Humpback Whales save the day!

Port Angeles.

Highlights:
*Large California Sea Lion of Ediz Hook Buoy
*Our first Humpback Whale spotted just south of Constance Bank.
*Seals and Sea Lions hauled out at Race Rocks Island
*Another Humpback Whale, possibly BCZ0180, on a mission heading West
*Glimpses at some Dall’s Porpoise, and they made some big splashes.

Photo Credit to season pass holder Lee Leddy

Naturalist Log:
Another beautiful day out on the waters of the Olympic Peninsula, with no sign of rain in the sky. We departed Port Angeles, enjoying the views of the Ediz Hook and the various birds on the water. As we came to the tip of Ediz Hook, a few things caught our attention. One was a large California Sea Lion, resting on the red buoy. The others were kayakers, all dressed for a safe adventure on the Juan de Fuca Strait.

Our adventure took us across the strait and into Canadian waters. As we neared Constance Bank, the tall exhalation of a Humpback Whale was spotted. We spent lots of time with the Humpback Whale, admiring its size as it surfaced along our starboard side. After over 30 minutes with the whale, we decided to explore more areas of water.

We explored lots of water, including the waters of Race Rocks Island. Race Rocks is always a beautiful area. The white puffy clouds and blue skies made for a perfect background for the beautiful Race Rocks Lighthouse. The Rocks around the lighthouse were beaming with life. Pretty much everywhere we looked, we saw Steller Sea lions, California Sea Lions and Harbor Seals all hauled out on the rocks. A couple of sea lions were creating quite the splash in the water. They appeared to be thrashing something the water, perhaps a fish?

We continued West past Race Rocks. Just as we were about to turn South, a large exhalation was seen by an eagle eye passenger off in the distance. We headed towards it to get a better look. It was another Humpback Whale and this one appeared to be on a mission. It was moving fast and swimming long distances under water. The whale brought up its flukes out of the water, and it appeared to be BCZ180 “Monarch”. Ultimately, we let Monarch continue on its mission and made our turn south.

As we crossed the Straits, some splashing caught our eye. It was the splashing of a pod of Dall’s Porpoise. They appeared to be focused on one particular area…maybe they found some food? After a few quick glimpses at the black and white dorsal fins, the splashes calmed and they seemed to be back in a traveling mode.

We made our way across the Strait and back towards the Olympic Peninsula, enjoying views of Fresh water bay and the valley of the Elwha River. As we came around the tip of Ediz Hook, we noticed the California Sea Lion was still resting on the buoy. He seemed to be enjoying his rest and relaxation 🙂
~Tamara

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