Humpbacks and Orcas

Port Angeles

Trip highlights:
*J and K pod orcas on the west side of San Juan Island
*At least 4 humpback whales off the Rock Pile near Port Angeles
*Harbor seals, and thousands of sea birds

           It didn’t take long before we found whales on our journey today!  Capt. Scott spotted our first blows off the Rock Pile just outside of Ediz Hook.  We also saw tons of baitfish boiling at the surface in this same area, and it was obvious why a humpback whale would be around.  Soon we realized that we had several humpback whales circling around and feeding in this same spot.  We stayed long enough to see a couple tail flukes before we headed north to look for more whale species.
          When we reached the west side of San Juan Island orcas were milling around near Eagle Point and False Bay looking for fish.  We settled in and got a good look at some male orcas hanging out with each other at first.  We spotted K33, Tika, J27, Blackberry, and J34, DoubleStuf.  Tika and DoubleStuf spent a lot of time with us as they rolled around and followed each other for quite a while.  It seemed every time we would try to slowly peel away to look at other orcas these two big males would swim right back over toward us and Scott would have to turn off the engines again.  They definitely gave us a great show!  Off in the distance we also saw a big group of females and youngsters gathering together and eventually they got pretty playful.  We saw a cartwheel, and a few breaches out of this bunch!  At this point it was time to turn and head back toward our dock again but we were hoping to get another good look at those humpback whales one last time as we got close to Port Angeles!  Sure enough we spotted the blows way off in the distance and we had 4 humpback whales swimming in close vicinity with each other.  3 of them were swimming together and the fourth was a little ways off by himself.  Right at the end, after a long dive one of the behemoths from the deep surfaced with a trumpeting blow right at the back of our boat!  Wow, what a thrill, and what a great day on the water!  Naturalist Bart Rulon

from Blogger


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