Weynton Passage and Blackney Passage are narrow and relatively shallow areas between Queen Charlotte Strait and Johnstone Strait. Weynton Passage is situated on the north side of Johnstone Strait to the west of Hanson Island, while Blackney Passage is situated to the East of it. Due to them being shallow and narrow, they form a restricted passage to the tides that flow four times a day between Queen Charlotte Strait and Johnstone Strait. The nature of such a restriction means the water flows faster here than it does in the surrounding area. Think of it as a river that changes direction with each change of the tide.
Fast flowing water causes more water and hence more food to flow through a given area in a given time. More available food means more creatures to feed on it and these creatures are from the bottom of the food chain, all the way to the top. Among the large marine mammals that inhabit northern Vancouver Island, this area is especially suited to the Humback Whale and its system of feeding. It is the biggest animal we regularly see, but it feeds on some of the smallest. Being a baleen whale, its favored feeding technique is to widely open its huge mouth and take a giant gulp of water. Rather than swallow all of this water, it expels it by closing its mouth forcing the water through the baleen curtains along its jaws. Water goes though but the tiny krill and small fish stay stuck to the inside. One big sweep of the tounge and down it all goes.
The fast flowing water means we cannot always spend much time in this region, but when we can; sightings can be spectacular.