Storm? What storm?

Everett

Highlights:
Sunshine and blue skies first half of trip
Bald eagles on Jetty island
Cormorants on Jetty island marker
Harbor seals and harbor porpoise here and there
723 and 531 feeding and swimming side by side
Back before the storm hit!!!

Naturalist log:

Once again the weather reports called for less than favorable conditions in the Possession sound area, and most of western Washington, however when we arrived in the morning the winds were calm and the seas lay flat like glass. A few showers came through but as guests began to arrive the rains had pushed through letting the sun come out slightly here and there. Once everyone was on board we pulled away from the dock and headed out into the wild. Our first stop was Jetty island where we visited with a couple bald eagles  posted up on the pickings/Dolphins and a merganser swimming a little offshore looking for food.

After leaving Jetty island we preceded down the channel, getting great looks at the Shoop destroyer before rounding the corner and heading north. At this point the wind had picked up slightly but it was starting to look like the storm wasn’t coming anymore. Captain Carl rounded the end of Jetty where we slowly passed a marker buoy covered in both Pelagic and double crested cormorants. After that it was time to get out and on the search as Captain Carl brought the IE4 up to full steam.

At first we went west toward Whidbey island and the south end of Gedney island. We showered the shallows in the area but it seemed that the whales were else where and so we continued on. Passing Camano island  and heading into Saratoga passage we continued north and began spotting the occasional harbor seal and groups of harbor porpoise. At this point the sun had begun to disappear and the liquid sunshine began coming down, but the hearty group board didn’t seem to mind.

It didn’t take Captain Carl long to find a whale once we reached Elger bay And boy were we in for a surprise. It took only one surfacing and we knew that we had more than one animal and they were swimming side by side!!! It turned out to be 723 (Lucy) and 531 and they both seemed to be hungry as they fed side by side in the shallows off of shore. As we watched we got some great views of their pec fins while the whales were on their sides stirring up the muck. It was a great show and continued for quite a while. After a while 723 split off leaving 531 feeding in the bay as he headed south down Saratoga passage. At this point we were able to get one more look at his flukes before having to depart for home, and it was beautiful!!!

We returned to the dock before the storm came in and said our goodbyes to a definite hearty group of passengers. The whales gave us a great show with lots of flukes even though they were in shallow water and some close passed from 723 as he moved off shore!!! It was a great day to be out and be with whales!!!!

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