We go the distance for Orcas and Humpbacks

Port Angeles.

Highlights:
*Harbor Porpoise in the shallow water areas
*Humpback Whale at the VG navigational buoy
*Transient Orcas at Becher bay
*T-Pod family group identified as T10s
*Bald Eagles near Becher Bay
*Balloon removal from the water

(photo credit: Lee Leddy)

Mama T10 with her two boys
Red necked Phalaropes

Humpback Whale

Mama T10 with son T10B

Brothers T10B and T10C

Trip Log:
We started our journey with views of the landmarks at Ediz Hook, passing by beaches of drift logs, the port angeles pilot house, fish pens, and the US Coast Guard Station (with all 3 H65 Twin jet Dolphin helicopters parked on the Heli-pads). As we entered the Juan de Fuca waters, we headed north towards some shallow water zones. When we passed over the shallow water areas, Harbor Porpoise were spotted. Being a small, and shy cetacean, we watched as their small bodies surfaced while they didn’t seem to be bothered by our presence. Soon after passing through the shallow water zone, a call came over the radio. Whales were being spotted towards our west. We quickly made the turn and headed that way. The journey took us into Canadian waters, where we discovered a balloon floating on the water. With a quick U-turn, we swiftly maneuvered to remove the floating marine debris. Balloons can cause havoc for wildlife, especially if it is mistaken for food. We were happy to do our part to remove the balloon from the waters and remind all on board about the importance of placing trash in the proper reciprocals. Soon after our balloon removal, a Humpback Whale was spotted. It’s large blow was not too far from the VG navigational buoy. We watched as the Humpback Whale surfaced and dove. Luckily, as it dove for its deep dive, it brought up its flukes showing off its large size. After some time viewing the Humpback, we said our goodbye and continued west towards reports of Orcas. The Orcas were heading our way, so we were quickly able to catch up to them at Becher bay. The Orcas were identified as Transient Orcas, the marine mammal eating kind. It was the family group of T10, which consists of Mama “T10” and her two sons T10B and T10C. There were lots of Seals and Sea Lions nearby, but food was not on their minds. While watching the Orcas, we also got to see a Bald Eagle in flight, and another Bald Eagle perched on Church Rock. The Orcas continued to travel East across the Bay and towards Race Rocks. We stayed with the Orcas until they reached Christopher Pt., then we said our goodbyes. A pass through Race Rocks let us see Harbor Seals, Steller Sea Lions and California Sea Lions before we made our way back to Port Angeles.
~Tamara

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