9:30 AM trip
close up views of large tankers
Many unidentified humpback whales
BCX 1068 Split Fluke
BCY0324 Big Mama and Poptart
Today was a gorgeous day with plenty of sunshine and blue skies. We started off our trip with a great start seeing harbor seals hauled out on the raft logs and many hauled out on the tip of Ediz Hook. We got some really close up looks at the tankers in the harbor. We headed out north of Port Angeles and had some great views of hurricane ridge. It wasn’t long before we came across our first whales. Humpback whales feeding near some current lines. We had tons of time to spend with these whales so we checked out lots of groups of humpbacks as they were everywhere we looked. There were probably 20 or more whales in our vicinity.We had some amzing close up views as they passed by our boat over and over showing flukes time and again. With the show of those flukes we were abvle to ID BCY0324 Big Mama and her 2016 calf Poptart and her 10 year old grandson BCX1068 Split Fluke. There were two other whales able to be identified ….BCX0057 Niagara born in 2000 and BCXukKeta2015#2 Nike. A wonderful day was spent with so many humpbacks we lost count. In the mix also appeared a rare visitor to our area one large Finback whale making it quite obvious the size differences between him and the humpbacks. What a great double header we had. Eventually it was time to return home and leave the whales to their lunch.
Naturalist – Lee
3:30 PM trip
Finback whale close swim by
Humpbacks everywhere including CS121, BCX0057 Niagara and BCY1215 Orion
AMAZING mugging by BCXukKeta2015#2 Nike
Our afternoon trip started off with our harbor seals still hauled out on the log rafts soaking up the rays. A flock of glaucous winged gulls appeared to be working on a bait ball in the harbor as we passed by moored tankers. We decided to head back out to the spot where we were successful in finding whales on the morning trip and started out across the Straits of Juan de Fuca. Some eagle eyed passengers spotted our first Harbor Porpoise.Once again our trip to the whales didnt take very long and soon we had Humpback whales in sight. We watched them feed and show their tails allowing us to see the amazing color differences in all the flukes. The Finback whale popped up among all those humpbacks and we stayed with him for awhile since he is such a rarity in our waters. Our persistance paid off and we were eventually treated to a close pass behind the boat where we could see the white lower right jaw and as he passed by the stern we go to see him under water in his full massive glory.making the humpbacks look tiny !!!! With longer down times and erratic swimming patterns we turned back towards our humpbacks again. We got to see the black flukes of 16 year old BCX0057 Niagara , the two toned flukes of BCY1215 Orion and the stunning white flukes of CS121. Not to be outdone we had a humpback turn right towards us and the next thing we knew we were being mugged by a super friendly Humpback. He teased us by going from one side of the boat to the other and then he would tilt his blowhole towards the boat in what could only be described as a deliberate attempt to get us wet….and he was very successful at it . He would spyhop looking at all our guests rolling over once in a complete roll and swimming upside down as he went from side to side. With our engines shut down we enjoyed the sounds of his exhalations in superclose proximity. He even did an amazing chin slap right next to the boat creating a rather large splash I am sure was meant to splash us. It was hard to tell who was having more fun …us or the whale!!!! After a good long 40 minutes or more BCXukKeta2015#2 Nike decided he was done playing and left to go meet up with his buddies. His timing was impeccable as it was nearing our time to return to port so we parted ways as we all looked at videos and photos of the fantastic one of a kind encounter.
Naturalist – Lee