray), especially the goodies, which were “home made” by Tyson

Date: 08/Sep/04

Report by: Ingrid & Mark Armstrong

From: Victoria, BC

 

  
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
We saw the A36’s, A30’s, I15’s, G17’s I11’s, A4’s and A5’s (pods of killer whales) and Pacific white-sided dolphins swimming among the orcas, 4 Steller sea lions and several harbour seals.  One of the A36’s, we think A37 swam almost close enough to touch!  A great sighting of a humpback whale along with clear orca calls of the A36’s heard on board with the “pickle” (hydrophone) of the Naiad.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Bill’s “Orca 101” was awesome and Tyson’s lunch was delicious!!  Great Nanaimo bars!
  

Date: 07/Sep/04

Report by: Sarah Hauser

From: Kimberley, BC

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
We started our day going through Weynton Passage into Blackfish Sound where we saw a few Steller sea lions and a few different groups of orcas.  We listened to some echolocation.  We continued through Blackney Passage where we saw the A30’s and heard some really neat vocalizations and even had a big bull swim under the back of the boat.  We finished off the tour by watching 3 humpback whales in Blackfish Sound and we also saw an eagle, shearwaters, auklets, harbour seals and Dall’s porpoise.  Yahoo!  A great day!
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
The crew is great!

Date: 06/Sep/04

Report by: Ross Parker

From: Richmond Hill, Ontario

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
- Westerly then north across the face of Malcolm Island.  We saw three pods of orca whales (3 to 5 whales each), a pod of humpback whales (very impressive, slow movers), sea lions, bald eagle, seals and dolphin.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
The customer service of the crew was outstanding!  Bill, Chris and Tyson were very helpful in explaining a lot of stuff about the animals and the area.  The vessel is the best I’ve ever been on.  Extremely safe and roomy with lots of viewing perches, allowing you to move around.  Very friendly.
    

Date: 05/Sep/04

Report by: Sue Mitchell and Willi

From: Burnaby, BC and Courtenay, BC

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Blackfish Sound, Lizard Point, Queen Charlotte Strait – saw A11’s with A13, saw Springer and other babies?  Three humpbacks, a helicopter and lots of birds.  Spyhops, tail slaps and one humpback with mouth open.  Oops, have to add an eagle, seals, and sea lions…and a side of fries!! (lol).
 
Additional Comments:
 
Fantastic captain(s) and crew as usual!!!  Good soup and dessert too.  The water and sky were gorgeous – water as smooth as silk.  Thank you!  See you next year!

Date: 04/Sep/04

Report by: Melli, Martin, Lorna

From: Hamburg, Germany

 

 
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
We went to the back side of Malcolm Island where we saw the A11’s.  The big whale A13 came very close to be boat. We could hear their calls and echolocation on the hydrophone.  Amazing!  Then we went to Donegal Head and came across two huge humpback whales. We also saw Dall’s porpoise, harbour seals and fat Steller sea lions.  We spotted lots of wonderful seabirds like sooty shearwaters, auklets, murres, murrelets, ducks and so on…  What a wonderful trip!  Will come again!
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Tyson’s an amazing cook (he already knows…).  We loved to hear the tales of the “Naiad Explorer” (than you, Bill!), and of course, not to forget the dessert.  We enjoyed the berries.  You have the best on-board sea mammal specialist we ever met!  We learned a lot:  Where are the whales? – in the OCEAN!

Date: 03/Sep/04

Report by: Torben Ahrendt

From: Copenhagen, Denmark

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
We went around for a while in between the small islands.  It was foggy but nice.  We listened to the whales – using a hydrophone. After a well-prepared “mushroom” soup for lunch, we went to Robson Bight where we hung out with lots of spekhuggers (Danish for killer whales) and dolphins.  On the way back we saw bald eagles and seals.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
All in all a nice day and a nice way to spend five hours on the ocean.  Be aware of the “mushroom” soup – you might see funny looking whales.

Date: 02/Sep/04

Report by: Janet Wilson

From: London, England

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
We went around the islands off Telegraph Cove in quite choppy swells and seen lots of orcas.  There were 2 females and one large male.  It was spectacular when they came within 10 feet of the boat.  It was phenomenal!  Almost a spiritual experience!  Unforgettable!
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
We also spotted some harbour seals on some rocks.  Had some delicious pea soup and had great sunny weather.  We highly recommend anyone to do this.  You would never forget the experience.

