Humpbacks continue to wow us in AM/ Mugged by CS631 Two Spot in PM

Port Angeles

9:30 AM trip

Highlights

Harbor seals hauled out
freighters in the harbor
Humpbacks feeding and breaching
BCX0338 and BCX1068 Split Fluke

    Today started a little windier than usual and we knew this would make our day a little more challenging. Harbor seals greeted us as we exited the marina hauled out on the log rafts. Huge freighters anchored silently in the harbor giving us great views of these behemoths. Sea birds took refuge from the wind in the harbor in large flocks. More harbor seals were hauled out on Ediz Hook as we made our way into the straits of Juan de Fuca. Luckily for us the rain that looked to threaten was tempered by the rainshadow effect and we had blue skies  over us. We made our way northeastward towards a spot we had last seen Humpback whales the day before. it wasn’t long into our trip that the first exhalations were spotted. Wind and waves made it a challenge  to navigate over to the whales but with skill and timing we found ourselves eventually surrounded by Humpback Whales. Exhalations could be seen all around as the whales went about their day feeding. Breaches were seen in the distance by more than one whale.We had lots of time to spend with these whales and watch as hey made dive after dive raising their flukes. We had some beautiful close passes and some fantastic looks at some of the flukes enabling us to ID BCZ0338 with  beautiful white flukes and BCX1068  10 year old Split Fluke.Eventually we had to return to the dock and say goodbye to all the humpbacks we had seen. All in all there had to be 10 -15 animals in the vicinity.
Naturalist – Lee

Port Angeles

3:30 PM trip

Highlights

 Harbor seals hauled
 pilot boat returning to harbor
Breaching Humpbacks
CS631 Two Spot Mugs us

   With the winds subsiding from the morning trip the seas were a little more mellow. The Harbor Seals  were still lounging on the log rafts soaking up what sun they could. The freighters  made an interesting obstacle course as we wound our way around them. The pilot boat was making its way back into the harbor after dropping off a pilot onto an incoming tanker. Off we went into the Salish Sea in search of whales. Some sharp eyed passenger spotted a few harbor porpoise outside the harbor. Our journey took us northeast and soon we spotted the first of many exhalations in the distance . We made our way over and got to watch our first Humpback whale who seemed to be in a traveling mode heading west. We stayed with him for a bit but some splashes of more active whales caught our eye and we decided to investigate. It wasn’t a bad choice  as we could see some breaching in the distance from various whales and as we made our way to them  we were treated to a total of 5 breaches  in fairly close proximity to the boat. What a treat that was. That was just the start of an amazing eveing with the whales. We made our way over to another group of whales and we were rewarded with lots of tail flukes as they fed. Suddenly one whale turned directly toward us and came over right to the boat. Instead of diving and going under the boat and past us an amazing thing happened. CS631 also know as Two Spot  started checking us out spyhopping and looking at everyone. WE went fronm one side of the boat to the ohte as he made his way under the boat and would reappear on the other  swimming down the side or stopping to check us out . So many times we went back and forth watching as this clever whale rolled over and over showing off his white pectoral fins and white flukes. Whaleaerobics were never so fun. We lost track of time as we all were mesmerized by the friendliness of this gentle giant getting to see him up so close we could feel and smell his breath. Eventually a second whale joined him but quickly lost interest in us and we thought they would both leave but Two Spot wasn’t done yet rubbing against the boat swimming upside down and trying to splash us. Finally Two Spot decided that we had  spent plenty of quality time with him and he slowly meandered off in search of his companion.  There was nothing that could top that experience and we slowly made our way back full of excitement and all abuzz with the experience we had shared. Videos and photos aplenty were looked at on the homeward journey.
Naturalist – Lee

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