K and L pod Orcas just off the Elwha!!!!!

Port Angeles

~Highlights~
Harbor Seals
Steller Sea Lion
K & L Pod Orcas fishing off the Elwha out into the Straits

K22 Sekiu

L55’s

L82 Kasatka

L55 Nuggett

L72 Racer

L72 Racer

L105 Fluke

K35 Sonata

K16 Opus

L84 Nyssa

L88 Wavewalker

L88 Wavewalker

What a day it was looking to be. You could feel it would get hot with blue skies and no wind. The Straits were calm as could be. With great excitement we  got off the docks and out into the harbor. We checked out the sights  in the harbor and headed for open water. We found a few harbor seals  hauled out on Ediz Hook and many more just in the surf. We watched them for a few minutes  and then we were off again heading westward.  Not far past Ediz Hook a steller sea lion popped up giving us some great looks as he had apparently just finished off his breakfast.We headed slightly offshore  checking out race rocks from afar and Hurricane Ridge as we passed the Elwha River.  And just like that  we had whales!!!!!!!. Orcas to be exact. They were spread out over many miles in small little groups as far as we could see. We couldn’t ever remember seeing the resident orcas this far south on our side of the border so and in such numbers with everyone fishing. Our greatest hopes are that the Elwha  is coming through and providing the much needed fish for our resident orcas. It was an exciting day  and we started checking out groups of whales as we went to  see who was there. We could see huge male dorsal fins  way off in the distance fishing the currents and popping up all over. We even had a few startle us as they popped up right near us. We saw K25 Scoter and  the K13’s in one area and as we continued on we past K34 Cali. L91 Muncher and her son L122 Magic were fishing. We saw a lot of the big males wildly giving chase after fish amazing us with their speed even having one breach  three times. Moving on we ran into a few of the K12’s including K22 Sekiu and K37 Ripple. Part of the L55’s were grouped up in a resting mode so we got to watch them as the surfaced with synchronized breathing patterns. It was very interesting as most of the orcas were spread out far and wide  in small little groups of ones and twos making  family ID’s a little harder as we didn’t always see the whole family near each other.We had a breathtaking pass by mother and son duo L72 Racer and L105 Fluke as they came right to us  under the boat and resurfaced right on the other side before continuing west.We headed south and west to check out more orcas finding  K16 Opus with her son K35 Sonata. Some more large males fishing caught our eye even closer to shore so we proceeded inward finding L84 Nyssa and L88 Wavewalker not far from one another. We watched Wavewalker chase fish right next to the boat diving and circling. What a gorgeous boy he is. There were so many other whales we never got to identify as they were everywhere even though we spent all our time  watching them and checking out group after group. we finally said our good byes after  some amazing time spent with the orcas and there was nothing but smiles all around.We can only hope that seeing them so close to the Elwha is a sign of great things to come down the road . Only time will tell.
~Naturalist~ Lee

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