Today’s wildlife viewing began as soon as passengers boarded the Island Explorer 4. The first marine mammal to greet our passengers was a Harbor Seal swimming in the marina, likely chasing in some yummy fish. After we passed the Ediz Hook and entered the open waters of Juan de Fuca Strait, it did not take long to see our next marine mammal. It was a California Sea Lion! The sea lion’s splashing caught the captains attention. As we got a closer look, we noticed that the Sea lion had something in its mouth. After viewing with our binoculars and examining photos taken, it appeared that the Sea Lion was eating a Dogfish or another type of small shark. The Sea Lion continued to splash around, with the shark tail hanging out of its mouth, until finally it dove underwater and disappeared from our view. We continued our search along the open waters. Suddenly, an actively looking passenger noticed a whitish plume rising from the waters followed by a dark body. She quickly got my attention and we continued scanning the area where the plume and dark body were last seen. Minutes went by and just when our sharp eyed passenger was about to think that maybe her eyes tricked her, a large exhalation blow and a dark body were spotted again and again. It was 2 Humpback Whales swimming together! We were extra lucky that both whales often brought their flukes out of the water during their deep dives allowing passengers to take wonderful whale tail photos. *Including the pictures attached to this blog, taken by season pass holder Lee Leddy.
After spending over an hour enjoying the two Humpback Whales, we said our goodbyes and headed into Canadian waters towards Race Rocks Island. Our visit to Race Rocks Island was awesome. As the waters raced passed the nearby rocks, demonstrating the namesake of the island, passengers were treated to viewings of California Sea Lions, Harbor Seals and a couple very large Elephant Seals. What a wonderful day out on the waters.