SALISH SEA SEARCH REWARDS US WITH BIG MAMA AND CALF

PORT ANGELES

Highlights

BCY0324 Big Mama and her calf Poptart
California Sea Lion on Ediz Hook Buoy
Rainshadow effect in full swing
Close up looks at Vancouver Island
Race Rocks Lighthouse
Stellar and California Sea Lions
1 Elephant Seal
Adult Bald Eagle
Trial Island Lightouse

                                       

    Overcast with a promise of sun out in the Straits of Juan de Fuca, our guests were boarded and eager to get underway. Off the dock and into the harbor we went with Harbor Seals lazing on the log floats as we exited the marina. We admired Ediz Hook, checked out the salmon pens, and got good views of the Pilot  House  and the Coast Guard Station.
    Rounding the hook, a California Sea Lion claimed the red  channel buoy all to himself , eyeing us suspiciously as we cruised by checking him out. The wind was blowing out of the west and whitecaps could be seen on the Straits- no reports of whales had come in and we knew we had to look hard.
    We searched the usual haunts of our cetacean friends, crossing the Straits of Juan de Fuca with no luck, so we headed west into uncovered territory in our search.We traveled as far as Beecher Bay then made an eastward swing.
    We made our way through Race Rocks passage and Race Rocks Lighthouse on our journey and we were treated to Stellar Sea Lions fighting on the rocks with California Sea Lions mingled among them barking up a storm. An adult Bald Eagle was  holding his ground in the wind while perched on a rock amidst a bunch of hauled out Harbor Seals. We  got a glimpse of one lone Elephant Seal resting on the ramp.
    Finally a call came in….Humpback Whales heading south near Discovery Island!!! We surged east to try and meet them. We passed close by Victoria on Vancouver Island and Trial Island Lighthouse before we caught up with BCY0324 Big Mama and her new calf Poptart  heading on a southwest course into the building seas. Poptart  seemed unfazed by the big waves, frolicking and splashing and popping out of the surf as her name would suggest. We watched them as long as time would allow knowing we had  a long journey home through the building seas. Our guests were intrepid though, enjoying the wind and waves, happy in the fact knowing  our 75  miles  traversing the Salish Sea  was well worth it to see these two beautiful Humpback whales in their element…mother Humpback with the newest generation of Humpback.
Naturalist- Lee

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