Humpback Whales and Race Rocks Beauty

Port Angeles.

Highlights:
*Coast Guard Cutter “CG Active”
*Two Humpback Whales swimming side by side at Rock Pile
*Another Humpback Whale south east of Race Rocks lighthouse
*Race Rocks Lighthouse and surrounding wildlife, including Harbor Seals, Steller Sea Lions, California Sea Lions and a Sea Otter

(Photo credit: Lee Leddy)

Trip Log:
Cruising by Ediz Hook, we viewed the many landmarks found along the sediment spit, including the pilot house, the fish pens and the US Coast Guard Station. Little did we know that right after exiting the bay formed by Ediz Hook, we would see a Coast Guard boat on the water. It was a Coast Guard Cutter, the CG ACTIVE. It was pretty neat seeing the vessel on the water. After passing by the Coast Guard Cutter, we headed north towards a favorite shallow water area known as the Rock Pile. Once there, we spend some time scanning the waters searching for signs of whales – Success! Two Humpback Whales swimming side by side. With only 5 minute down times, we got to see the humpback whales at the surface many times. One of the whales was tail shy, keeping its flukes just under the surface of the water. But its companion was kind enough to lift its flukes as it went down for its deep dive. After about an hour of enjoying the sights of the companion whales, we said our goodbyes and continued heading northbound. During our travels, we encountered another Humpback Whale – this one traveling solo. With long dive times and a tail shy personality, we watched the whale for multiple exhalations and then said goodbye. We were off to one of our favorite wildlife zones – Race Rocks. The rocky islands around the Race Rocks Lighthouse were beaming of wildlife. Several pinnipeds were hauled out on the rocks such as Harbor Seals, Steller Sea Lions and a few California Sea Lions. Some interesting birds were also in the mix including Pigeon Guillemots and an Oyster Catcher. We even got to see a Sea Otter resting on its back among the kelp bed. What a wonderful sight!
~Tamara

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