Patch (#49) Kicks Off Gray Whale Season!

Gray Whale #49, Patch

Everett Highlights:
Gray Whale Patch (#49)
Bald Eagles
Harbor Porpoise
California Sea Lions

We couldn’t have asked for better weather for the first day of gray whale season!  Skies were sunny and the water was calm as we departed from Everett and entered Possession Sound.  We spotted two mature bald eagles on the daymarker as well as a few harbor porpoise as we scoured the shorelines for whales.  Based on some reports from earlier this week, we decided to head north into Port Susan.  At the very north of the bay, after we had already turned to head back, we spotted a faint blow – it was Patch (#49), one of the original “Sounders” gray whales, first spotted in Puget Sound in 1991.  We got some good looks and even got to smell him!  We spotted harbor seals and more
porpoise on our journey home, and Captain Carl spotted another mature bald eagle
on the daymarker again. As we approached the naval station, we found
several California sea lions hauled out on the pontoons. Altogether, it was a
successful first gray whale trip for 2017!

Seattle Highlights:
Gray Whale Patch (#49)
Bald Eagles Everywhere
Steller Sea Lions
California Sea Lions

Our Seattle tour was lucky enough to also experience the first Island Adventures gray whale of 2017!  We immediately headed north to “gray whale territory” where our sister ship, Island Explorer 4 was already on the search.  It didn’t take long before we heard the good news that gray whale Patch (#49) had been spotted in Port Susan.  As we approached Whidbey Island, the wildlife sightings really began to unfold with harbor porpoise, harbor seals, and a Steller sea lion on a channel marker.  The bald eagles were really impressive today.  We saw at least 8 different mature eagles along the coastline throughout the trip.  We even got to see a pair chasing each other in flight!  We ventured farther north into Port Susan today than Captain Shane has in his entire career, but it was worth it to meet local whale celebrity, Patch!  We were able to watch Patch for a while and even got a very close surprise look when he surfaced close to the boat! It was a long trip back to Seattle, but two more Steller sea lions and a pair of California sea lions on channel markers kept us entertained as we headed home.  We covered an incredible 90 miles round-trip today, but it was worth it to get the first gray whale of 2017 under our belt!

Check out some photos from today’s tours below!

Steller Sea Lions

Eagles in Flight

Island Explorer 4 as seen from the Island Explorer 3

Mature Bald Eagle

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