Resident Orcas Off San Juan Island

Anacortes:

Highlights:
Rhinoceros auklets in Guemes Channel
Harbor seals on rocks near Shark Reef
Bald eagles throughout the entire trip
Resident orcas (members of J and K pods)!!

We had an awesome trip filled with tons of orcas!  We spent time with members of the J14s and K16s off Eagle Point on the westside of San Juan Island.  The weather was great and so were the whales!

La Conner: 

Highlights:
SO many great blue herons
Bald eagles
White pelicans off March Point
Black oystercatchers at Swirl Rocks
Steller sea lion at Whale Rocks
Resident orcas (members of J pod)

What an amazing day on the water!  We left the dock and headed north out of the slough past the train bridge and down Guemes Channel passing the Anacortes waterfront.  We made it over to the westside of San Juan Island where we spent time with members of Jpod resident orcas : L87, J22, J38, J16, J26, J42, J50, J19, J41, and J51.  Great whale time all before heading to lunch in Fisherman’s Bay on Lopez Island.  After lunch we made our way back toward out dock in La Conner through Deception Pass.  Beautiful.



p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13.0px Arial; color: #232323; -webkit-text-stroke: #232323}
span.s1 {font-kerning: none}

from Blogger http://ift.tt/2ufZt0t
via IFTTT

Double-Header from Anacortes and Double-Digit Humpbacks from Port Angeles



Anacortes Highlights:
T65A Transient Orcas
Humpback BCZ0180 “Monarch”
Harbor Seals
Harbor Porpoise


Sunny and calm with just a slight ocean swell when out in the Strait. We encountered harbor porpoise in Rosario Strait and then made a slow down near the south end of Lopez Island where we found multiple harbor seals hauled out, pigeon guillemots, and a mature bald eagle perched on Swirl Rocks.  South of Salmon Bank we found a humpback identified as BCZ0180 (Monarch).  Monarch’s breath patterns were a bit unpredictable today, but we saw some gorgeous flukes twice. Next we headed north up Haro Strait into Canada and trekked up to Beaver Point where transient orcas, the T65As, were headed southbound. T65A3 was alone leading the group with her family trailing behind. We went a long way to get them but it was worth it.  We headed home inner island, ending a sunshine filled day and two species under our belt!





Port Angeles Highlights:
Too Many Humpbacks to Count
Sparring Elephant Seals
Sea Otter
Bald Eagle


What a beautiful day awaited us. Blue skies, flat seas and the Olympic Mountains in full view along with Mt Baker in the distance. A few harbor seals popped up alongside us as we idled out of the harbor.Harbor porpoise were spotted breaking the surface of the water as we cruised in the straits. Not long after we spotted our first whale of the day ..a humpback whale named Stitch. He was feeding in the current lines  and staying at the surface  on a regular basis. A lot of direction changes brought him close to our boat and he seemed to want to feed right near us rolling on his side a few times showing  us half flukes . As we watched we could see other whale watch boats in the distance and  they also had 2-3 whales around them and we had 2 more off to our side feeding not far from stitch. We could see at least 8 or more humpback whales. We finally broke away from stitch and headed over to race rocks  with 3 more humpbacks surfacing not far from us. All the whales were feeding near the surface and were not really flaking so identities were kept hidden from us. At Race Rocks  we got great views of the lighthouse and all the harbor seals hauled out on the rocks. Black oystercatchers and pigeon guillemots  speckled the rocks. Ollie the sea otter was wrapped up in kelp and trying to be inconspicuous. We got lucky and had some good looks at the elephant seals as a few males decided to spar it out. We continued on our way heading back across the straits and  found 5 more humpbacks and once again they were feeding close to the surface and made many close passes by the boat. One even rolled on his side bringing up his white pectoral fin close enough we could see the barnacles on it..As the day  continued we  found ourselves having to say goodby to our friends and head for home. We couldn’t have asked for a better day!

