*Kayaker taking a trip just passed Ediz Hook
*Harbor Seals and Harbor Porpoise spotted swimming in the Juan de Fuca Strait
*Steller Sea Lion feeding on a Northern Skate
*So many Orcas traveling together.
*Sightings of calfs J50 & J52
*Lots of tail slaps, spy hops and back rolls from the J-Pod Orcas
*Steller Sea lions, California Sea Lions and Harbor Seals hauled out on Race Rocks.
Photos credit to season pass holder, Lee Leddy
The weather was on our side today as we traveled across the Juan de Fuca Strait in search of our wildlife. As we set off on our adventure, it appeared we were not the only ones enjoying the great morning weather. A kayaker was paddling just past the tip of the Ediz Hook. Not too far North of the kayaker, some Harbor Seals were spotted swimming out onto the Strait. We continued crossing the Strait and sharp eyed passengers spotted the triangle dorsal fins of Harbor Porpoise. Shortly after passing into Canadian waters, just North of Rock Pile, a large Steller Sea Lion was spotted making quite a commotion. Turns out the Steller Sea Lion found a yummy snack. He was enjoying a nice size Northern Skate meal, thrashing around to get bite size pieces. The Steller seemed to finish his meal, and we continued on our journey.
Further north, East of Constance Bank, tall dorsal fins were seen in the distance. The Orcas were swimming closely together, making impressive surfaces with many fins being seen all at once. The closest large group included J-Pod members J26 “Mike”, J16 “Slick” swimming beside calf J50 newly named “Scarlett”, J36 “Alki” swimming with calf J52 newly named “Sonic”, and J42 “Echo”. While they traveled together several Orcas started splashing with tail slaps and cartwheels. Trailing behind the calfs family group was J27 “Blackberry”, J17 “Princess Angeline”, J28 “Polaris” and the rest of their family members. Seen in the distance were more dorsal fins. We spent about an hour traveling with the Orcas. It was awe-mazing.
We made our turn to cross the Strait, but did not make it far. A huge flock of birds were hovering above that water and the large baitball underneath. The bait ball had attracted seals as well. We continued on, until we spotted exhalations to the west. Two Humpback Whales were swimming side by side, and showing off their flukes.
We left the Humpback Whales and passed through Race Rocks. There we enjoyed the sights of Steller Sea Lions, California Sea Lions and Harbor Seals. It was a beautiful day out on the water.