A beautiful fluke day

Port Angeles

Highlights:

Fog burnt off all day
Blue skies all around
Sunny weather
Redneck Phalaropes
California and Steller sea lions
Harbor seals
Calm water

Naturalist log:

A thick fog lay out over the Salish sea as the crew started to prep the Island Explorer 4 for the trip ahead. Up in the pilot house radios fell silent, other than the occasional crackle it was as if the world ended just outside the marina. As the Island Explorer 4 left the dock a few reports came in about changing visibilty but still no whales had yet been found. Determined to be the first ones with whales the IE4 left the harbor and plunged northeast into the fog in search of the ever elusive whale.

Passing small groups of common murres as she went the fog continued to get worse. After 10 minutes of thick fog the IE4 finally busted out into clear waters. Visibility instantly went from 200 feet to well over 5 miles, and the sun was finally shining down and warming up the day. With great visibility the IE4 cruised up to Constance bank with hopes of a humpback, but to no avail, they found no whales, and so the IE4 then continued west.

After a bit of cruising the IE4 passed into another fog bank however it was short lived. Within minutes visibility was back up to 800 yards or so. At this point it was time to find some animals and so the IE4 headed toward Race rocks. Again the fog came back and hid away the light house, there was an erie feeling that washed over the boat as she neared Race rocks, mostly because you couldn’t see the lighthouse at all. Finally as the IE4 neared about 300 yards to the rocks, the lighthouse and everything became visible.

The fog lifted nicely as the IE4 made her way through Race pass, getting amazing looks and smells of  dozens of California and Steller sea lions. The sea lions seemed pretty relaxed today as far as fighting went there was only one short scuffle then peace rained down across the rocks. The sea lions looked tired from a long Labor Day weekend out playing in the water. As the IE4 left Race rocks she continued west toward Sooke inlet. It was here the the IE4 turned south and began her return trip. Unfortunately the return trip was void of whales as well and fluke passes were given to all on board so they can join us again.

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