Sneaky Speckles and More!

Seattle:

The Speckled Back of Our Humpback Whale

Highlights:

Speckles the Humpback
HUGE Steller Sea Lion
Harbor Porpoise in Colvos Passage
Tacoma Narrows Bridge
California Sea Lions and Harbor Seals

It was a gorgeous, flat-calm day as we departed from the Bell Harbor Marina to see what Mother Nature had in store.  We knew that our friend Speckles had been spotted the evening before near his or her favorite hangout, Point Defiance, so we decided to travel south today.  Our first marine mammal of the day was a HUGE male Steller sea lion on a yellow marker buoy.  He certainly hasn’t missed any meals!  We then continued down Colvos Passage on the west side of Vashon Island and saw a group of harbor porpoise.  We took a good look around Point Defiance but didn’t see any sign of our humpback whale, so we continued down to a place we don’t visit very often, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, and saw several California sea lions and harbor seals on the way.

Finally, after reaching out to everyone in our spotting network, we got word that our sneaky little whale had been spending the afternoon next to an anchored tanker ship!  Sure enough, we found Speckles swimming underneath a massive tanker outside of Tacoma!  Once we got on scene, we were treated to several looks at his/her speckled flukes before having to head back home.  We cruised back north through Colvos Passage and as we did, the sun came out to make for a perfect ending.

In addition to Speckles, our friends at Orca Network have reported some exciting marine mammal sightings in Puget Sound lately!  Yesterday a pod of common dolphins, a normally tropical species that we spotted a few times this summer, was filmed playing in a boat wake off of Anderson Island in south Puget Sound.  We also got a late report from a ferry of unidentified orcas to the north near Everett. This is all very promising news for our trip next week!

Huge Steller Sea Lion

Speckles’ Flukes

Great Look at Snowy Rainier

A Look at Speckles’ Previous Entanglement Scars

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Have you seen the forecast for this Saturday’s Seattle tour!? 53 degrees! That’s downright tropical compared to the frigid winter we’ve had this year. Speckles the humpback has been seen several times this week near Point Defiance, and there was a report of transient killer whales swimming into the Salish Sea yesterday. Join us Saturday at 11:00 AM to see what we can find! Book online at www.orcawhales.com. Save $20 per person on new reservations with coupon code: SEA

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***ISLAND ADVENTURES WHALE UPDATE*** Humpback déjà vu! Once again Captain Scott, Naturalist Brooke, and First Mate Tyson found one of our favorite humpbacks, “Speckles”, hanging out near Point Defiance! This little whale is becoming quite the local celebrity and has been seen throughout Puget Sound since our Seattle season started. Weather looks GREAT for tomorrow’s 11:00 AM trip from Seattle if you want to join us! And don’t forget, for the holiday weekend we’ve also added a trip Monday as well! Stay tuned for the full report…

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Looking for something fun to do this weekend? Get your friends and family together to join us as we depart from downtown Seattle in search of whales and other wildlife! We’ve added extra trips to the schedule for the holiday weekend. Tours depart Saturday, Sunday, AND Monday this week at 11:00 AM from Bell Harbor Marina. Use special discount code “SEA” at checkout to save $20 per adult and $10 per child. Reserve your spots now at www.orcawhales.com. See you on the water!

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An Afternoon with Speckles the Humpback!

Seattle

Young Humpback, “Speckles”

Highlights:
Our Humpback Friend, “Speckles”
A BREACH!
Four Mature Bald Eagles
California Sea Lions
Harbor Seals

The seas were flat calm as we headed out from downtown Seattle this morning.  Our first major sighting were two California sea lions sleeping on a channel marker.  After a pause for photos, we decided to explore near Blake Island which proved a success, as we found two mature bald eagles overhead near the north of the island, and two more perched in a tree to the south.  We continued down Colvos Passage on the west side of Vashon Island and then, JACKPOT!  It was a guest that first spotted the spout of our whale today just south of Pt. Defiance.  To our delight, it was our now somewhat resident humpback whale, Speckles, so named because of the speckled pattern on his or her back and tail.

What happened next was truly incredible – just as we arrived on scene, the young whale breached, launching its entire body out of the water – what a treat!  Speckles hung around for a while, taking only short dives and showing its tail flukes before every dive.  On more than one occasion, the young whale even came near the boat to do some people-watching!  Alas, the time finally came that we had to head home, but not before seeing a few more California sea lions and harbor seals on the point.  The blue and green lights of CenturyLink Field as the Seahawks prepared for their playoff victory made for a lovely approach back to Seattle.

California Sea Lion

“Speckles”, the Young Humpback.
It appears this whale was at one point entangled, leaving scars on the tail.  Luckily, he or she is now swimming freely! 

Harbor Seal

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