4 Gray whales, 49, 723, 56, and 21
California sea lions
Bald eagles and osprey
Today’s weather started out with an obvious promise of blue skies to come. Shortly after leaving the dock we cruised very slowly by Jetty Island to check out the bird life. First there was an osprey perched on it’s nest, then there was an immature bald eagle on the drift wood, followed by an adult bald eagle that was lined up perfectly with the Olympic Mountains right behind him. All he had to do is turn his head around and we could get an awesome shot………Wait for it……and finally he cooperated by turning around for our a nice photo op.
After the bird watching Capt. Scott aimed toward Hat Island, as we often do to start our trips out, and for good reason – He spotted our first whale of the day. It was Patch, #49. We had a chance to see patch swimming in every direction imaginable, and we got a great glimpse of the namesake patch on his right side. He even fluked for us on a couple of deep dives. Pretty soon our presence as a big whale watching boat attracted the attention of a horde of weekend boaters hoping to see a whale, and it was time to leave Patch to look for whales elsewhere.
We headed north into Saratoga Passage until another whale watching boat dialed us in on three gray whales swimming together near Elger Bay. As we approached we could see three exhalation blows spouting up very close together. These three whales spent all of their time swimming very close to each other. It was 723, 56, and 21. Their interactions with each other made our journey northward the highlight of the trip. As we left the whales they were still heading north and we hoped they would turn around and head southward for our second trip. On our way back toward the dock we stopped in to check out two California sea lions hauled out on the channel marker adjacent to the naval station. Naturalist Bart Rulon.