Samantha Clayton caught some photos of the orca whales as they passed by Canal Waterfront Park on Friday, March 29. SAMANTHA CLAYTON PHOTO

Trio of whales spotted in Alberni Inlet

Orcas take quick visit along Port Alberni’s waterfront

Jeffrey Stites and his wife, Maria Madeo, decided to take advantage of the nice weather on Friday, March 29 and take an afternoon cruise in their boat down Alberni Inlet. It turned out to be a unique trip for the couple, as they spent a couple of hours watching three whales in the Inlet.

“We are pretty new to boating,” Stites said. “First time we’ve seen killer whales.”

The couple first spotted the whales around 4 p.m. across from China Creek Marina, as they were heading down the Inlet. They were able to watch them for a couple of hours before heading back to Port Alberni. The whales stayed several hundred metres ahead of the boat as Stites and Madeo made their way slowly back to the dock at Harbour Quay.

Dozens of people who had heard about the whales went to Harbour Quay to see if they could spot the sleek orcas; some were rewarded with a sneak peek. The orcas didn’t stay too long in the harbour before heading back down the Inlet.

Two pods of orcas had been spotted further down the Inlet by crews of the MV Frances Barkley a couple of weeks ago.

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Word spread quickly that orcas had been spotted in Alberni Inlet, drawing people down to the Harbour Quay pier to see if they could spot the whales. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

One of three orcas that swam up Alberni Inlet by Harbour Quay surfaces to take a breath, Friday, March 29. The whales came up as far as the pier at the quay before turning around and making their way back down the Inlet. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

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