Humpbacks and Orcas and a Fin, Oh My!

Port Angeles

Highlights:
Dozens of Humpbacks
L-Pod Resident Orcas
“The” Fin Whale
Mt. Baker

What happens when you mix sunny skies, flat seas, snow-capped peaks, and three species of whale?  Just another great day at the office with Port Angeles Whale Watch!

The visibility today was phenomenal providing views of both the Olympic mountain range and Mt. Baker of the North Cascades. The humpbacks were up first, with many of the dozens of whales we spotted yesterday still feeding in the area.  Notable individuals that could be identified included BCX0298 “Split Fin”, BCX1068 “Split Fluke”, BCX1193 “Zig Zag”, and CS631, but there were many, many more whales spouting and fluking in the distance. 

We next got a call of possible killer whales to the northeast so decided to investigate.  Sure enough, we arrived to see several members of the Southern Resident L-Pod spread out foraging for salmon.  While many of the whales were quite scattered, mom L77 “Matia” and her 4-year old calf, L119 “Joy” stayed nearby for a while.  Because it was so calm today, we were able to turn off the engines and drop in the hydrophone to eavesdrop on an orca conversation of whistles and squeals! 

It was time to return home, but luckily the route took us right back through humpback territory for an encore presentation.  Much to our delight, however, we were treated to our third whale species of the day – the rare fin whale that’s been in the area for the last week or two!  It doesn’t get much better than that!  Check out some of the gorgeous photos from today:

Erin

Fin whale in front of Mt. Baker

 Humpbacks
 Humpback
 Humpback flukes
 Humpbacks in front of Mt. Baker
 Orca tail-slap
 Southern Resident Killer Whale
 Fin whale
 Fin whale
 Humpback “Split Fin”
Humpbacks with Olympic mountains in the background

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