Humpback Haven in Port Angeles Backyard

Port Angeles.

Highlights:
*An immature and a mature Bald Eagle at Ediz Hook
*Humpback Whale CS513 a few miles off shore of Angeles Point.
*At least 4 other Humpback Whales spotted near the area around CS513
*Fluke Slaps by CS513
*Humpback Whales BCX1068 “Split Fluke” & BCXunknown “Stitch” spotted just west of Rock Pile

(photo credit: Lee Leddy)

Trip Log:
Our wildlife sightings began before we entered the Juan de Fuca Strait. Right along the shore of Ediz Hook, 2 Bald Eagles were spotted. One of the Eagles was a young immature eagle while the other was a white headed mature Bald Eagle. It was great to be able to compare the appearances of the two age differences. Not far from the Bald Eagles, we also spotted a nice group of Harbor Seals. A few of them wiggled on the bellies demonstrating the seals mobility on land.
We entered the open waters and headed west in search for whales. It was long before we spotted the first exhalation. It was CS513! We were quite lucky as CS513 never went on a full deep dive, but still often brought up its beautiful white flukes. As we watched CS513, we noticed more exhalations in the distance. 3 more to the west and 1 more to the northeast. We must have found an area of good food. Suddenly, CS513 started slapping its flukes again the surface of the water. Eventually, the whale turned over, facing its belly upward, and did a few more slaps. We were able to see the beautiful white pectoral flippers reflecting the bluefish green water at the surface. It was beautiful. Eventually, CS513 began heading northward, so we said our goodbye and headed east in search of more whales.
It didn’t take long before another exhalation was spotted. Just West of an area known as the Rock Pile, BCX1068 was hanging out. BCX1068 is also known as “Split Fluke” due to the unique notch on its Fluke. We spent a lot of time with Split Fluke, enjoying as he circled the boat and brought up his flukes. As we watched Split Fluke, we noticed another whale’s exhalation slowly getting closer. We watched in anticipation to see if the two whales would buddy up. At first it seemed like the buddy friendship would not happen as they traveled away from one another. Then suddenly, they appeared swimming side by side right in from of the Island Explorer 4. Split Fin’s buddy turned out to be a Humpback Whale known as “Stitch” due to some unique lines along its flukes resembling stitch markings.
It was a wonderful Humpback Whale Day on the Juan de Fuca Strait.
~Tamara

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