We find the orcas! In nothing but sunshine!

Anacortes

We left the marina today with a little cloud cover, but that soon gave way to sunshine! We spotted some cormorants, pigeon guillemots and rhinoceros auklets as we began to cruise south down Rosario Strait! It wasn’t long before, “Captain Carl, 1 o’clock!!! We have dorsal fins!” We were so ecstatic to find the whales! It wasn’t long before we identified the pair of orcas as T93 and T97 (which, in case you, the reader, happen to be an avid whale report reader, might like to note, our boat found these two whales almost exactly one year ago, to the day, May 14, 2014! Crazy!)! The whales were surfacing pretty regularly. T97 passed right by the bow of the boat. It was about that time, the whales changed behavior and started circling and blowing bubbles and making some quick movements! We even got a huge spyhop from one of them! It was incredible. We never saw any visible lunch, but because of their change in behavior, we are assuming the hunting was all taking place under the surface! They continued north and passed by Bird Rocks, without even slowing down to check out any harbor seals. We tried to leave the orcas and head north on our search to see if anything else was out there, and Captain Carl turned us right toward a group of Dall’s porpoise! We (the crew on board today), have never seen Dall’s porpoise in Rosario Strait! They weren’t really interested in playing with us, maybe their attention was more directed at the orcas that were in their vicinity! The orcas turned south, back toward us again, so we head with them along the Decatur Island shoreline! Eventually, we did peel off to check out the south end of Lopez Island and Castle Rock. We found several harbor seals hauled out on Colville Island! We rounded the corner to head north up Rosario Strait and we were met by our orca friends! They were still headed our way! They started acting like they were hunting again (no visible prey) and we even got another huge spyhop! The last pass of the day was by far the most incredible! Both whales surfaced repeatedly as they crossed our bow! We were all in awe. We couldn’t have asked for a better finale, so we headed on home and slowed down along the Burrows Island shoreline and found a mature bald eagle. He was perched in a tree. Then, an immature bald eagle flew in and perched in another tree! After that, another mature bald eagle came screaming in toward the immature bald eagle who promptly took flight and they disappeared behind the island. We continued to cruise on home under beautiful blue skies and warm(ish) temperatures!

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