The Sun shone as we enjoyed a wonderful day observing wildlife. The wildlife observing began even before we passed Ediz Hook. In fact, just as soon as we left the marina, Captain Carl spotted a California Sea Lion swimming along close by. We slowed the boat and passengers enjoyed watching the Sea Lion swimming, occasionally diving down under water. While watching for the Sea Lion to resurface, a Harbor Seal popped up behind the boat. Two animals spotted even before we entered the open waters. Amazing! After we passed Ediz Hook, our open water journey began in a North Eastern direction. However, we did not get very far before a passenger spotted a tall dorsal fin off to the west. Captain Carl turned towards the large Orca fin. We enjoyed long looks at this Orca as we stayed alongside him while he traveled west. Eventually, a British Columbia boat came over to visit and helped us identify the Orca as U-39 (initially heard as E39). This is a whale not commonly seen in our waters, especially during this time of the year. So, it was a special treat. After some great looks at U39, we decided to depart and head into the Canadian waters in search for more wildlife. We made our way towards Vancouver Island, close enough to see the tall lighthouse on Race Rocks Island when another whale was spotted. It was a humpback whale! Lucky for us, the humpback whale showed us her flukes so she could be identified. It was BCY0324 “Big Mama”. She was a joy to watch as she kept her deep dives short. Being far from home, we had to say our goodbye to Big Mama and make our way back to Port Angeles, but not before seeing Orca, U39 one more time. While enjoying U39, suddenly a Harbor Seal popped up just along the side of the boat. It was that seal’s lucky day to be passed up by a transient orca. And it was our lucky day to get to enjoy such a wonderful day out at sea.
**Photo credit to season pass holder Lee Leddy**