You could say today was good but you’d be wrong, because today was a spectacular day with Lpod!!!
As I opened my eyes this morning and peered out through the sliding glass door of the Halcyon I could already see the light blue skies that were encompassing the Salish sea. The night before the wind and waves had come in hard and fast and it almost felt surreal to see the smoke from the mill slowly lingering upward into the sky, as a pose to blowing far to the east. As I cracked open the doors to the outer realm a warm breeze blue in, the smell of lumber clung to the air and the cries of gulls echoed passed the boat house.
I knew today the seas would be kind and that Calypso had already regretted her actions from the past day. As I walked over to the Island Explorer 4 I could already hear music playing and smell food cooking in the galley. When I stepped over the riser and into the door I spied Justin hard at work, cooking up the delicious treats of the day. Captain Carls footstep were heard coming from the upper deck and the work cycle had begun.
At 10 o’clock the bells of Port Angeles began to ring and with that we made our way up the dock. Rounding the final corner we spotted our guests, standing along the dock with anticipation. The sun sitting high above us sending down hot rays of golden uv. The wind softly dancing upon our shoulders and faces as we walked, pigeon guilemonts chirping as they searched for breakfast. The trip had already begun and we had not even left the dock.
As we left the marina we began to scan for wildlife. The logs that had previously been home to dozens of harbor seals now lay dormant and the birds that had been in the area appeared to be out in search of food. Captain Carl turned the IE4 east and maneuvered through the now full harbor. Making his way between tankers as we weaved our way out into the Salish sea. With the Olympic mountain range behind us we turned west and began a run toward Vancouver and the western area of the Straits of Juan de Fuca.
Soon harbor porpoise began to pop up around the boat feeding in current lines and all around enjoying the day. We took in some great looks at Race rocks light house before pushing on westward. As we went rhinoceros auklets began to pop up here and there along the surface and just like their guilemonts friends they were searching for food.
As the IE4 passed Shelter bay Captain Carl came over the p.a. to inform us we had whales ahead, and not just any whales, Lpod whales. With this the excitement grew, guests prepared their cameras and donned their hats and coats and began to venture out onto the open decks of the IE4. It wasn’t long before they were spotting dorsal fins ahead and fingers were pointed with exuberance. The waters lay flat all around the boat and whales began to dance and play for the guests.
After joining the group, Captain Carl began to move with the whales. At first with just two animals but soon he moved on to a nice group of youngsters ready to play. Not long after that the whales activities began to pickup. Tails draped in bull kelp and upside down whales lay all around the boat. Then just of the port bow a young whale decided to spy hop giving the customers exactly what they paid for.
Soon time ran down and it was time to head back to shore. The whales had suddenly begun taking long deep dives and it was clear they were readying themselves for sleep. Slowly they began to close the gaps between groups and move inward toward shore. As the IE4 turned Nigel and another orca appeared out of nowhere!!!! They were screaming along full speed and porpoising high out of the water as they were catching the rest of Lpod. As they passed the IE4 the guests were able to take in many good looks at the massive creatures and with that the IE4 turned back east and returned to her dock. Along the way she was joined by many more harbor porpoise and harbor seals as well as countless sea birds.
It was an amazing day to be out on the water and to see Lpod in the west was a spectacular thing. What a great day we had on the IE4!!!!