*Island Explorer 3 does its first trip from Port Angeles
*Lunge feeding Humpback Whales
*7 humpback whales
*Sea Otter, Steller sea lions, and California sea lions at Race Rocks
*A mother and calf humpback whale
Today was the first trip for the Island Explorer 3 from Port Angeles, and what a memorable trip it was! The seas were extremely calm and beautiful for a whale watching trip today. We found our first whales of the day near Constance Bank and it happened to be a mother humpback whale and calf. These two whales gave us a great show as they swam side by side while we watched. The mom showed her tail flukes on many occasions and the calf raised its flukes once for us. The calf also turned on its side and showed its pectoral fin and fluke on a few occasions. Next we spotted three more humpback whales swimming in different spots south of Constance Bank. One of them was BCY0155, and another was BCX1068, Split Fluke.
After having some time with these whales we headed over to Race Rocks to check out the Steller sea lions, and California sea lions, and we even spotted a sea otter briefly among the bull kelp! Next we headed south and managed to find two more humpback whales. These whales gave us the highlights of the day. They were lunge feeding side by side! Then they started thrashing their tails at the surface to stun the baitfish followed up by a bubble blast. Then both whales follow that up by lunging out of the water with their mouths wide open to swallow their prey. Their throats bulged out profusely as they filled with water and fish! It is a behavior called flick feeding, and they did the process over and over again, making for some really exciting action!!! The feeding frenzy lasted for at least 20 minutes, and continued as we had to finally say goodbye! I will let the pictures do the rest of the talking! What an awesome day! Naturalist Bart Rulon