3:30 PM Tour
Calm seas and sunny skies made for easy cruising through the islands this evening. We made a stop at Peapod Rocks where dozens of harbor seals were laid out, including at least one mom and pup. We cut deep into Canadian waters tonight on the search for whales. In the middle of Georgia Strait, east of Vancouver city, we found the humpback whale Divit (BCX0870) cruising north. We stayed long enough to get several incredible views of his fluke as he dove deep before we cruised even further north to meet up with some transients. We met up with the T37As and T77s as they raced south down the Strait. Further south T51 was northbound, and when the two groups met cruising behavior turned into social hour for all the transient orcas present. Tail slaps, breaching, orcas swimming upside-down, it was hard to know where to look as they actively zigzagged in every direction! We reluctantly left the pods to make our way back towards Anacortes, taking in views of Mount Baker and the San Juans all the way home.
With a brisk and sunny day we headed out in search of whales. We checked out the salmon pens with the salmon jumping all over and seals lurking outside the pens. More harbor seals greeted us at Ediz Hook along with a lone adult bald eagle.. As we headed northwest in the straits the Olympic mountains started to peak through the clouds. It wasn’t long before we spotted our first whale and he is one we know well. He is a humpback named Stitch. we enjoyed his company for awhile and even saw a tail throw from him. There were some other humpbacks in the area so we went and checked them out. We had two that had long down times so we decided to head over to Race rocks and check out the lighthouse and all the wildlife there. Tons of harbor seals dotted the rocks and pigeon guillemots flew around them. We also saw 4 Steeler sea lions and one of them has a massive wound on his side either from a shark or an orca attack so we know he was one lucky survivor. As we headed back across the straights we found our fourth humpback whale and though we didn’t know who he was he also looked like a survivor as he had orca rake marks on both his top and bottom flukes indicating he was probably attacked as a calf. We got to see him fluke a few times and had some really nice looks at him as he came close to the boat. By that time our time was running short and we had to head towards port after a wonderful day spent with our humpback friends.
Sunny and a little bumpy in the Strait. Saw great blue herons, eagles, caspian terns, black oystercatchers as we left the slough to the south. Pigeon guillemots as we went under the bridge. We sailed between Colville and Castle Rock and then behind Long Island and found two bald eagles perched in trees. One took flight and repositioned to another tree. Harbor seals on mummy rocks. Eagle at entrance to Fishermans bay. Lunch on Lopez, then south down San Juan Channel and out to the strait. We found an elusive minke whale south of Salmon Bank, then headed south to Hein Bank, Eastern Bank, and Partridge Bank. There was plenty of bird activity on Partridge Bank. North to Minor Island – three bald eagles and several harbor seals.