Orca/Humpback Double-Header from Anacortes, Gray Whale Hat Trick from Everett

Anacortes Highlights:
Transient Orcas T11 and T11A
Humpback Whale near Halibut Island
Steller Sea Lions
Spieden Island Animals
Bald Eagles

It was a bit overcast for our adventure today, but we managed to avoid any rain.  Early in the trip we spotted plenty of pigeon guillemots in Guemes Channel and harbor porpoise in Rosario Strait.  At the south end of Lopez Island we caught a glimpse of several turkey vultures riding in the updraft as well as some Canada geese perched on a rock.  After that, we moved on toward Haro Strait where we met up with two transient orcas, T11 and her son T11A, shortly after crossing into Canada near Sidney Island.  We were able to get some great looks at the pair as they headed north, especially at the large male, T11A.  After departing the scene, we went to Halibut Island where we caught up with a humpback whale for a few surfacings and even got to see some gorgeous tail flukes!  We took the scenic inner-island route home, getting good looks at the exotic animals of Spieden Island and multiple bald eagles.  The east corner of the island revealed a large number of LARGE mammals – Steller sea lions!  We headed home through San Juan Channel, Upright Channel, and Thatcher Pass before crossing Rosario Strait once more and returning back to Anacortes after a successful double-header with TWO whale species!

Everett Highlights:
Gray Whales #44, #53, and #383
Several Bald Eagles
California Sea Lions

The forecast had called for a bit of wind and rain, but clearly Everett didn’t get the memo as we had neither!  It was flat calm and only slightly overcast.  Within minutes after untying from the dock, we had already seen common mergansers, Barrow’s goldeneyes, a bald eagle, and California sea lions.  Our luck continued as we saw our very first whale spout in the river delta, within view of the dock! This first whale was #44, “Dubknuck”.  He was feeding in the shallows, but gave us same great opportunities to smell some (rather foul) whale breath!  With reports of more whales in the area, we decided to press on, making a stop near Camano Head to view several bald eagles, and then rounding the corner entering Saratoga Passage.  Our second gray whale of the day was #53, “Little Patch”, and while watching him, a THIRD gray whale surfaced in the distance!  This was gray whale #383 who gave us spectacular looks at his tail flukes, including one slow-motion wave “goodbye”!  It was the perfect note to end on before returning to the dock!

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