-Steller sea lions
-K pod orcas
We left on what turned out to be a most beautiful day on the water. Captain Carl found us a rare treat – common dolphins! This animal has never been seen from a trip out of Anacortes! So cool! The animals played with our bow wake and stern wake for a bit, but mostly just foraged in the waters off the Ship Harbor ferry terminal. Eventually, we moved off in search of other animals. At Whale Rocks, we spotted several Steller sea lions hauled out sunning themselves. We continued to point offshore in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. We found two minke whales off Salmon Bank! One of them was very cooperative and surfaced multiple times. We turned to the west and continued our search and we had orcas not very far away! It was members of K pod, our fish-eating orcas! We hung out with K20 (Spock) as she fished! We could actually see her fish at the surface! Most of the behavior we witnessed today was fishing behavior! We had our most exciting encounter as K25 (Scoter) was fishing then he decided to make a distinct turn and come swim alongside our boat! He actually checked us out – he was on his side swimming along! It was beautiful! We continued toward home port and slowed down through the south end of Lopez Island and Castle Rock. It was absolutely beautiful!
-Steller sea lion
We left on our evening trip today and headed south toward the Strait of Juan de Fuca. We saw several harbor porpoise on our cruise tonight. We spotted a minke whale around Salmon Bank and got a couple of looks at him before we found the orcas! We had members of J and K pods tonight. We spent time with K34 (Cali), J19 (Shachi), J41 (Eclipse), J51 (Nova), J27 (Blackberry) K33 (Tika) and J2 (Granny). We watched them as they foraged west of Hein Bank. They were spread out and it was beautiful to see exhalations and dorsal fins popping up everywhere! One of the highlights of the trip is when K33 came over and swam down the entire length of the boat, across the stern and we even saw a “rainbow” – an exhalation which creates a rainbow! Captain Carl heard that J2 was in the area, so we went on the search and she happened to be the last whale we came upon as we cruised to the east! We had a Steller sea lion pop up alongside the boat. We continued toward homeport as we headed through the south end of Lopez Island and Castle Rock. We spotted a couple of harbor seals hauled out enjoying the last little bits of sunshine. We were treated to a beautiful sunset as we made our way home!