Transient Killer Whales All Day!!!

Anacortes am
*Transient killer whales in the T46 pod
*Killer whales chase and catch a harbor porpoise
*A lunge feeding minke whale
*Harbor seals, harbor porpoise, and bald eagles

We ended up at the entrance to Cattle Pass to start our whale watching this morning.  We had transient killer whales from the T46 pod.  When we arrived they were grouped up pretty tightly and swimming out into the Strait of Juan de Fuca.  After a while they hit a current line and spread out a bit.  The next thing we knew one of the females came shooting out of the water in hot pursuit of a harbor porpoise.  The rest of the pod seemed to hang back a bit as she chased this porpoise down and eventually caught it!  How exciting!  Then the rest of the pod swam over to her and they grouped back up to eat their meal and move on together as a tight knit pod again.  Next we headed out toward Hein Bank and found a minke whale that was actively lunge feeding on bait balls near the surface!  On our way back toward the dock we got one last look at the transient orcas for a nice finale.  Other wildlife we spotted during the trip included three bald eagles and a bunch of harbor seals at Bird Rocks.


Anacortes pm
*Capt. Mike finds whales that had gone unnoticed all day long!
*Transient killer whale superpod!!!
*Killer whales play for our entire visit with them
*Harbor seals, harbor porpoise, and bald eagles

Capt. Mike was the hero of the day for the whale watching fleet this afternoon as he spotted a transient killer whale superpod in Rosario Strait that had gone unnoticed for the whole day!!  Mike knew that there were both resident and transient killer whales that had gone unaccounted for thus far, but were still likely to be in our area.  He knew north Rosario Strait was an area that hadn’t been covered very well all day so he gave a call to a tug boat passing through.  The captain was excited to tell us that he had just seen killer whales about 30 minutes prior!  Mike turned the boat around and headed in the direction of Peavine Pass.  It didn’t take too long before He spotted some splashing and dark objects in the distance even with the hinderance of heat distortion.  We had orcas!!! 
All courtesy of a veteran Captain’s experience!
 It turned out to be a big superpod of orcas including the T65A, T37, T18 pods, and likely others!  These whales circled around and played with each other for our entire visit with them!!!  They hardly moved at all because they were spending so much time socializing.  We saw a couple of breaches, lots of rolling around, and a splattering of tail slaps too!  After a brief diversion to Peapod Rocks where we spotted a photogenic pair of bald eagles and a bunch of harbor seals we swung back out to see the killer whales again.  This time Mike was able to line them up nicely with Mount Baker in the background for some great photos!!  What an awesome day!  Naturalist Bart Rulon

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