-A round-trip run under the Deception Pass bridge!
-So much wildlife, with seals, porpoise, eagles, orcas, and a gray whale!
Well, our trip today was fantastic throughout, with the thrill of the search and beautiful water conditions as definite highlights. We traveled south in Rosario Strait stopping at Williamson Rocks to see some harbor seals hauled out and a mature bald eagle monitoring the scene from the top of the rock. Our info today gave us a chance to find orcas, but we needed to make a long journey in a unique area for our Anacortes tour. We decided to go for it and soon we were passing under the Deception Pass Bridge against a 5+ knot current. Boils and rips from the strong ebb pushed the boat around a bit, making for a dramatic cruise through the narrow channel. We continued south and watched many harbor seals and harbor porpoise pop up nearby. Also, we lucked out with great looks at several bald eagles, pigeon guillemots, and great blue herons along the east side of Whidbey Island. After a good trip to the south we picked up the group of orcas we were hoping to find! This was the J22’s and the J17’s, the same animals we saw a few days back in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It wasn’t long after we spotted them that their direction and behaviors changed. They started in a resting type line-up, but soon changed direction, and the youngest animals J53 and J54 were both being pushed to the surface. We saw some spyhops from the little guys and an upside-down tail-lob from one of the adults. Soon the orcas were pointed right at us! Out of the blue J46 Star breached right next to us! I mean right at the back of the boat as we drifted with engines off! She then proceeded to breach twice more while our guests cheered! Not to be undone, another whale who looked like J38 Cookie breached at the bow! WOW! The whales gave us amazing looks at their social behaviors as they sometimes rolled over on each other and other times launched out of the water! After leaving the awesome display from the killer whales Capt. Shane spotted another type of whale in the distance. It was a gray whale, whom I identified as gray #44, otherwise known as Dubnuck! This makes a verified view of seven of our ten gray whales that make a trip into the region each spring accounted for. Sweet! Heading home under blue skies, we once more passed under the Deception Pass Bridge. This time, however, we went head-long into the full force of the flood tide, with currents between seven to ten knots greeting us! What a wild ride! We saw even more porpoise and other eagles as we cruised home. What a day on the water with two types of whales!