Date: 01/Sep/04

Report by: Annie Nilaker & John Dutton

From: London, England

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Big ocean(!!) – Orcas – Sea lions – Harbour seals, Humpback whales, eagles and nesting sites, Porpoise.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Great value for money in addition to a fantastic day out.  That Tyson – What a stud muffin!!!  Chris ain’t bad either!!
 

Date: 31/Aug/04

Report by: Nancy Fournier

From: San Diego, California

 

 
 
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Today we went on the backside of Malcolm Island and saw the All’s (pod of killer whales).  Amongst the fog, we had several great encounters with this pod.  We also saw 2 humpback whales.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
This day concluded a week long holiday in Port McNeill.  We have been out whale watching every day.  We have had (as usual) an outstanding time and have had marvellous experiences with the orcas.  We have seen spy-hopping, breaching and surfing orcas.  We have really enjoyed it when the whales came close to our boat and swam right along side of us.  As usual, the Mackays were awesome hosts and Bill did an outstanding job assuring that all the guests had a superb time.  We’ll see you next year and thanks for the fab time!
   

Date: 30/Aug/04

Report by: Khalid AlSaadon

From: Saudi Arabia

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
We saw 2 humpbacks, the A30’s, All’s; Springer came right up to the boat.  We saw 2 breaches a spy hop and lots of tail slaps.  The fun and games were suddenly interrupted by a call to help overturned kayakers.  Our daring (and dashing) captains raced to the scene.  Tyson operated a spectacular rescue and saved the life of a severely hypothermic kayaker.  He then humbly went on to serve us carrot cake.  All in a day’s work I guess!

Date: 29/Aug/04

Report by: Brian Wishart

From: Pitt Meadows, BC

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
My wife, Anna, my brother Leightan and his wife Bev along with their son Bradley went along to Browning Pass and Goletas Channel to see killer whales.  There were people along from Holland, Germany, England and the United States.  We saw five separate families of whales (crew note:  A8’s, A11’s, A24 with A73 Springer, A25 and B’s).  We were with them for approximately three hours.  There is no way to adequately describe what a magnificent sight it was.  It was better than any of us could imagine.
 
Additional Comments:
 
Our hosts were perfect, making us all at ease and we were well satisfied with refreshment, entertainment (Tyson) and information.  We would all recommend this outing to any one.  I’m glad we were part of today’s trip.

Date: 28/Aug/04

Report by: Hydie McDade

From: Cape Town- South Africa

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Orca sighting, Bills informative talk, Playful dolphins, Wonderful lunch and a bear with her cub.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
The most memorable thing of the day was the enthusiasm of the crew in the friendly atmosphere on board. Thank you so much for all you did to make this outing such a success!!!

Date: 27/Aug/04

Report by: Becs

From: West Sussex, England

 

 

 

Trip Highlights (Where we went and what we saw):

 

We went around Alert Bay where we saw the first pod where there were about 8 orcas. We then travelled out and around Malcolm Island where we saw more orcas and their calf. There where lots of tail slaps and breaches.

 

 

Additional Comments:

 

An absolutely amazing day. Saw lots of orcas. We also saw dolphins. It was amazing when the whales swam right next to our boat. It is a trip I would definitely do again!

 


Date: 27/Aug/04

Report by: Becs

From: West Sussex, England

 

 

 

Trip Highlights (Where we went and what we saw):

 

We went around Alert Bay where we saw the first pod where there were about 8 orcas. We then travelled out and around Malcolm Island where we saw more orcas and their calf. There where lots of tail slaps and breaches.

 

 

Additional Comments:

 

An absolutely amazing day. Saw lots of orcas. We also saw dolphins. It was amazing when the whales swam right next to our boat. It is a trip I would definitely do again!

 


Date: 27/Aug/04

Report by: Becs

From: West Sussex, England

 

 

 

Where we went and what we saw:

 

We went round Alert Bay where we saw the first pod where there were about 8 orcas. We then travelled out and around Malcolm Island where we saw more orcas and their calf. There where lots of tail slaps and breaches.

 

 

Additional Comments:

 

An absolutely amazing day. Saw lots of orcas. We also saw dolphins. It was amazing when the whales swam right next to our boat. It is a trip I would definitely do again!

 

We went round Alert Bay where we saw the first pod where there were about 8 orcas. We then travelled out and around Malcolm Island where we saw more orcas and their calf. There where lots of tail slaps and breaches.

 

 

Additional Comments:

 

An absolutely amazing day. Saw lots of orcas. We also saw dolphins. It was amazing when the whales swam right next to our boat. It is a trip I would definitely do again!


