Port Angeles- After a day with no whales it was time for change, for bad luck to turn good, and ugly weather to become beautiful, and today it happened!!!!
As the morning sun rose upon the peninsula it’s glorious rays were shrouded by a thick layer of clouds. A light breeze bumbled through the air with no significnt direction and dark ominous clouds rose in the east. The Island Explorer 4 sat just outside the door of the boat house, like a gladiator awaiting the rise of the gates to the colosseum. Weather reports contradicting each other as usual cast a shadow upon what lay ahead for the days voyage.
At 0830 the work began, cushions were secured and coffee began to brew down in the galley. A feeling of necessity hung in the air, a necessity to succeed, to complete the mission ahead, a mission for whale!!! The crew exchanged their usual banter of the night before and the dreams of the day, and Captain Carl secured the Island Explorer 4 preparing her for the voyage that lay ahead. Eagles soared in the clouds gracing us with their calls as we dried decks and wiped windows.
1000 The preparations are complete and we have headed up to greet the explorers of the day. I open the main gate and welcome in all the excited souls that would later board the IE4. As Captain Carl greets the passengers, standing aloft a railing nap long the docks, I make my way through the crowd. Passing through accents and other languages I sense only the excitement in the air.
1030 with lines released and the IE4 underway the adventure has begun. The gray clouds still canvasse the sky like a goose down blanket but are lit by the sun burning brightly upon them. They cast a beautiful gray hue upon the water, and as waves roll off the bow of the IE4 they bend and curve upon the strings of a beautiful masterpiece!!!!
1038 Harbor seals begin to pop up around the boat they’re curious puppy dog faces looking at us wondering where we might be venturing as we wonder the same. With this captain call turn the boat
north toward the San Jaun islands. The adventure had begun and what they had was a mystery butt the excitement begin to grow!!!!
1135 Seabirds have begun to pop up around the boat including rhinoceros auklets Brants cormorants and even the occasional pidgeon guillemot. With the clouds casting a nice gray color upon the sea all wildlife was easily spotted from the IE4. Canada laying in the distance Vancouver Island to our west captain Carl pushed the IE4 towards the islands of the San Juan in pursuit of any and all wildlife that may lay head.
1200 We have begun to pass by Vancouver Island we’ve left Discovery Island in our wake. Captain Carl has steered us north toward San Juan Island and the hopes of victory. Concerned looks began to rise amongst those who rode the IE4. What lay ahead? Would it be the whales we seeked or the dark seas we regret meeting. We were in the hands of Calypso now, past the point of no return, and not driving 55 on the highway to the danger zone!!!!!
1230 Whales ahead!!! All the work has paid off!!!! As Captain Carl slowly approached the whales the excitement exploded!!! The resident orca whales knew we had come and began their show. Tail slap after tail slap followed by spy hops and breaches. The magnificent creatures began to paint a portrait of awesome upon the surface of the Salish sea!!!! Silence fell upon the IE4 as guests took in the beauty before them!!!
1330(1:30) The IE4 has departed scene with so much activity and wonder. Countless fluke slaps followed by spy hops and a few breaches made the show one to remember. All of Jpod had come together, bringing with them the love of a million orca whales. What an amazing show!!!
1430 we have waved good bye to whales and said hello to calm seas and blue skies. The Olympic mountain range standing tall in the distance beckoning the IE4 home. A voyage which lay potential for even more glory.
1545 The IE4 triumphantly returns to her marina. Lines are dressed and as smoothly as she left the IE4 touches back to the dock. Captain Carl and the crew shake hands and smile as the guests depart. What an amazing trip we had amongst the Salish sea!!!! One which will forever remain in my memory!!!
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