from Blogger http://ift.tt/2tYlz7t
via IFTTT

Are you in the La Conner area and looking for something fun and affordable to do this weekend? We have 2.5-hour Deception Pass wildlife tours tonight and tomorrow tonight departing from downtown La Conner at 6:00 PM. Tickets are just $29 plus taxes and fees per person! Call 1-800-465-4604 or visit www.orcawhales.com to make your reservation. #visitskagit, #exploreskagit, #magicskagit, #skagitvalley

via Island Adventures Whale Watching http://ift.tt/2rM0xID

If anyone is close to Anacortes and looking to get out on the water this evening, we do have orcas VERY close to Anacortes today!!! We are hoping for lots and lots of time with this animals on the afternoon tour — Boarding time is 3PM for a 3:30PM departure (4-5 hour long tour). Tickets only $79+taxes and fees per adult and kids (age 3-17) only $49+taxes and fees! Come on in and see us for a great evening on the water aboard the Island Explorer 5!!

via Island Adventures Whale Watching http://ift.tt/2tudLeq

Transient Orcas, Close-Up Humpbacks, and GOATS!

Anacortes Highlights:
T2C Transient Orcas
GOATS!
Harbor Seals
Bald Eagles
We started down Guemes Channel passing harbor porpoise and cormorants, then north up Rosario Strait.  There were plenty of harbor seals on south Peapod and a mature bald eagle on north Peapod.  We continued north and eventually crossed into Canada for our whale sighting today, the transient family the T2C’s that aren’t often spotted here.  We followed them for quite a while, from Java Rocks to Monarch Head where we also found one of the neatest sightings – a huge group of billy goats on the rocks near the water.  After meeting back up with the orcas (complete with a few tail slaps and a spy hop!) we traveled south along the east side of Sucia Island and found more eagles and a California sea lion snoozing on a buoy north of Guemes!
Port Angeles Highlights:
Multiple Humpbacks
Bald Eagle
Elephant Seals


Another beautiful day out in the straits even though it was rainy onshore thanks to the rain shadow effect. We headed off to find whales but had to stop at the harbor entrance to admire two male California sea lions basking on the buoy. We had a bald eagle perched on a pole outside the coast guard station allowing us great looks and harbor seals  stared at us from the water wondering what we were looking at. We found our first whale not far off just north of the Elwha River  in the current lines. As we watched it became apparent there were  two humpback whales in a slow sleeping mode just heading west . We stayed with them for a while and then a third humpback appeared not far from our duo. Two of our humpbacks turned out to be one named Boulder and the other one was BCX1193 Zig Zag.The third appeared to be a new whale not in the official ID guides, but nicknamed “Hemlock”. As we continued on with out whales a fourth whale appeared and this humpback was one we know as Nike. We were able to identify them by the underside of their flukes as the raised them out of the water letting everyone see the difference with 3 black flukes and one with quite a bit of white. With Race Rocks not too far off we continued our search for whales and headed to Race Rocks getting beautiful looks at the granite lighthouse. Harbor seals were aplenty today dotting almost all the lower rocky ledges. California sea lions and stellar sea lions  had their favorite spots on the higher rocks. A real great treat was the 5 elephant seals we got to see…two of which were hauled out allowing us to see just how really big they are  being our largest pinniped. A mated pair of bald eagles sat atop the rocks survey their domain. Heading home and always on the lookout  we saw a whale in the distance breach three times but he settled down before we  got  close to him . He was feeding and heading west so we eventually had to part ways  and head back to port. All in all a perfectly fine day to be out on the water.

from Blogger http://ift.tt/2sirJT7
via IFTTT

Just how big IS a humpback whale? 🐋 Our Port Angeles team found out tonight while posing next to a life-size model of one of our favorite local whales, “Big Mama”, following a talk by Cascadia Research Collective’s John Calambokidas at Peninsula College. We’ve been seeing plenty of humpbacks from all three of our departure locations in recent weeks. Very cool!

via Island Adventures Whale Watching http://ift.tt/2rvsx5H