L Pod out west and Humpbacks too!!!!!

Port Angeles

Highlights
3 Humpback Whales
L54’s
Harbor Seals
Elephant Seals
California Sea Lions
 Steller Sea Lions
 Race Rocks Lighthouse

With the threat of rain a possibility we eased our way into the harbor as the tugs ferried a load of logs to be stored. The Pacific Basin was being  loaded with logs to send overseas and tankers were moored in the harbor. Atlantic salmon were being harvested as we passed by the fish farms and a pair of common loons were spotted. So much to see before we even left the harbor and the day had just begun. Rounding Ediz Hook the harbor seals were frolicking in the surf. We aimed  northwest into glassy seas hard on the search. We  found ourselves in the rainshadow of the Olympics and enjoyed  a cloudy but rainfree time. Not long into the trip our Canadian friends found our first whales…two Humpbacks. They were in a traveling mode heading west at a leisurely pace. We kept pace with them for awhile and got a few good looks at their flukes.One was unable to be identified but one with a pretty frosting on the tips actually has an identity in 2 different catalogs being known as MMY0024 aka CS131 being first seen as an adult  in 2006. Not far from Race Rocks we headed towards the lighthouse and stopped to check out the wildlife on the rocks. We had quite a few elephant seals high up on helicopter rock with two sparring with some intensity. Harbor seals were scattered along the shores while the barking and growling of the larger pinnipeds could be heard in force along with a pungent odor. The California sea lions seemed to be taking the high ground while the larger Steller sea lions dominated the lower rocks.With reports of orcas further west we ventured forth and caught up to some of our southern resident orcas. They were spread out fishing for salmon and we could see a few big males nearby. They turned out to be L88 Wavewalker a 23 year old male and his  companion 26 year old L84 Nyssa. As sole survivors of their matriline they spend their time with the L54’s. Not far away were L54 39 year old Ino mother to L108 10 year old Coho and 6 year old L117 Keta. More orcas were seen in the distance but no more ID’s were confirmed. We enjoyed their company as they  crossed our bow and came in close while fishing. When it was time to depart we had another humpback we found and with a good  look at his flukes found that we had another new humpback not in our  ID catalog. The waters remained beautiful as we headed home with the cloud enshrouded Olympics on our right and Vancouver Island on our left… scenery to be seen no where else. All in all a wonderful day with  2 types of whales, plenty of bird life and a fantastic stop at Race Rocks.Not bad for a rainy day inland !!!
Naturalist ~ Lee
http://www.racerocks.ca for any one wanting to check out webcam or race rocks blog

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