Date: 26/Aug/04

Report by: Susan Fleming

From: California

 

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):

 

We went down Johnstone Strait today where we saw lots of killer whales. We saw the C’s and the D’s. The whales have been in a really tight group, and in the middle of the group we saw a brand new orange calf. It was the cutest thing! It was spy hoping and paying with its mom the whole time. Another whale was breaching! We also got the privilege to see an eagle’s nest and lots of seals on the rocks.

 

 

Additional Comments:

 

It was an awesome day today! Lots of whales, great soup and the crew is very knowledgeable. There were kids from all over the world today in a program called Rotary so that was really interesting. Thank you for a great day Mackay’s! Keep up the good work!


Date: 25/Aug/04

Report by: Cher Renke & Larry Renke

From: Friday Harbor, WA and Denver, CO

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Towards Robson Bight, across from Cracroft Point…some A11’s mid-straight heading north.   A30’s headed up behind them…saw A73, Springer, behaving herself.  Across from Hanson they did an about turn, headed south…started milling about.  Also saw one humpback out in Weynton Pass…3 Steller sea lions, some hauled out harbour seals.  Humpback fluked on dive #9… and of course some bald eagles too!
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Finally sunshine, beautiful day!  Calm water…incredible as always.  Very yummy lunch, and dessert too!  Thanks so much to the Mackay family…always an excellent experience.  See ya next year..or next month!

Date: 24/Aug/04

Report by: Pat & Gary Ford

From: Nanaimo, BC

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
We loved the orcas.  This is the first time for Pat to see orcas in the wild.  We saw them breach, lay over and slap the water with his tail.   We also saw a dolphin, a black bear and a humpback whale.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Thank you for a wonderful boat trip.  The captain and crew were excellent (Tyson too).  The food was good and the boat is well designed for whale watching.  We met lots of interesting people.  We will be back and we will tell lots of people in Nanaimo to join you on this wonderful trip.

Date: 23/Aug/04

Report by: Ashley & Meegan Smith

From: Maple Ridge, BC

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Our highlight for today’s trip was when we stopped the boat and the whales came towards from behind; one went directly below our boat.  The water was extremely clear and we cold see the entire whale as she slowly observed us from below.  We observed the following pods of orcas:  A30, A24, A11 and A5.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
The crew was highly recommended to us and they proved to be knowledgeable, friendly and eager to ensure we had a great day whale watching.  Thanks for an experience we will never forget!

Date: 22/Aug/04

Report by: Mike & Diana Shaw

From: Kenya

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Orca whales, seals, sea lions. Quantities of sea birds even some salmon jumping
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
A very good informative talk from the captain and delightful live sound from the whales themselves (Were they easier to understand?) And a great crew!
 

Date: 21/Aug/04

Report by: Ellen Hatlmeier

From: Richmond, BC

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
We started out into the mist and rain (which was badly needed).  At Izumi Rock, the first dorsal fins appeared out of the fog.  We crossed the Strait over to Cracroft Point and drifted in the fog.  The orcas magically appeared out of the mist again and formed a resting line just off our port side.  Their calls were loud and clear, even above water.  They spyhopped, waved pectoral and flukes, as we all cheered.  Then the party moved to the stern, double and triple spyhops, rolling and waving.  Simply magical!
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
We saw A30’s, A24’s, All’s, and A5’s.  This was our last of six trips and thanks to Bill and crew for finishing it off with a bang!  Thanks for the awesome lunch and dessert, and your hospitality!

Date: 20/Aug/04

Report by: Miriam Bobkoff

From: Sante Fe, New Mexico

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):

We saw the T10s (T10, T10b, T10c) first off Pearse Passage, then watched them hunting the Stephenson Islets.  Then we watched them hunt in the Plumper Islands, and circled around for them to come out in Blackfish Sound.  They eventually continued to the east.  Harbour seals in various places and eagles.  T10c was observed eating a rhiocerous auklet.

Additional Comments:

Thank you for 5 lovely days.  P.S. - Helena says the following orcas have new babies this year:  A34, A52, A59, A42, C13, B14 and either D9 or D10.  Wowie zowie.


