723 and 383 near Gedney island
Talked with John Calamokidis
49 and 531 south end of Gedney island
723, 49, and 531 join up
Bald eagles north end of Gedney island
383 and 21 west of Gedney island
56 on the way in to dock
We arrived to the Island Explorer 4 today with sunny blue skies as far as the eyes could see. To the east, the snowy peaks of the Cascade mountains rose high above the green conifers that lined the foot hills. To the west, the white frosty mountains of the Olympic range stood tall just beyond Whidbey island. The Possesion sound lay calm with only a light breeze dance across her surface. In no time at all the boat was prepared, we greeted our passengers and in no time at all we were leaving the dock.
We cruised down Jetty island which was void of life as most of its residence were out fishing and gathering breakfast for the day. We continued passed the end of Jetty and out into the sound getting some great looks at group of cormorants on a navigation marker. After that it was time to head west and start searching for some whales. It didn’t take long before we found ourselves in with some gray whales. 723 and 383 were swimming together east of hat which allowed for some amazing photos with both the Cascades and Mount baker in the back ground. After some great looks 383 split off toward Whidbey island so we stopped and watched him slowly move off.
As we sat there, John Calamokidis a lead researcher with Cascadia research came over and gave us a great insight into their new tagging program and just how well things are going. It is always great to hear from the experts and see the behind the scenes aspects of their research. After the chat we continued on with 723 who had headed back to the shallows off of Gedney island. We continued to get great shots of him and in no time at all he was joined by two more whales!!! This time it was gray whales 49 Patch and 531!!! They all swam together and for some reason swam right back underneath mount baker again. This let us get great pics of not just one but 3 whales with a beautiful backdrop.
After that we departed from the whales and made our way up the coast of Gedney island where captain Mike found us some bald eagles. They were mature birds with their white feathers glowing bright in the sunshine. Continuing passed them we rounded the north end of Gedney island and made our way south again. It was here that we ran back into 383 and this time he was joined by 21. These two were side by side swimming slowly north along Gedney island. They gave a few lazy tail shots just skimming the surface as they went and so we said goodbye to these whales and made our way in.
On our way in the animals weren’t done we got to view one last whale, #56!!! After some great looks we continued in to the dock under sunny blue skies and calm seas it was a perfect trip!!!