Minke whale east of Constance bank
Multiple Lpod whales at Hien bank
Lots of porpoise
Harbor seals hauled out on Ediz hook
It was another warm and beautiful day when I arose and stepped foot out of the boat house and onto the dock. Light fluffy clouds dotted the sky like cotton balls and the sun was busy heating the earth. Gulls cried and circled the marina as a large yacht made its way in from the harbor. In the distant Vancouver island sat in a haze of smoke and the flat calm waters out in the harbor glimmered in the sun with every gentle passing breeze. Before I knew it, it was time to greet the passengers and bring them aboard for a day of fun in the gorgeous weather.
After all the guests were aboard captain Scott fired up the engines and slowly began to maneuver out and around the breakwater and into the harbor. The harbor itself was again empty, not a single boat moving about which was surprising with the perfect weather. The Island Explorer did however passed a few large groups of common murres in the harbor and after rounding Ediz hook was passed by a very quick moving juvenile harbor seal headed toward shore. The waters of the Salish sea were flat calm and the IE4 plunged northward to adventure!!!!
As she passed Coyote bank groups of harbor porpoise began to appear and disappear usually with in the blink of an eye. Suddenly off the starboard side I spotted the first whale of the day, it was a minke whale!!! At first the whale was being very elusive but in no time at all it gave the IE4 some great looks. Even lunging out of the water slightly toward the end of the show. Finally the minke took a deep dive again and with that the IE4 continued north.
Upon reaching the north end of Hien bank captain Scott began to see fins appear, but they weren’t porpoises, this time it was orcas, Lpod to be exact!!!! They were fishing around the bank and very spread out, taking longer dives in order to chase the fish in deeper waters. The first two whales the IE4 spent time with were Crewser and Moonlight they were fishing just off the starboard side of the IE4 and gave the boat many great looks. Then it was time to see some more so the IE4 went and joined two other whales. This time it ended up being Nigel swimming with an I identified femal also doing some fishing and giving close passes as they went along. The IE4 then joined up with Wavewalker and got some amazing looks as he fished near the boat accompanied by a young juvenile whale further in the distance.
The IE4 then had to head south toward home but the show wasn’t over. As the IE4 cruised along she got some great looks at Mystery as well swimming around the middle of Hien bank. It was a great day to be with the orcas and perfect weather to be on the water. On the trip home the IE4 was joined by dozens of harbor porpoise and got some great looks at a group of harbor seals hauled out on the end of Ediz hook.