April 22, 2018

Anacortes

 We got some much needed vitamin D today. The sun was shining and the wind mild. As we turned the corner at Cap Sante lookout, Captain Carl spotted six Turkey vultures gathered on the rockside! There must have been food in the area to see so many concentrated like that. With no reports to begin the trip with, we tried our luck and turned north up Rosario Strait. We stopped at the Peapods to see what we could find. Sure enough, harbor seals were hauled out in droves, a Canada goose was foraging in the water, a great blue heron took flight over the islands, and two bald eagles perched high upon the rocks. We continued northward, cruising by a massive gathering of Bonaparte gulls diving into a bait ball at the eastern most point of Orcas Island. We stopped at Sucia Island to check out the brawling Steller sealions hauled out on the coastline. A bald eagle was perched high in the treetops above them. We continued north up the Strait of Georgia and met up with humpback whale “Zigzag” (BCX1193) north of Tumbo Island. This whale was aptly named, zigzagging all over the strait in a rather erratic fashion. We got some beautiful looks at its fluke and dorsal fin as it sounded. In the midst of all the whale action, we were all given even more reason to celebrate as a proposal took place on the bow! She said yes! It seemed that Zigzag felt like celebrating too because just as we were turning to depart, it started pec slapping over and over and over again! Truly, it just kept going, there must have been at least 20 slaps before it would stop to breath and then continue again. Unreal. A memorable trip indeed. 

Everett  

Morning –– 10 AM

The day started off beautifully with blue skies and the sun warming the area quickly. We left the dock and headed up Jetty island to check out a local Osprey nest. The ospreys were home and we got some amazing looks at them as we made the turn to head around Jetty island. As we cruised back down Jetty island we found a bald eagle on one of the pilings before continuing out to open water. We found our first whales just off the south end of Hat island and we got some amazing looks as the whales socialized in the area. The whales turned out to be 383 and 49 Patch and we got a great show from them both. 383 was more than happy to show us his flukes and just before we departed the scene even Patch showed his flukes to us. From there we headed up in Port Susan and found another bald eagle perched along the hillside waiting for some fish. We left the eagle to it’s hunting and traveled down around Camano Head. We headed up Saratoga Passage and just a little north of Langley we found a gray whale feeding in the shallows. This whale put on a great show with multiple feedings and after some close looks we were able to determine it was 723 Lucifer. Time unfortunately ran out and we had to head back but all and all it was an amazing adventure on the water this morning.

Afternoon –– 2 PM

This evenings weather was absolutely stunning. As we left the dock a slight breeze kicked up and brought in a slight chill but it soon died off leaving behind gorgeous blue skies. We left the dock and went north up Jetty island to investigate our local Osprey. Both birds were home in the nest and gave us some great looks at a mating display. It didn’t last long as a bald eagle came into the area and one Osprey moved off to defend its territory. The ordeal didn’t last long before the Osprey went and landed on a piling to rest. Continuing down Jetty island we found another bald eagle having issues with the local birds. It was an immature eagle and it was being heavily harassed by a small bird. It was a great start and from there we continued out into the open waters. As we traveled along our trip took us north in search of whales and it didn’t take long until Captain Nate found our first one. It was 383 and he was headed north in Saratoga passage very quickly. We moved on scene and began getting some great looks as he travelled along and was showing off some great flukes. We followed him just a ways north of Camano Head and got some amazing looks before Nate found us a second whale. It turned out to be CR185 and it was traveling north very close to shore. As we got on scene 185 moved off shore and came out to visit us. We got some amazing looks and the whale even began logging at the surface for a while. Time ran short again and so we traveled back to the south. As we passed between Camano Island and Hat island some splashing caught our eye and we went to investigate. It was a large California sea lion tear apart a small dog fish. It didn’t take long as the sea lion was thrashing heavily back and forth and really going at it with the dog fish. Once the sea lion realized we were watching he quickly swallowed the rest of the dogfish whole!!! After that captain Nate came in clutch one more time for us and spotted the blows of another whale. When we got on scene we got some very great looks at what turned out to be two whales. The whales were 53 and 22 and we got some very close views and even got to enjoy a few good WiFi’s of whale breath. Once again time ran short and we had to return to the dock. It was a perfect day on the water and a magnificent experience with all the wild life in the area!!!

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April 16, 2018

Everett

Calm seas and overcast skies greeted us as we pulled away from the dock this morning. On our cruise out of the Marina, we stopped to visit with some rather sleepy California sea lions who were hauled out on the aquatic fencing. We continued west towards Hat Island where we saw our first spout of the day, but we continued north towards Langley in search of more whales that had been reported earlier that morning. Sure enough, we met Sounder #531 sleeping just south of Camano Head, and two other grays (Little Patch and another unknown individual) swimming side by side towards Langley. We got some fun up close looks at all three of these individuals as they cruised through the placid waters of Saratoga Passage. Once we left Little Patch and his friend, we met back up with #531 who gave us a magnificent up close look at her fluke. We also spotted two mature bald eagles perched along the shoreline of Cameno Head. On the return trip home we circled back to find that first spout we had spotted. It turned out to be Patch foraging near Hat Island. We said hello to our sealion friends as we made our way back towards the dock, their numbers had grown some in the past few hours, and they greeted us with a cacophony of barks. All-in-all, a calm and peaceful morning out on Puget Sound. 

– Sam

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#Repost @melrul14 with @get_repost ・・・ A sort-of spyhop in Saratoga Passage yesterday! . . . #graywhale #whale #pnw #whidbeyisland #camanoisland #nikon #nikonphotography #nikond7200 #wildlifephotography #pnwonderland #washingtonstate

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