BCY0160 Big Moma and her 2016 calf Poptart were lungefeeding
SV Lady Washington
J Pod by Race Rocks
Humpbacks steal the show
A cloudy day to our start but we headed out with high hopes. Harbor Porpoise were seen not long into the trip as the water was flat and calm and they were easy to spot. The SV Lady Washington was cruising into Port Angeles.A call came through a little ways across the straits that orcas were headed in a easterly direction on the west side of race rocks so off we went. We passed Humpbacks along the way but knew we could probably find them on the return trip. Orcas were ahead and that’s was our focus as the residents haven’t been seen much in our waters this summer though the transient orcas seem to be aplenty. We caught up with J Pod and watched as they fished the current line in scattered groups with tail lobs and some breaches along the way. Lots of small family groups popped up all around us. Eventually we turned our sights back to the Humpbacks and found at least 10 Humpback whales all withing a short distance of one another. BCY0324 Big Moma and her 2016 calf Poptart were lunge feeding . We watched in amazement and noticed other whales also lunge feeding around us. Big Moma and Poptart decided to show off their feeding techniques to us at close range to the delight of our guests.Eventually they wrere joined by another pair that turned out to be BCY0160 Heather (Big Moma’s 2003 calf) and her new best friend BCX1057 Divot. They made a close pass to the stern of our boat going under it and surfacing on the other side. We watched as four whales swam side by side and then one after the other made a deep dive and disappeared from sight. On that final note we headed back to the dock with visions of Humpbacks dancing in our heads.
Naturalist – Lee
J POD Orcas take us to the San Juans
J pod whales within our range
Breaching and tail slapping
L87 Onyx close pass under the boat
As we headed out off the into the Straits of Juan de Fuca , a call came in that the J Pod was headed towards Trial Island . It would be a long haul but we decided to go for it to see the orcas. With the tide coming in the orcas made better time than us and we finally caught up with them on the west side of San Juan Island.We spotted numerous dorsal fins all over and spread out.They seemed to be working some current line and traveling south eastward along the Island. It looked like we had a few subpod Including the J14’s. Little ones were seen in the distance breaching and tail lobbing.L87 Onyx and J47 Notch were also seen. We watched these orcas frolic and eat for as long as time would permit since we had come a long way to see them. Eventually we had to make the return trip across the Straits and return home but not before L87 Onyx made one close pass and wowed us as he went underneath the bow of the boat!!! At least 5 Humpbacks were spotted feeding in a current line as we made our way home. A successful evening trip to the San Juans in search of Orcas.
Naturalist – Lee