L54’s and Humpback in AM/Humpback mugging in PM

Port Angeles

9:30 am Trip

highlights
L54 Matriline
L88 Wavewalker and L84 Nyssa
Humpback whale MMZ0004

    A hot day on land and a beautiful day to be out on the water. The Olympics stood out as we headed into the harbor with seals popping up here and there. Seabirds lined the harbor eating small baitballs that formed. We cruised through the harbor checking out the fish pens and coast guard station and learning about Ediz Hook.  The straits were calm and blue and everyone was on the lookout for whales as we made our way north.  Not long  into our trip a humpback was sighted by a passenger. We took a quick peek but a call came in about some orcas up ahead so we decided to come back to our humpback friend and check out the orcas. We found 5 resident orcas slowly making their way north across the straits. They turned out to be 39 year old L54 Ino and her 10 year old son L108 Coho along with her newest calf 6 year old L117 Keta. Two gorgeous adult orca males  23 year old L88 Wavewalker and 26 year old L84 Nyssa were also with the family. As these two big boys are the sole survivors of their matrilines they travel with  the L54’s very often. It was a pleasure watching this little family as they traveled sometimes passing right next to our boat. We spent a good bit of time with them and  eventually left them to their journey to go and check out  our humpback. we found him a few miles south of where we left the orcas and we got treated to some beautiful looks at his beautiful flukes as he raised it quite often. With that showing of his flukes we found ourselves spending time with MMZ0004. While waiting for him to resurface we checked out the many seabirds floating on the water and glimpsed lots of harbor porpoise  all around. All too soon we found ourselves returning to port but happy knowing we had seen both resident orcas and one o our larger baleen whales ,the humpback whale.a great way to spend a hot and sunny day out on the water.
Naturalist- Lee

Port Angeles

3:30 PM Trip

Highlights

Humpback Whale “Stitch” mugs us  2x
Race Rocks Lighthouse
Stellar and California Sea Lions
BCZ0298 Split Fin
Rafts of common murres

    It was still a scorcher and we were anxious to get off the dock and out into the Straits of Juan de Fuca to cool off. Exiting the harbor we check out Port Angeles water front then we were off into the cooling waters of the strait.Harbor porpoise greeted us at the mouth of the harbor and Rhinocerous auklets and common murees floated everywhere. About 5 miles out of Port Angeles we found our first whale. It was a humpback whale feeding in the current lines. We watched as this giant fed  getting a great glimpse of his big black flukes long enough to identify him as “stitch”  a whale not in our database but has been seen in our waters for the last few years.While watching him he suddenly turned towards the boat and popped up right next to us. With engines shut down we got to listen to him breathe as he checked us out. He hovered just under the water at our stern and starboard side just hanging motionless, allowing us AMAZING views of his massive body  and huge pectoral fins not to mention his 20 foot tail. WOW what an unreal experience. After a while Stitch moved off seeming to head on back to his business and we started to go look for more whales. It seems stitch wasn’t ready to say good bye just yet as he came over appearing at our stern and proceeded with a second  mugging yet again amazing us with his immense size and curiosity. When Stitch finally got bored with us we headed over to Race Rocks to check out the lighthouse.California Sea Lions were barking as we headed through Race Rocks passage. Stellar sea lions lumbered around on the rocks growling occasionally.As we headed back across the straits the Captain spotted another humpback whale. this was our old friend BCZ0298 also known as Split Fin. We had some fantastic views of him as he swam along side our boat  crossing over to both sides fluking as he would make his deep dives and then resurface,What a terrific sight. Eventually he made larger circles  and seemed to be losing interest in us. Our time was winding down so we waited for one more fluking to say goodbye to split Fin and make our way home. Rafts of common murres could be seen everywhere as the young were out of the nests and learning how to fish.We arrived back at the dock in time for everyone to catch a beautiful sunset at Ediz Hook and enjoy the cooling temperatures. What an amazing trip we had with a rare and unexpected treat of being mugged by a humpback whale.
Naturaist -Lee

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