Another day with the young humpback!

Seattle

Common Goldeneyes at the dock

Steller sea lion

Mt. Rainer and Tacoma

His/Her name is Speckles

Lunch time

Awesome!

We had a super trip from Seattle today, with an abundance of wildlife throughout the day! The sun was out, the seas were calm and the animals were everywhere! We stopped along a navigational marker to watch a really large Steller sea lion sleeping while a much smaller Steller circled the marker looking for a spot to rest. Several other sea lions were spotted in Colvos Pass as we searched for whales. Approaching Pt. Defiance Capt. Carl spotted a whale! This ended up being the same whale we have seen several times this season, including yesterday. This is a very young animal, probably a year old humpback. We needed to give this awesome juvenile whale a name, and one name Carl picked out stuck. This whale has a very distinctive pattern on it’s back and tail, making ‘Speckles’ the perfect name for our little buddy. We had a blast watching this whale for the next hour as it fed along the current lines and fluked on every deep dive. Dozens of harbor seals were also in the area to take advantage of some good feeding. After leaving the humpback we passed a California sea lion that was hauled out. We had a real treat as we approached the dock. Two mature bald eagles were feeding on some bait fish as we watched! It’s pretty rare to watch eagles hunt into a bait-ball, how cool! They circled over and over capping a great day on the water!

-Michael Colahan

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Our young Humpback whale friend makes an appearance!

Seattle

We left the dock from Seattle today with a bit of wind in the forecast and a hearty group on board. We cruised past Blake Island, the reported birthplace of Chief Seattle. Entering Colvoss Passage we ducked out of the wind for a awhile and continued the search for whales. A mature bald eagle soared off the stern and seemed to track down a bit of food that some gulls were circling. When we reached Pt. Defiance we encountered a heavy rain squall, and also a humpback whale! Capt. Scott spotted the whale in the current lines and moved a little closer. Soon, this whale popped up right next to us on several occasions! We recognized this animal as a very young whale, most likely only a year old. We saw it bring it’s tail out of the water over and over, and the humpback even did a small cartwheel! What a treat! Harbor seals were all around the boat as well, searching for food just like the humpback. Cruising home, the sun came out and we stopped to watch a California sea lion feeding close to our dock. Great day!

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Sunshine in the Sound!

Seattle


Highlights
-Brant
-Bald eagle and gull after food
-Sunshine





 We embarked on our journey today and headed to the north. We spotted several Brant throughout our trip. We were on the search as we cruised toward Saratoga Passage. We saw a mature bald eagle and a gull both eyeing something in the water. Neither bird swooped down to retrieve it. But we were still on the search for whales! We continued north all the way up to Baby Island, off Whidbey Island. We cruised the east side of Possession Sound, scouring the shoreline. The sun actually broke through the clouds and shone for quite awhile. We continued searching to the south. Unfortunately, we didn’t find a whale today. All of our guests get to return for another trip. They will ride free, for life, until the see a whale! We look forward to seeing everyone again soon!

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Still looking for the perfect gift for the whale lover in your life? Visit our gift shop at 1801 Commercial in Anacortes and we’ll help you finish your holiday shopping. Don’t forget our 50% off sale on 2017 whale watch gift certificates ends Dec. 24th at midnight! Order online at www.orcawhales.com! #islandadventures #welovewhales #imdreamingofablackandwhitechristmas

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Searching for whales with poroise

Winter whale watching can be like the NFL in December, somedays do not work out as good as others.   The Island Explorer 3 left Bell Harbor today expecting to see whales, as she always does.  There has been one of our resident gray whales sighted consistently around Whidbey Island, a humpback that has been moving between Possession Point and Tacoma, and on Thursday and Friday there were resident killer whales right off Seattle.  There has also been multiple groups of transient killer whales coming in and out of Puget Sound for the last few weeks.  All of this information gave us high hopes leaving the dock even with the spotting conditions not quite perfect, due to the weather.   We did see bald eagles in flight and harbor porpoises, along with amazing views of the Seattle Skyline and Puget Sound.  Unfortunately, there were no whales on this trip.  This is good news for many of our guests, as they do get to come again for free.  Just like the Seahawks, we will regroup and be ready for next week.

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A fine adventure in the Puget Sound!

Seattle

California sea lion
Bald eagle
Elusive baleen whale
Rainbow

We left the dock on our search today and headed to the north. We spotted several different species of birds on our trip: Brant geese, grebes, cormorants and a bald eagle! A sharp-eyed passenger spotted a California sea lion aimed for our stern wake. We continued north toward Possession Point on Whidbey Island. We searched and searched into Admiralty Inlet. The sun poked through the clouds, treating us to a beautiful rainbow for almost an hour! We turned back toward the south, hugging the Kitsap Peninsula side, I spotted a spout in the calm water along the shoreline behind us! I saw it again! I alerted Captain Scott and we turned the boat. It was all eyes on deck as we scoured the shoreline and out into the middle of the channel. We searched and searched and searched, but unfortunately, we weren’t able to spot the animal again. We turned toward the south, in case the animal was headed that direction, but with no luck. We continued searching the Kitsap Peninsula and Bainbridge Island side of Puget Sound. We made our way back toward the dock and unfortunately weren’t able to find another, more cooperative whale. So, since no one saw a whale on our trip today, everyone gets to come back for free, for life, until they see a whale! It was a lovely day on the water and we look forward to seeing everyone again soon!

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