It is hard to determine what happened in this photo which shows a humpback whale slowly sliding backward into the water as I was not present when the photo was taken. Lunge feeding occurs when a whale comes up suddenly under a school of herring and comes out of the water with its mouth wide open engulfing the herring and spraying water everywhere. Not mush spraying here. Not enough splash to be the remainder of a breach. My guess would be a young humpback after a less than successful lunge or maybe one that has been watching to many orca spyhopping?
The whale watching trips from the lodge on BC’s Minstrel Island travel about fifty minutes to Johnstone Strait and along the shore of Vancouver Island to find orca. The resident (fish eating) orca spend their summers working this area in search of the larger spring salmon. The whale watching guidelines require that we remain a hundred meters (yards) from the orca so if they are coming up the straits the boats will line up parallel to the line of travel for a good view. Engines off we wait for the orca to pass but at times they will do a ninety-degree turn and pass between waiting boats or in this case start to feed on salmon.
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