Lots of Harbor Porpoise in AM / T49’s and Humpbacks in PM

Port Angeles.

9:30 trip
Highlights:
*Several Harbor Porpoise throughout the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
*Wildlife at Race Rocks Lighthouse including Harbor Seals, Steller Sea Lions, and California Sea Lions.
*Sea Otter in the kelp bed around Race Rocks.
*Several Large vessels including a bulk oil tanker, timber carrier and the Victoria/Port Angeles Ferry

Trip Log:
Our morning began amidst a blanket of marine layer fog, but that did not detour us from searching the Juan de Fuca Strait for wildlife. We entered the open waters searching as far as we could see for signs of whales, we also kept our nose’s on alert for the whale’s stinky breath. Our search took us towards the west to start. We found patches of no fog and scanned the waters just west of Race Rocks Lighthouse. However, no whales were spotted in that area, so we moved on. We decided to venture through Race Rocks. The Rocky islands surrounding tall lighthouse were full of wildlife. Harbor Seals, Steller Sea lions and California Sea Lions were hauled out on the rocks resting in the sunshine. A Sea Otter was cleaning its fur among the kelp bed. After passing by Race Rocks, the fog had cleaned from the straits. With the clear skies and calm waters we searched more areas towards the west. A popular spot for our whales has been near the VF navigational buoy. So, we headed over there and searched. All eyes on board were looking out on the water. The whales continued to allude us towards the west so we made our way towards the east. We had time to search one more area. We searched a shallow water area known as “31-36”. Unfortunately, the whale were nowhere to be found. So, all of our passengers get to come back for free as part of our whale guarantee.
~Tamara

PORT ANGELES

PM Trip
Highlights

T49 family of transient orcas
2 unidentified humpback whales

    As we cruised out the harbor we checked out all the sights on Ediz Hook and some of the birds sitting on the water. Reports of Transient Orcas had reached the captain before we left the dock and we were eager to get out and find them. Then the fog set in but luckily it wasn’t as thick as in the morning  and soon lifted as we headed out  northeast into the Straits of Juan de Fuca. Not long after we saw  the whale watch boats up ahead and the dorsal fins of transient orcas. They were circling in one spot and soon after gulls showed up so we know they had made a kill  and were eating their meal. Some close looks at their dorsal fins told us we had the T49 family  with mom T49 and her two teenage sons T49D and T49 E along with 4 year old T49F and long time companion T122. We watched them as they milled about and were surprised as the surfaced right near our stern giving us some fantastic views, We spent a good amount of time with them enjoying their company.we  had another call about a humpback whale not to far away so after awhile we bid the T49’s goodbye and trekked off to see the humpback which turned out to be two humpbacks swimming side by side. They also decided to pop up right next to us on our starboard side about 50 feet away and paralleling us  showing off their flukes to everyone’s delight. Soon our time  with the whales had come to an end and we made our way back to Port Angeles enjoying the views of the Olympics.what a great way to spend an evening!!
Naturalist-Lee

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