Humpbacks & Orcas = Great Day

Port Angeles.

Highlights:
*Humpback Whale MMZ0004 spotted at Rock Pile area.
*More Humpbacks, at least 3, seen off shore from Pedder Bay on Vancouver Island.
*Over an hour spent with Resident Orcas. Members seen included J27″Blackberry”, J
*Multiple Spy Hops seen while watching the Orcas swim eastbound towards San Juan Island.
*Another Humpback Whale, appeared to be one seen near Vancouver Island earlier, sighted just North of Ediz Hook.

*Photo Credit to Lee Leddy*

Naturalist Log:
The Juan de Fuca strait delivered a great day for our wildlife adventure. The sun was shining bright and the seas were calm, in some spots the water was as calm as glass. The whales must have also enjoyed the wonderful Strait today as there were many whales spotted today. Our first whale was a Humpback Whale near the Rock Pile area. The tall exhalations of Humpback whale MMZ0004 was first spotted by a sharp eyed passenger. After a few looks at the Humpback we were treated to a wonderful view of MMZ0004’s tail with the vibrant white underside. We decided to explore more areas of the Strait and headed towards Vancouver Island. As we approached more exhalations were spotted off shore of Pedder Bay. There were more Humpback Whales. We definitely saw at least 3 in the area. Amazing. As we were enjoying the looks of these new Humpback Whales, a call came over the radio. Orcas were close by. So, we said goodbye to the Humpbacks and headed towards the area where the Orcas were reported. The dorsal fins of the Orcas were first spotted as we entered the area of Constance Bank. It was a great sight as many dorsal fins were seen side by side. The Orcas were traveling at a steady rate heading East towards San Juan Island. We were able to travel with them all the way to Middle Bank – well over an hour worth of travel time! During that hour+ time, we say multiple spy hops and got great views of some dorsal fins and saddle patches. Thanks to those views we know some of the Orcas traveling were J27″Blackberry”, J17″Princess Angeline”, J28″Polaris, J46″Star”, J47″Notch”, J38″Cookie”, & J34″Doublestuff”. As we approached Middle Bank, we knew it was going to be time to turn back towards Port Angles. However, two Orcas prevented us from leaving right away. They came from behind the boat and swam over along our port side – so close to the boat. It was an amazing way to end our viewing time of the amazing Orcas. We turned back towards Port Angeles, but our whale viewing time was not over. Just outside of the Ediz Hook, a large exhalation was seen. We decided to go check it out. It was a Humpback Whale – it looked very similar to one of the whales we had seen earlier near Vancouver Island. What a great way to bring our wildlife adventure to an end.
~Tamara

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