Killer Whales and Minkes!

Anacortes

-Orca males T93 and T97
-Minkes at Partridge Bank
-Stellar sea lions steal the show

We had a great trip today from Anacortes! Leaving the dock we turned to the south on our search for whales. We have had a great month of sightings, with tours from Anacortes and Port Angeles both seeing whales, whales, and more whales! A call came in from another boat traveling from Port Townsend, and we rushed down toward Partridge Bank to catch up with the whales spotted. We got on scene with two adult male killer whales, T93 and T97. The two big boys often travel together. T93 is estimated to have been born in 1963 and T97 was born in 1980. It was awesome to see the huge dorsal fins of these orcas coming to the surface for the next hour. They zigged and zagged quite a bit, right on the western contour lines of the shallows near Partridge Bank. They could have easily been looking for food, as they split up from time to time and cruised through the beautiful waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Capt. Carl soon spotted us a different type of whale, a minke, to the north. This minke soon turned into three minkes, and they circled some bait balls as we watched. Rhinoceros Auklets, Cormorants, and many gulls were in a frenzy as well, trying to catch some fish. We said goodbye to the orcas and the minkes a started for home base. Carl spotted two sea lions on the Partridge navigational marker, and this proved to be on of the highlights of the trip. Both jumped into the water, and then circled the marker and tried to to jump back out! One missed on his first try but then they both eventually made the leap successfully! Fun stuff to watch! We stopped by Minor Island where we watched several bald eagles feeding on what looked like a big salmon carcass, and some harbor seals swimming nearby. Dozens of Cormorants were on land in in the water at the point as well. Great trip for us today from Anacortes!

-Michael Colahan

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