California Sea Lions
The first trip of the day was filled with phenomenal gray whale action! Less than 20 minutes after leaving the dock, we spotted four different gray whales! #723, #44, #22, and #49 were all present. #22 was feeding and spyhopping within feet of the shoreline. Gray whale #22 is the whale believed to have been struck by a private boater last week, so it was very encouraging to see this animal exhibiting normal feeding behavior. In the afternoon, we spotted gray whales #49, #723, and #53, and had a special surprise as well! Not long after finding the gray whales we received a report of orcas heading into Puget Sound! Captain Carl took a chance and it paid off, because we were rewarded with a fantastic encounter with transient killer whales! There were approximately 10 animals, including two young calves. We were able to identify some of the animals as T100C, 86A, and her calf 86A3. They were in a playful mood, showing us breaches, tail lobs, and spyhops! What a treat!
Steller Sea Lions
Dozens of Bald Eagles
Hundreds of Sea Birds
We started our tour heading north up Rosario Strait. We spotted a bald eagle on Strawberry Island and more eagles and harbor seals on Peapod Rocks. Continuing north, there were even more eagles on Sucia Island and a huge group of Steller sea lions. Conditions were favorable, so we headed even further north near Patos Island where we found DOZENS of bald eagles! Also nearby we saw many rhinoceros auklets, Bonaparte’s gulls, pigeon guillemots, and cormorants. The wildlife sightings didn’t stop as we traveled south, with more harbor seals on Lummi Rocks and Jack Island. Despite no whale sightings today, everyone was in good spirits because of the gorgeous weather, and we’ll get to see everybody again for free on another tour!