Osprey on Jetty island
California sea lion on nav marker
Gray whale #723 of Hat island
2 bald eagles fishing off Jetty island
As we arrived at the boat this morning, ominous dark gray clouds were lingering to the south of the dock. In the distance we could see a curtain of rain slowly moving north towards the boat and we new it was headed our way. As our passengers began to arrive so did the rain, and so quickly and carefully we got them onboard and out of the weather. At this point the rain came down hard and sufficiently soaked the decks of the Island Explorer 4 and we began to wonder if it was going to end. Within a few minutes it had begun to rain itself out and before we even left the dock there were blue skies beginning to appear.
Once we were off and away from the dock we headed down the channel toward the Snohomish river delta. Captain Michael had spotted the first wild life of the day and we’d hoped to get some better looks. It was an osprey sitting in its nest and drying out from the rain that was now moving off to the north. We got some great looks at this bird before turning and heading down Jetty island toward open water. When we got to the end of Jetty we got some great close up views of a California sea lion hauled out on a navigational marker. He had obviously had a rough night because he only glanced at us momentarily before returning to his choma like state.
After that we headed out toward Hat island and it was here that Captain Michael spotted our first whale of the day!!! It was gray whale #723, Lucy, and he was making big circles in the shallows off of Hat island. We watched him for over an hour as he made his way around showing his rostrum and even showing some lazy tail flukes. After getting some good views of him we split off to search the surrounding waters of the Posession sound.
We circumnavigated Hat island on our search but came up empty handed and so we joined back up with #723. By this time he had made his way into the shallower water off of Hat island and was continuing to give us good looks. As usual the time ran out and we made our way back to the docks. Our buddy was still hanging out on the marker so we swung in for some more close ups. We continued in to the docks and got some great looks at two eagles scrapping for some fish and feeding on the top of the Jetty island pilings.
It was a beautiful day after the rain passed the sun came out and the seas were perfect!!!