Humpback Morning, Orca Afternoon!

Anacortes am
*Humpback whale “Split Fin”, BCZ0298
*Calm seas with the whale, and lots of tail flukes

We headed south for our first trip of the day, but had to turn around because of rough seas at the south end of Rosario Strait.  We got word that a humpback whale was spotted up near Patos Island so we headed that way immediately.  By the time we got there, the whale had moved closer to Waldron Island.  It was Split Fin, BCZ0298.  Split Fin gave us plenty of great views of his tail flukes, he had good surface time, and we had much calmer seas than were experienced earlier in the day!

Anacortes pm
*4 Transient killer whales in the T18 pod, T18, T19, T19B, T19C
*A tufted puffin
*lots of hunting with the killer whales

The seas calmed down just enough for us to head south for our afternoon trip, and we were able to meet up with 4 transient orcas in the T18 pod.  It was T18, T19, T19B, and T19C.  The killer whales were grouped up when we first arrived, but quickly spread out to go on the hunt near Smith Island.  While we were watching we got a surprise flyby from a tufted puffin!  T19C swam in circles as if to be going after something!  After some good views the seas started building so Capt. Carl tucked into the protection of the southeast corner of Lopez Island in order to wait for the orcas to swim into calmer water.  His decision paid off because all four orcas grouped up and circled around Colville Island looking for prey!  After circumnavigating the island they all swam right in front of our boat, providing the best views of the day!  A few minutes later they hugged the shoreline of Lopez Island and caught something to eat.  Gulls followed them picking up the leftovers!  On our last pass of the day the orcas were surfacing with their exhalation blows backlit in the setting sun!  Naturalist Bart Rulon

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