Date: 20/Aug/04

Report by: Ken Costea

From: Vancouver, BC

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
We were extremely fortunate to find three transient orcas (male, female, baby).  We tracked them for quite a while.  Although they were unsuccessful in their bid for some seals on one island (not for lack of trying), we did witness the young one prey on a rhinoceros auklet.  We stopped by the eagle nest.  The young look healthy – almost saw an eagle take one of the water birds.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Bill, Nicole, Nicola, and Tyson were amazing.  We tried feeding Tyson to the transient male – he took one sniff and swam away.  Great day.

Date: 19/Aug/04

Report by: Daphne Meyers

From: Fargo, ND, USA

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
We went east toward Robson Bight, but saw many orcas before getting close to the north end of the reserve (A30’s?).  Then witnessed fishing test (seine) – they had about 100 pieces (fish).  A young lad in a kayak got the “catch” of the day – a Chinook.  Then saw a humpback and finally on to an eagle’s nest where 2 young eagles and adult were seen.  The young ones are flying well.  In the same area there were 3 sea lions and 1 in the water.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Great day, good talk with Captain Bill and Tyson made an awesome lunch!  You’re all great – hope to see you soon!!

Date: 18/Aug/04

Report by: John Whitely

From: Alberta

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Today was an exceptional day; we started off in the fog and headed east down Johnstone Strait.  Then, there they were – out of the fog appeared the orcas, the A30 pod.  We enjoyed a fine lunch followed by more orcas and a humpback whale.  After dessert the sun came out and it warmed up nicely.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Bill’s speech about orcas was very informative; Nicola, Tyson and Nicole were great deckhands.  We will be back for sure!

Date: 17/Aug/04

Report by: Nicola Rehn

From: Hamburg, Germany

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
We went down Johnstone Strait where we found lots of orcas.  We tried to count them but it was impossible.  Our guess would be that we saw about 60 orcas.  We saw parts of the A and G clan (A30, G3, G29, A12?...)  We got to listen to nice vocals on the hydrophone.  Lots of excited calls and whistles.  We could see breaching whales, spy hopping, socializing and feeding.  In fact, we have been surrounded by orcas the whole day and we didn’t know where to look first.  It was so exciting.  In the middle of the orcas we suddenly spotted Pacific white-sided dolphins.  When we left the resident orcas on our way back home, we found a lone transient orca (T14).  So we saw both population – transients and resident orcas.  What an incredible day!  Awesome!
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
The crew was really friendly and knowledgeable.  I liked the soup but the best was definitely the dessert. Thank you for a wonder day on the water!

Date: 16/Aug/04

Report by: Chris Hails

From: Switzerland

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Down Johnstone Strait, saw pod A2 (5) resting.  Border of Robson Bight – pod A30 (about 14) in mid-water.  About 5 individuals on gravel beach.  Across to Wedge Island in Queen Charlotte Strait – humpback whale and large rafts of seabirds (about 15 species) and 3 Steller sea lions.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Great day and beautiful scenery and wildlife, made all the better by the knowledge and experience of the captain.  Good cakes too!!

Date: 15/Aug/04

Report by: Kevin Derhimer

From: Fort Myers, Florida

 

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):

 

Johnstone Strait, Robson Bight – we were part of an experiment to gauge orca behaviour in response to close ship encounters.  Saw A30’s, specifically A38, All’s, parts of A4’s and A5’s.  Finished the day with several close sightings of a humpback between Bold Head and Donegal.  Very good sightings of orca, some good vocalizations heard through the hydrophone. 


Date: 14/Aug/04

Report by: Lynden Parker

From: England

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
The whole trip has been most interesting, but perhaps the highlight was having lunch in a cove, watching a black bear with her two cubs, while our boat was surrounded by killer whales.  We also saw a young bald eagle trying out its wings, and listened to the sounds of the whales.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
A lovely, friendly, and educational trip.  Thank you.

Date: 13/Aug/04

Report by: Ryvr Tupper

From: West Vancouver, BC

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
A fantastic whale delight from Robson Bight, Johnstone Strait to Queen Charlotte Strait.  Orcas entertained us with tail slaps, spy hops and endless full body breaching.  We saw about 20 or more!  A definite enthusiastic experience of a lifetime.  At Queen Charlotte Strait we were gifted with the sight of one humpback.  An eminence being with a little odour to remind us of the sea’s scent.  Lovely group of guests from New Zealand, Australia, USA and us Canadians.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
The soup and the treats were an amazing part of our trip.  And Captain Bill, host (crew) Kristy and Nicola, our expert on the marine life made the trip beyond all our expectations.  Many blessing on each and every whale adventure.  Thanks for everything.  Especially the tea!!

