Orcas and Humpbacks in the Sun

Anacortes Highlights:
Two Humpback Whales
Transient Orcas (T65A’s)
Bald Eagles
Harbor Porpoise

Another great double-header on the Island Explorer 5!  We had plenty of porpoise, cormorants, and pigeon guillemots in Rosario Strait and a bald eagle near the Lopez Island ferry terminals.  North of Stuart Island we came across two humpback whales including BCX1057 swimming very close to each other and to shore.  After that, there was word of orcas near Turn Point so we headed there and got looks as they traveled along the rocky shoreline.  We found another bald eagle on our inner island route home and sunbathing harbor seals at Pointer Island before returning home!

Port Angeles Highlights:
Humpback Whale BCY0057
Race Rocks
Bald Eagles
Harbor Porpoise

Blue skies all day with views of Mt. Baker and the snowy Olympic Mountain Range. The trip started and ended with glassy calm seas. With no reports yet we first headed to the rockpile and gave it a major sweep. With no whales in sight we coordinated with other boats in the area and did a major search of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Finally a humpback whale was spotted a few miles south of Race Rocks. We got a few good tail shots and then a really close surfacing right off the bow! The whale was ID’d as Niagara BCY0057. Niagara seemed to be in feeding mode because of the long dive times and short surfacings. After this encounter we headed to Race Rocks and saw lots of cool sea life such as harbor seals, Steller and California sea lions, and two bald eagles. After Race Rocks we headed back to the whale and got a couple more tail shots before heading home. Once at the dock, a few guests were lucky enough to see three river otters swimming nearby!

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