Grays All Day from Everett; “Big Mama” and Orcas from Anacortes

Transient Orcas

Anacortes Highlights: 

Transient Killer Whales T124A, T124A3, T124A4, and T124A6
Humpback BCX0324 – Big Mama
Steller Sea Lions on Ewing Island

Today was a bit breezy, but fortunately quite pleasant compared to the storm that blew through yesterday!  We headed north up Bellingham Channel where we found several harbor porpoise and spotted a couple of bald eagles on Cypress Island.  We slowed near Peapod Rocks where we found another bald eagle and several harbor seals hauled out.  Continuing on, Captain Shane slipped into Rolfe Cove on Matia Island and found more harbor seals, several Canada geese, and even a pair of harlequin ducks!  A stop at Ewing Island yielded a large group of Steller sea lions that proved quite photogenic.  We pressed on north into Canada and were rewarded for our long journey with a special encounter with orcas! It was a group of Bigg’s killer whales including T124A, T124A3, T124A4 and new little one T124A6!  They were traveling southbound, zigging and zagging every which way. At one time they even headed directly to us -it was great!  We spent some quality time with them before turning for home, but not before one of our sharp-eyed passengers spotted another whale!  This time it was a well-known humpback whale, “Big Mama”!  We had a couple of great looks at her, able to cross two different whale species off the list.  Heading home we spotted more harbor seals and harbor porpoise.  The winds died down and the sky got brighter and brighter throughout the day – we even saw the sun!

Close-Up of “Big Mama”
Steller Sea Lions


Gray Whale Close-Up

Everett 10 AM Highlights:
Four Feeding Gray Whales (53, 56, 49, and 383)
Mature Bald Eagles
Harbor Seal
California Sea Lions

Our morning tour started off with partly cloudy skies and calm seas.   We had a brief encounter with harbor seal on east side of Hat Island before spotting two mature bald eagles in the trees on the east side of Camano.  Our first whales of the day were a pair of gray whales swimming together on the west side of Camano.  We identified this duo as gray whales 53 and 56.  We had some fantastic close encounters with these whales before continuing on to find another pair further north, 49, “Patch”, and 383!  We saw lots of feeding behavior as they feasted on ghost shrimp in the shallows. On our return, we capped things off with some California sea lions sleeping on the Navy pontoons. 

Everett 2 PM Highlights:

Gray Whales 356, 53, and 383
Osprey Nest
Bald Eagle
California Sea Lions

By the afternoon, it was mostly cloudy, but the seas remained calm.  A mature bald eagle greeted us on Jetty Island, and we found two osprey in a nest on a nearby piling!  We discovered our first gray whale (356) on the west side of Hat Island in Possession Sound. As we headed north to Saratoga Passage, we found two more grays feeding close to shore on west side of Camano Island.  These were 53 and 383, two of the whales from our morning tour.  We got some great looks at their tail flukes as they fed on their sides near shore.  After an afternoon of gray whale action, our California sea lion friends posed for photos on the Navy pontoons. 

Everett Sunset Highlights:

Three Gray Whales
Osprey with Dinner
Steller Sea Lion
Gorgeous Sunset

Our trip started with a bang as we watched and osprey dive-bombing for fish near Jetty Island! We watched as he flew away with a fish in his talons after a successful catch.  We said hello to our California sea lions on the Navy pontoons and spotted a second type of sea lion, a larger Steller sea lion, swimming in the water on the east side of Hat Island. We went toward Saratoga passage and found three gray whales all very close to each other practicing their synchronized swimming and diving. We got a couple of looks at their tails and a close encounter as the whales swam right under the boat!  There was no topping that, but the gorgeous orange sunset as we were heading home came close!

Osprey Nest
Gray Whale Feeding
Sunset Near Everett

from Blogger


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