Date: 12/Aug/04

Report by: Graham Elliott

From: St. Albans, England

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
A humpback whale on the way to the north, then lots of killer whales in families in Johnstone Strait.  A bonus was watching a test catch by a fishing boat doing a net catch then counting the fish.  They got 14 Chinook salmon and 1900 sockeye.  We saw the humpback whale close on our way back.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Interesting talk by Bill, our captain, about the whole whale preservation scene.  Lots of good information during the trip.  And excellent soup and roll lunch prepared by Tyson – friendly family atmosphere.  Chocolate cake too!

Date: 11/Aug/04

Report by: Mary, John, Kyle & Nora Rader

From: near Chicago, IL, USA

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Seeing a wide variety of marine life (such as humpback whale, dolphins, porpoises, harbour seals and a large number of orcas.  The underwater microphone added so much.  The eagle’s nest was an added bonus and the scenery incredible.  The entire trip was a highlight!!!
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
The entire crew was so friendly and made the trip very enjoyable, as well as educational.  Anyone in the area, whether a tourist or local, should definitely make Mackay a “for sure”.  Thanks for an awesome time!

Date: 10/Aug/04

Report by: Mike and Jan

From: Olympia, WA, USA

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
I41, A32, A36’s, G? and many more.  Initially the orcas were separated in small groups, feeding.  They re-grouped in the afternoon and rested.  The little ones did some tail slapping and breaching.  We also saw a black bear.  The first whale we saw was a large humpback very close to the rocks.  White-sided dolphins were swimming with the orcas.  Dall’s porpoises also swam close to the boat.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Great day – nice and sunny.  The food was great, especially the dessert.
    

Date: 09/Aug/04

Report by: Chris Hunt

From: Calgary, Alberta

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Glorious, warm and sunny day and great group from far and wide:  Japan, Germany and Wales!  A Minke whale was our first “guest” then a humpback whale came very close and stuck around.  Off to Lizard Point where pods A36’s, A12’s and I15’s were partying!  About 20 whales having the whale of a time and so were we!  Lovely lunch, great information session from Bill and off to Travel with Pacific white-sided dolphins and Dall’s porpoises.  No one wanted to go home – an amazing day!
 
Additional Comments:
 
Thanks to Mackay’s!
 

Date: 08/Aug/04

Report by: Yolanda

From: Vancouver/England/USA

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Into Johnstone Strait…saw the A pod dozing throughout the Strait.  Also saw the 3 males (John, Paul & Ringo) frolicking in the wake.  Then there were the eagles, seals and of course…the chocolate cake!
 
Additional Comments:
 
A great day!  Fabulous weather, superb company.  We were hoping Paddy would be thrown off for a swim, but we didn’t want to confuse the whales!  Paddy says we saw the G pod as well!_

Date: 07/Aug/04

Report by: Karin

From: San Francisco, California

 

 
Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
I am so happy!  I just finished a week of kayaking – we had a great time (even though it rained) and we were lucky to see orcas once.  Today, on the Naiad we headed down Johnstone Strait past Robson Bight and we saw orcas everywhere!  It was a great day, far beyond anything I expected.
 
Additional Comments:
 
The Mackay family did a great job on board giving us a mini-class in Orca 101, along with a super lunch.  I can’t wait to come back to beautiful Vancouver Island!

Date: 06/Aug/04

Report by: Sandra & Tony

From: Biddeford, Maine, USA

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Went to Turn Point.  Saw many, many orca and for a very long time.  Dall’s porpoises, eagles, harbour seals.  Great viewing and very respectful of the whales.  Saw orcas and dolphins swimming together!
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
WOW!  Let’s say that again – WOW!  What a great day.  Fantastic whale watching, super crew, wonderful lunch.  This was an awesome day.  I can’t say enough good things about today.  Guests from Holland, Switzerland and Germany.  It can not get any better than this.  Thank you for a perfect day.  We would do this again ay time.
    

Date: 05/Aug/04

Report by: Ralf & Hlga Schmidke

From: Vanocuver

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
We saw lots of orcas and a humpback whale.  The Broughton Archipelago was really nice and we had a wonderful time.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
We would recommend it to anyone.  Wonderful!

Date: 04/Aug/04

Report by: Tibor & Andrea

From: Hungary

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Half an hour later, we had left, we found ourselves surrounded by 50 dolphins.  They were following our vessel surfing on the side waves.  Little later on we noticed our first orca – and this was only the beginning.  We were watching groups of killer whales and huge “lonely” males for hours.  Some of them got very close to the boat waiting for the pictures to be taken.  One time we could see them all around us.  Awesome!
 
