T’s Take Us The Distance

Port Angeles

Trip Highlights:
*Big Boys T93 and T97
*T99 and her family members T99B, T99C, and T099D
*Black Oyster catchers at the Hook
*Discovery Island Lighthouse
T99 Family Group 

T99 & Family

Big Male T97

Big Male T93

Harbor Seals hauled out on Ediz Hook

Oyster Catchers!
Trip Log:
     The day started overcast, a threat of rain in the air, with the wind coming out of the west. The crew readied the boat for the day’s journey in anticipation of a great day regardless of the weather. Guests were greeted and settled in aboard the IE4 while Pigeon Guillemots amused them as we prepared for departure.
    The Olympics were shrouded in massive clouds as we cruised Port Angeles Harbor getting close up looks at Ediz Hook. Rhinocerous Auklets and a few Common Murres dotted the waters. Passing the salmon pens, we were treated to salmon cavorting in their pens. The port was alive with the coming and going of tankers keeping the pilot house hopping. Rounding the hook a little surprise of sleepy harbor seals awaited us while 2 Black Oyster Catchers were taking a little snooze.
    The straits were a little bumpy as we searched for a sign of whales but our guests were ever enthusiastic in helping with the search. We headed out to check out the Rock Pile, a favorite haunt. With no luck there we proceeded to check out Coyote Bank when the call came in … Transients up north in Haro Strait. All our guests were ready for the journey so off we went in search of the Orcas while also getting some good looks at Vancouver Island and Discovery Island Lighthouse. Our journey took us past Lime Kiln Lighthouse almost to Kelp Reef where, lo and behold we all started seeing dorsal fins in the distance. What a beautiful sight!!!
     Huge dorsal fins cut through the water. Two mature males know as T93 and T97 were traveling in close proximity. One after the other, up popped the T99 family, exhalations standing out  against the water. Disappearing for minutes at a time we never knew where they would pop up but lucky for us they were heading south allowing us ample time to wait, watch, and enjoy.
   All of a sudden, there they were, surfacing right on our starboard side so close the captain shut down the engines to let them pass. Everyone was in awe, crew included, of their beauty and size. Slowly we made our way south spending as much time with them as we could. The long run to see them would bring us home a little late but as our guest said, well worth the effort. There were smiles on all as they disembarked leaving for their various destinations with Orca memories to regale.
Naturalist Lee

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