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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