3 Gray whales, 723, 56, and 383 entertain us
Gray whale spyhops
California sea lions
Part 2 of our day of gray whale trios started with a surprise when we arrived on scene with three gray whales at the south end of Saratoga Passage! The surprise was that it wasn’t the same three whales we saw just a few hours before on the first trip. 723 and 56 were still hanging out together, but this time the third wheel was 383. 21 must have decided to keep swimming northward by himself. This new-formed trio spent all of their time swimming very close together while we watched them with fascination.
There were many occasions on this trip when all three whales came up one right after the other. At times we had them lined up with the Cascade Mountains in the background too! They even spyhopped on two occasions!! It was obvious that they were interacting just under the surface, almost as if they were messing with each other from time to time. During one surface sequence one of the whales turned sideways right in front of the other two blocking their progress. On another time all three whales seemed to be rolling around with each other, with backs, bellies, and tail flukes coming out at different angles. The whales zigged and zagged, showed their tail flukes, and gave us views from every angle for a really great show.
On our way back toward the dock we slowed down to check out our two California sea lions on the channel marker near the dock. One by one each of the sea lions lifted their heads up and jumped back into the water. A few minutes later we saw one of them jump right back up on the bouy behind us. What a unique day! Naturalist Bart Rulon