3 unidentified Humpback Whales
It was overcast and grey but the water was glassy calm. We eased past a fueling tanker and checked out the harbor seals on Ediz Hook. Common Murres were in abundance along with glaucous winged gulls. We headed northwards across the straits and recieved a call about a whale not far from the Victor Gulf buoy. With long down times , we waited and never saw this elusive humpback so we headed over to Race Rocks to check out the lighthouse. The growling and barking reached our ears as we started to see the Stellar and California sea lions on the rocks. Passing through we continued west after receiving a call about Humpbacks further west.It was a long trek but we were rewarded with 3 Humpback whales. Two were feeding side by side and we got some good looks at their flukes. They are two new unidentified whales to add to our data base. We watched them as long as we could before having to make our way home. Along the way numerous harbor porpoise were seen.
Naturalist – Lee
The clouds seemed to be lifting over the Olympics as we prepared to leave the marina. A young harbor seal pup was on the logs inside the marina…soooo very cute and small. We entered the harbor passing the huge tankers fueling up and continued on to the end of Ediz Hook . Seabird waited hoping for a baitball to appear. Reports of transient orcas out west had come in and so we were off in search of them. Harbor porpoise and harbor seals made occasional appearances along the way.We got to enjoy beautiful views of the Olympic Peninsula. Our journey took us as far west as Pillar Point where our Canadian friends were babysitting a pair of Transient orcas for us.They turn out to be the T011 family of 2 …T011 the mom born around 1963 and her son T011A born in 1978. They appeared to be in a hunting mode staying down for long times and separating. We had some close passes as they surfaced near the boat letting us see the difference between the male and female dorsal. An observant passenger spotted a humpback whale not far off and we got to see him as he surfaced and finally fluked showing up his beautiful white flukes. Not long after seeing the humpback it was time to make the long trek home but it was well worth it to spend time with the transient orcas.we arrived back in the harbor as darkness fell and the harbor lights shone brightly on the flat waters while the ships were all lit up.