Cormorants on the Jetty island marker
#56 between Gedney and Camano island
T46 orcas between Baby island and Elger bay
#383 and #56 swimming together South side of Gedney island
California sea lion close up on Jetty island marker
At the start of the afternoon trip the sun had begun to make its way out of the clouds. Little by little the seas lit up with rays of sunshine and before long the sun was out in full glory. For the start of the trip we again headed north toward Camano island in search of #56 from the afternoon. When we had left him in the a.m. he was headed south and after we left he continued that trend. We picked him up just between Camano and Gedney island, still zigging and zagging southward. After a few minutes on scene #56 decided he had somewhere to be and began taking longer dives and covering a lot of water and so we decided to continue on in search of other life.
We went north, rounding the south end of Camano and picking up speed as we went up Saratoga passage the sun began to beat down and really warm things up. It wasn’t long before we found ourselves up by Elger bay again only this time it wasn’t gray whales we found, it was transient orca whales!!!! We had stumbled upon a group known as the T46’s, it consists of T46 and her 3 offspring, this included a big male. At first it was unclear what behaviors were taking place as there were a lot of direction changes and yet the whales were not on the hunt. Finally they decided they wanted to continue north and so we obliged and followed. At this point the pod began to spread out across the passage, with the male sticking closest to the IE4. We followed the whales as long as time allowed and got many great looks at these magnificent creatures.
With the orcas headed the wrong direction we finally had to turn around and begin our return trip. As we did the sun slowly began to fade into the clouds again, and the air once again began to cool. A group of harbor porpoise were found in between Camano and Gedney island but like most harbor porpoise they were shy and had no interest in getting close to us. W departed the porpoise and began to make our voyage in, but the wildlife wasn’t over yet. Just as we reached the end of Gedney island Captain carl spotted a blow, and then another blow, it was two more gray whales. We got in nice and close to them and found out it was #56 and #383 swimming side by side, not a care in the world. After spending 15-20 minutes with these “finally” whales we once again had to depart and head in.
Rounding the Jetty island buoy we found a large California sea lion hauled out napping and we were able to get some amazing close up views of him. All in all it was an amazing adventure this afternoon, just chalked full of wildlife, and of course those surprise orca whales!!!!