Humpback and Minke Double Header!

Anacortes

Trip Highlights:
*3 Humpback whales\
*A Minke whale
*lots of harbor seals
*rare birds – Pomerine jeagers and sooty shearwaters

We watched our first whales of the day just south of Lopez Island today.  They where humpbacks – one was well offshore and the other was closer to Iceberg Point.  We started with the whale that was farthest offshore because we heard from one of the other captains that it had breached for them once already.  Shortly after we arrived we recognized the whale as one that we had seen  a lot of this year, and it raised its tail flukes for us really early on in our visit.  We also spotted the second whale coming our way from the north.  The first whale swam back and forth for about 15 minutes and then after a long dive we got the surprise of the day.  The whale burst out of the water in a huge breach!  Wow, what a surprise!  It came as such a big surprise that nobody got a picture of it.  After the big jump this whale calmed down and we decided to peel off to look for more whales.

Capt. Carl aimed us toward Smith Island and he spotted our third whale of the day, another humpback!  This whale was swimming in wide circles during our visit and he arched his back several times, but faked us out every time by not raising his tail flukes.  While we were watching this whale we also spotted a minke whale and decided to check him out for  a while.  The minke whale became very comfortable with us watching him and gave us several good views.  He managed to take us right back toward the humpback whale and when the humpback whale came close enough the minke whale scooted right out of the way quickly!  After we departed the whale scene we stopped to check out Minor Island where we saw hundreds of harbor seals, Brandts cormorants, pelagic cormorants, and double crested cormorants. On our way back toward the dock we also spotted a nice pod of harbor porpoise in Rosario Strait.  Naturalist Bart Rulon

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