Pod of orcas at the end of the rainbow!!!

Port Angeles

Highlights:
Stellar sea lion feeding in the harbor
Humpbacks south of Race rocks light house
Resident orcas in the western straits
Beautiful sunny weather and calm seas all day

Naturalist log:

We started the day with a gorgeous sunrise as the clouds to the east continued pushing away from us and a large bubble of blue sky began to open up above us. After leaving the marina it was a short cruise to our first wildlife encounter. We crossed paths with a large Stellar sea lion that was currently enjoying breakfast. The sea lion would pop up above the surface just long enough to shred apart the skate that was in its mouth. Soon the seal was done and moving on so we decided to do the same. In no time at all we were viewing a large group of harbor seals on the tip of Ediz hook. They were very fun to watch but soon it was time to move along and search for bigger animals. We headed west toward the middle of the Straight of Juan de Fuca. It was hear that we got a call from a Canadian coast guard vessel telling us of whales just ahead of our position, so without hesitation we headed that way. It wasn’t long before we had to massive humpback whales pop up just off our starboard bow!!! Giving us some amazing looks as they traveled west. After a few flukes we figured out that we were watching MMX0006 and BCY0523, swimming side by side with each other. In the distance to the west  a rainbow began to form and after viewing the humpbacks for quite sometime we continued toward the rainbow. Now just like the stories tell you, there was indeed gold at the end of it, or in our case a large group of resident orcas, in bound. We started our show with Tika and Sekiu swimming together with orcas all over in the distance. The next group we visited with had Mike in it and a few females that seemed to be doing a little foraging. After a great show from these whales and even a breach right next to the boat and many big spy hops we moved to the next group of orcas. It was the J16’s and like the other groups they were headed east but beau for very playful. At one point they even pushed one of the new calves up to the surface.it was quite a show to watch and was only better with the perfect lighting the day had brought!!!!  The show was phenomenal and the weather stayed spectacular all day, it was definitely a perfect trip!!!!
Naturalist ~ Tyson
Photos ~ Lee Leddy

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