Additional Comments:
 
You guys did an excellent job!  We had a wonderful time; we will remember this trip forever!  A big thanks for everything!
 

Date: 03/Aug/04

Report by: Ander & Vandra

From: Luxembourg

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
We saw a humpback whale and a huge transient orca, some seals and a lot of eagles.  The humpback whale came out of the water three times, showing us his tail and was gone again.  The orca was alone and we heard his clicking sounds.  It was wonderful to hear that. He also splashed his tale on the water.  I think he was feeling comfortable.
 
Additional Comments:
 
We had a good time on board and would do it again with the Mackay’s.  They are a lot of funny, engaging guys.  Thanks for this trip!

Date: 02/Aug/04

Report by: Sean, Keara & Ruby

From: Philadelphia

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Baby whale playing.  Bear on shore.  Eagle in nest.  Nanaimo bars!!!  Humpback whale.  Minke whale.  Pacific white-sided dolphins.  Dall’s porpoise. Orca 101.  ORCAS.  Potato Leek soup was great.  Navigation map in lower cabin.
 
Additional Comments:
 
The educational comments/info throughout the trip were very helpful.  We also appreciated Bill’s sense of humour.

Date: 01/Aug/04

Report by: Mary Bluhm

From: Corpus Christi, Texas

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
We went around Malcolm Island into Blackfish Sound and observed A12’s, A36’s (the Big boys!) and perhaps some G clan orca.  We saw Pacific white-sided dolphins (about 100).  Also saw Dall’s porpoise.  Observed bald eagles and a pink salmon in distress.  Bald eagle guarding a very large nest – and three large Steller sea lions!  WHAT A DAY!  Fabulous!
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
This was GREAT!  We passengers were from Switzerland, Germany, New Zealand, Netherlands, Qatar, USA (Utah, Ohio, Texas), UK – quite a varied group of people.  Also people from Ottawa and BC. Food was wonderful; Captain as teacher is a natural at this – you are doing a marvellous job! 
 

Date: 31/Jul/04

Report by: Linda & Francois

From: Qualicum Beach (Montreal & Newfoundland originally)

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
 
Many whales in many places; they waned and played and moved in close to shore for rubbing their noses.  We saw eagles, an eagle’s nest, a seal basking the in the sun, barges and a cruise ship.
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
We were from many places internationally:  Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Bahamas and locally from all over B.C.  The pea soup was awesome as were our dual captains, Bill and Tyson.

Date: 30/Jul/04

Report by: John K. Marjorie

From: Holland

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
It was a beautiful day at the ocean with an international group of people, but also a variety of wildlife.  We saw a few transient orcas appearing and disappearing everywhere; sometimes far away and a few times pretty close.  After that we saw a big group of resident orcas (lot of the A clan).
 
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
It was a great trip, good soup and great pointers!!  Conclusion:  It was an awesome trip; or in Dutch:  Geweldig.
 

Date: 29/Jul/04

Report by: Christine Jones

From: Cheltenham, England

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
We went up Johnstone Strait – after a very witty and educational lesson, we then realized that we saw the grandson of the “original” A1 orca.  Saw an amazing breach – missed photo opportunity.  I can’t believe how awesome the sights were of scenery and orcas.
 
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
Crew were extremely warm and friendly – wonderful soup and delicious carrot cake.  What an amazing way to spend your days – what a great family.

Date: 28/Jul/04

Report by: Clarence Briand

From: North Battleford, SK

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
We went NW off Port Hardy and we saw small and larger groupings of orcas.  We stopped to watch a seiner catching salmon, most likely sockeye. We left under heavy cloud and cool weather but the sun soon broke through and everyone warmed up.
 
 
 
Additional Comments:
 
The scenery was spectacular, the captain and crew congenial and the orcas took everyone’s breath away.  The craft is comfortable at cruising speed and ideally designed for whale watching.  Thanks to captain and crew!

Date: 27/Jul/04

Report by: Vivian Krause

From: North Vancouver, BC

 

Trip Highlights (where we went, what we saw):
We had a superb day.  Everything about it was great, especially seeing the whales porpoise from far in the distance, and seeing them approach closer and closer to us as if they were coming to people watch.  We never expected to be swarmed by whales out in the middle of Johnstone Strait.  It was also special to watch Mr. Martin pull in his set of sockeye salmon.  We bet he wis