HUMPBACK BREACHFEST

PORT ANGELES

Highlights

 Harbor Seals
Sea Otter/Race Rocks Lighthouse
Elephant Seals
BCY0324 Big Moma and Poptart with Pec slaps and breaches
at least 10 humpbacks within a few miles of each other  with many breaches seen all around

   A gray day but flat calm waters greeted us as we ventured forth for the days adventure. Little did we know what an adventure it would turn out to be!!!!!!! We ambled past all the harbor sights with the Olympics hidden from view. Harbor Seals were hauled out at Ediz hook and salmon fisherman were trying their luck in the Straits. Off we headed with a northwest route as that had proved good in the past.
     As we searched for the telltale exhalation of  whale ahead , a sharp eyed passenger spotted a huge splash and got our attention. WOW she had found us a breaching Humpback Whale…great job.!!! We headed that way and watched as breach after breach occurred. By the time we reached the whales we realized there were at least three to four in the immediate vicinity.and by this time the breaching had turned into some pectoral slapping  over and over and over. And more breaches. And more pectoral slaps. It was non stop. After some good looks  we found out that our duo was none other than BCY0324 Big Moma and Poptart. They continued to amaze us as they both started pec slapping. The sound in the stillness was incredible.Then other whales in the are started joining in . Before we knew it we had other whales pec slapping and breaching on all sides at different times. We never knew where to look first. Poptart apparently had a lot of pent up energy as he breached and pec slapped the whole time we spent with them even throwing in a few tail lobs and a caudal peduncle (tail) throw. So  many whales and then another one breached not far from the boat and headed right towards us. Would it go directly under the boat??? We waited and held our breath wondering and then YES …..the whale breached right on our starboard side right next to the boat before diving under and resurfacing on the other side.WOW. How could you top that???
   We weren’t too far from Race Rocks so we took a side trip over there to see the lighthouse  and wildlife there. No disappointment there either as there were harbor seals with pups hauled out on the rocks and a sea otter feeding all wrapped up in kelp. Seabirds zoomed everywhere and two elephant Seals were in the water near the ramp and we could see one lumbering out of the water.
    Swinging back south towards Port Angeles we ran into more Humpbacks including Poptart and Big Moma and they continued the show with more amazing breaches and pec slaps and an unidentified whale  did some tail lobbing but stopped by the time we got there. Eventually we had to call it a day and head back to port but what an incredibly wild humpback day it was. Great memories and some great pictures for all of our guests. This was one day not to miss out with the whales.
Naturalist- Lee

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