J2 Granny and J Pod /Stitch the Humpback in AM/ J Pod is amazing in PM

PORT ANGELES
 Am Trip

Highlights

Harbor seals
Stitch the Humpback
J2 Granny and L87 Onyx
J14’s
Race Rocks and Sea Lions
Sea birds

    A beautiful day lay ahead as we embarked on our morning trip. The Olympics were overcast but the straits were looking good with plenty of sunshine.Harbor Seals lay hauled out on the log rafts soaking up all the sunshine and rhinocerous auklets were gathering in the harbor in larger groups. As we headed out  harbor porpoise were soon spotted zipping through the waves. A call to let us know orcas had been spotted and were heading west. Just like that our course changed and we were off. Orcas ahead and we were in luck as it was our resident whales slowing fishing as they headed west. We saw  a few good direction changes indicating fishing was going on. One of the first whales we found was J2 Granny,105 this year, and not far from her was L87 Onyx. The Orcas were well spread out and moving slowly. The J 14. were not far off and J4 Se-Yi- Chn was near Granny. We had plenty of time to enjoy these orcas noting that more were spread far and wide in the distance. We followed the JPod for a good distance west and then turned back east to check for more whales before we headed home. There up ahead was the exhalation of a humpback whale. With a couple of nice passes and dives near the boat we were able to ID this whale as Stitch a humpback not yet cataloged in our ID book. We checked out Stitch  for a bit before we had to make our way back to port.
Naturalist – Lee

Port Angeles
PM Trip

Highlights

Resting/traveling JPod/K Pod
Race Rocks/Lighthouse
Stellar and California Sea Lions
Black oyster catcher

     The evening trip was looking spectacular as we set out into the harbor.  Hauled out harbor seals dotted the log rafts. We toured the harbor sights on our way out into the Straits of Juan de Fuca. Harbor seals occupied Ediz Hook warming up on the beach and frolicking  in the shallows..Reports came in right away that orcas were seen and they were heading east near Becher Bay. We headed northwest to intercept them  and found them not far past the Elwha river basin. So many orcas  all together . What a sight to see all those exhalations and dorsal fins rising out of the water in synchronization. We were super lucky to have J Pod with J2 Granny and L87 Onyx. The J14.s were there along with the J17’s  with Princess Angeline and her newest calf J53 . Right behind them was J28 Polaris with her new calf J54. Some of Kpod was even mixed in with the tall dorsal of K21 Cappuccino popping up. They appeared to be in a sleeping mode traveling with the tide.It was so amazing seeing such a large group of orcas. We admired them for a long time then as we were nearing race rocks headed on through before the orcas came in to Race rocks. There we saw lots of stellar sea lions and california sea lion as they sparred with one another. More harbor seals were in the ledges below then  as were many playing in the water. Pigeon guillemots and black oyster catchers flew around race passage while the lighthouse stood tall against the sky. After going through Race rocks and checking out all the wildlife we headed east to see if we could find our morning humpbacks but hard as we looked they eluded us. We set sail for homeport knowing that we had shared some very special moments with our resident orcas and some of the new generation.
Naturalist – Lee

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