-Mugged by humpbacks!
Our morning trip started under cloudy skies as we headed on our search. We stopped by Bird Rocks were we saw several harbor seals hauled out on the rocks. We saw more harbor seals hauled out on Colville Island. We made our way out into the Strait of Juan de Fuca and it wasn’t very long before we were hanging out with orcas! We spent our morning with the J16 family – J16 (Slick), J26 (Mike), J36 (Alki), J42 (Echo), J50 (Scarlett), J52 (Sonic). J42 was spending time with the two youngsters as they swam right next to the boat! It was incredible! J26 also gave us some great looks as he cruised by! We decided to head off in another direction to see what other wildlife was in the area. Captain Scott found us not one, but five humpbacks! We had an incredible encounter! At one point, two of the humpbacks mugged us! They were swimming right under the boat, looking at us! It was amazing! It took all of our breath away! What an encounter! Eventually, we had to head back toward homeport! We cruised home under sunny skies and flat calm waters!
-Lunge feeding humpbacks!
We left the dock for our evening trip and the sunshine was never-ending! We made our way to Bird Rocks where we saw several harbor seals hauled out soaking up the sun! We spotted some harbor porpoise swimming throughout Rosario Strait. We made our way to the Strait of Juan de Fuca where its wasn’t very long before we found numerous humpbacks! We decided to return to the humpbacks after we returned from visiting some orcas who were headed away from us! We caught up with the orcas, members of our fish-eating orca population! The whale that stole the orca show was L89 (Solstice), he surfaced multiple times at close range; it appeared as if he was fishing! We saw members of both J and L pods! Eventually, we headed back to the humpbacks. It was perfect timing; the humpbacks were lunge feeding at the surface! We could see their mouths gaping open trying to eat as much as they could! But pretty soon, we realized the enormity of what we were seeing… We had at least 9 humpbacks within close range, fluking and surfacing in every direction! It was insane! I have never seen that many humpbacks in one area like that! It was incredible! Eventually, we had to leave these guys behind us as we trekked further to the north, where we found some more orcas, this time the marine-mammal eating ones! The orcas we had were the T37A family (T37A, T37A2, T37A3 and T37A4)! They surfaced multiple times in a tight family group! We didn’t have very long to spend with them as most of our time was spent with the fish-eating orcas and the lunge feeding humpbacks! We had three different types of whales tonight! Simply incredible! On our way home, we cruised through the south side of Lopez Island and Castle Rock where we found a mature bald eagle, a black-tail deer and a mom and pup harbor seal. We were treated to a beautiful sunset on the way home!