What a gorgeous, flat calm, sunshine-filled day on the water!
We began our trip with a few harbor porpoise swimming in the waters of Rosario Strait. At Pointer Island, we spotted several harbor seals hauled out, and we could hear the black oystercatchers chipping away as well! We headed through the inner islands and found a turkey vulture soaring and two mature bald eagles perched on Willow Island. We continued through Upright Channel and stopped by Whale Rocks to check out the Steller sea lions! As Captain Scott powered up the from our slow down, he slowed right back down! We had orcas dead ahead! It was a group of marine mammal eating orcas! It was the T49As (T49A, T49A1, T49A2, T49A3, T49A4) and T49C! The two big males, T49A1 and T49C came right by the boat! The other group came along our port side. It wasn’t long before the big males quickly joined the other orcas! The hunt was on! There was a group of at least four Steller sea lions that were all grouped up, we saw some quick movements and a little bit of blood, but most of the hunting was done underneath the surface! It was incredible to see these orcas circle the Steller sea lions, who were on high alert! The sea lions were swimming in a tight circle, splashing a lot. Eventually, it looked like the orcas were bored, so they continued north through Cattle Pass. We watched them for a bit longer, but then we headed off because there was another surprise around the corner! It wasn’t long before we had a humpback whale in sight! Doubleheader! Our whale was swimming in zigzags all over the place! Eventually, we were able to identify her as MMY0006, also known as Windy! We had a couple of great looks as she passed by our boat! Then, she surfaced right under the bow! It was amazing! Some of our customers experienced whale breath! We had fantastic looks at her as she fluked right next to us! That was a phenomenal finale! We departed and headed back toward home another direction. We did a slow down at the south end of Lopez Island and Castle Rock. We found a bald eagles’ nest and several turkey vultures were soaring high in the sky! We cruised on home under blue skies with two different species of whales for the day! Awesome!