Gray whale #49, Patch shows us lots of tail flukes
California, and Steller sea lions bask in the sun
Gray whale #723 gives us a surprise finale
We started out this afternoon’s trip by checking out a California sea lion snoozing away on a buoy near Jetty Island. Next we headed out toward Hat Island and spotted a gray whale surfacing. It was #49, Patch, who was nicely lined up with Mount Baker in the background as he surfaced several times, courtesy of Capt. Mike’s positioning of the boat. Everyone cheered when he raised his tail flukes on the dive. After a good visit with him we decided to head toward Possession point, where we had luck this morning, to look for more. We stopped to look at some Steller sea lions sleeping on a buoy, and they even made the effort to lift their heads to acknowledge our presence for a few moments before plopping them down to sleep again. We scanned, and scanned but couldn’t find any whales to the west and south of Possession Point so we ended up heading back north again.
Patch hadn’t moved very far when we arrived back at Hat Island again. He was at the north end of the island this time. He gave us a great show as he cruised along the Hat shoreline. After every 3-4 breaths he showed his tail flukes before each deep dive. We said goodbye to Patch thinking that was our finale, but we ended up getting a surprise when Capt. Mike spotted another whale on our way back home. It was #723, and we were able to get a few good views of him before it was time to aim our way back toward the dock. Naturalist Bart Rulon