BXZ0298 Split Fin feeding with BCX1193 ZigZag (aka CS280)
6-7 Humpbacks feeding on krill
What a day to be out on the water…..Calm flat seas and lots of sunshine. Leaving the marina we watched some Harbor Seals hauled out on the log rafts amongst the Glaucous Winged Gulls.A tanker was fueling up in the harbor known as bunkering as we eased on through the harbor checking out Ediz Hook.
Out into the Straits of Juan de Fuca and off to the west we ventured with high hopes. Our travels brought us past the Elwha River Basin where we had some fantastic views of the Olympic Mountains and Hurricane Ridge even getting to see Mt. Olympus and the glaciers. Lots of seabirds dotted the water and an occasional seal popped its head up. Rhinocerous Auklets were numerous today along with Pelagic Cormorants. Harbor Porpoise were seen frolicking through the water feeding on small fish.
At last we reached our destination traveling past the Lyre River to see Humpback Whales. At first we only saw two and 10 year old BCZ0298 Split Fin was easily recognized. He was feeding with a companion known as BCX1193 Zig Zag aka CS280. He is at least 8 years old being first seen in 2008. As we watched these 2 feed we noticed more exhalations around us with all being in pairs and even joining up in a triplet to feed. As luck would have it the krill was heavy near the surface and the whales did shallow short dives yet showing their flukes on many occassions. We even had Split Fin and Zig Zag swim right at us crossing right under the bow but not before showing their flukes to us. It was AWESOME!!!!!
There were at least 6-7 whales that we could count and probably more in the distance but most remained anonymous though BCX0470 was also identified in the mix. We spent lots of quality time enjoying the beautiful day amongst these marine giants but alas all good things must come to an end and time came to head back home. The ride home was just as great with Mt Baker looming tall and majestic in the background. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day.
Naturalist – Lee