A Crazy, Hazy Day – Humpbacks, Transients, and a GRAY WHALE!


Port Angeles


9:30 AM

INCREDIBLE MORNING ON THE WATER! Before the tour even began, we spotted a raccoon under the dock and a great blue Herron catching fish! Then with early reports of our resident killer whales heading west, we put the pedal to the metal and cruised toward their location so we could catch them before they were out of range. Across the flat calm strait we had many sightings of harbor porpoise in feeding mode! When we arrived near beachy head, we were treated to a large group of Lpod spread out into several smaller groups. The group included L72, 91, 92, 55, 105, and 5-10 others! We got lots of close passes and fantastic looks! We then turned east to head to race rocks when we were interrupted by a lone GRAY WHALE who was sleepily headed west. What a treat to see a gray whale so out of season! Next we went through race rocks where we saw many stellar sea lions, harbor seals, a mature bald eagle, and a big elephant seal amongst the sea lions! What a beautiful morning!!! 

3:00 PM

Started the trip with glassy seas! After hearing reports of humpbacks across the strait at Constance bank, we headed north while catching great looks of harbor porpoise along the way! When we arrived, it appeared to be a mother and calf who were split up about a quarter mile apart. We got really nice fluke shots of the larger whale but we’re unable to identify the individual. Then out of the blue, the large whale gave a massive full body breach!!! It was amazing! We soon headed west to do some exploring. We went through race rocks where we encountered lots of dueling stellar sea lions, and many harbor seals! We then continued west where we found two humpbacks initially traveling together, but soon splitting off and heading different directions. We followed one east and got great tail shots before turning and heading back to the dock! 






La Conner

It was a hazy and calm day.  We headed south downthe channel. Saw a couple of great blue herons, several Caspian terns, a dozen black oystercatchers, and a couple of bald eagles as we cruised through the channel. Harbor seals hauled out on Strawberry Island. Under the bridge, out toward the strait. Several harbor porpoise throughout our trip. Skirted San Juan Island and headed into Canada to find a humpback whale! He surfaced a couple of times at pretty close range, surprising us all! Some nice looks before we headed into Lopez for lunch. Then we headed south down San Juan Channel for Cattle Pass and back out toward the strait. Continued on our search under the bridge. Found several more bald eagles and gbhs on our trip back through the channel to la Conner.

Anacortes

10:00 AM
Our morning tour enjoyed very calm conditions with just a bit of haze hanging in the air.  We took the scenic inner island route from Anacortes to Haro Strait, going through Pole Pass, a great shortcut to get to Haro Strait.  It was there, between Henry Island and Sidney Island that we encountered a new-to-us humpback whale!  This juvenile had a distinct injury on the left side of his/her fluke that can be used to identify the individual.  We had a few close surfacing and even got to see a “cartwheel” where the whales tail was thrown out of the water with a big splash.  Photos have been sent to a few research organizations, but this may be a new visitor to the Salish Sea!  On the way home we cruised by the north end of Spieden Island where we saw several bald eagles and a few harbor seals as well.  We took Wasp Pass coming home and enjoyed looking at the beautiful homes along the water.  It was a really nice afternoon!


3:30 PM

For our second tour of the day, we took a similar route through Pole Pass.  There were several boats looking for our humpback friend from the morning, but everyone had come up short.  After an extensive search pattern, the Island Explorer 5 earned some major bragging rights by relocating this young humpback near Saltspring Island!  The evening light through the haze was spectacular, creating a shimmery orange glow on the water, AND our humpback whale!  The whale seemed to have grown comfortable with us by the afternoon, coming up regularly quite close to our vessel.  As a finale, we were all treated to a  BREACH in the orange sunlight – fantastic!  On the way home, it was cool enough for the Spieden animals to come out to graze.  We spotted mouflon sheep, sika deer, and fallow deer feeding on the hillside as well as several bald eagle.  So much fun!  








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Humpbacks Galore from Port Angeles, Transients and a Humpback from Anacortes

Port Angeles

AM Tour:

Absolutely flat calm waters greeted us this morning making anything in the water easy to spot. Many harbor porpoise were seen on and off throughout our trip. The olympics had a good amount of cloud cover but some of the snow capped peaks   managed to shine through occasionally. Our first whale came as a pair of humpbacks feeding deep then resting at the surface   in between. They were whales we knew as BCY0523 and BCX1251 Orion. A little farther away we encountered another humpback also feeding and this one we didn’t recognize. After enjoying their company we continued our search and headed for Race Rocks.While there we found a myriad of pinnipeds from harbor seals and Stellar sea lions  to even 2 elephant seals. Ollie the sea otter even made an appearance. Birds were in abundance including 2 bald eagles, pigeon guillemots , cormorants, and black oyster catchers. As our time grew short we headed south ever vigilant for any more wildlife   that might appear. What a great morning out in the straits of Juan de Fuca.

PM Tour:

As we prepared to leave for our afternoon trip we couldn’t help but be excited as the water was glassy flat. It wasn’t long into our trip when the first harbor porpoise made an appearance. We traveled west  and found BCY0523 and BCX1251 Orion still hanging out together feeding and showing off their flukes. As we watched we noticed more humpback whales in the distance and we eventually went to check some more out. One of the whales turned out to be BCY0324 Big Mama. It was  amazing to see all the exhalations  in the distance. Being close to race rocks we took a little break to scope out the action there and found harbor seals  with a mom and pup nursing also. Steeler sea lions were abundant as were the seabirds along with one bald eagle. We continued our search and it took us to the far west with reports of lots of humpbacks . As we watched exhalations all around us we had one whale throw a cartwheel and then another breached in the distance. Naturally we headed over to the breaching whale to find out it was none other than BCX1068 Split Fluke and her new 2017 calf who was doing all the breaching while mom ate. We stayed as long as we could watching breach after breach until mom actually came and collected the calf  after eating her fill and put and end to the playtime. A long trip out west  that was well worth it to see all those humpbacks and great aerial displays.

Anacortes


AM Tour:


As soon as the boat got off the dock we decided we were going to head South in hopes of finding the first whales of the day! We made it by Whidbey Island and then heard reports of some Orcas just a few miles up ahead of us! We arrived on scene and saw that the whales we were with were the same Transients we saw yesterday morning, the T46’s! They were cruising at a steady pace as they went along the shore line. We left these whales as we went a tried to find some more wild life and ended up seeing a few looks at a Minke Whale popping up off the bow of the boat. This whale was pretty shy and didn’t hang around very long, so we decided to go see more of those orcas we had earlier because they were heading North towards the dock! We were with the whales for a little while until we had to start making our way back towards the dock! 




PM Tour:


Headed west through Guemes Channel to Rosario Strait and then southbound in Rosario. Spotted our first whale of the day! A humpback whale who had been pretty erratic before we got there, then began a slowly southbound trek. Fluked a couple of times. Popped up right off the bow, we got to see his blowholes!  Then turned north up Rosario Strait to Bellingham channel. Spotted rhinoceros auklets, common murres, pigeon guillemots and cormorants. Off point Lawrence we caught up with some orcas that were hauling northbound, at 7 knots! It was the T46s (T46, T46D, T46E, T46F and T122). They cruised northbound the entire hour plus we were with them! Saw some pretty lucky harbor porpoise, as the whales cruised by them without even looking twice. Nice looks as they headed toward Canada. A lot of quality time with them before heading home. Stopped by peapod rocks and found several harbor seals both hauled out and in the water, numerous black oystercatchers, and four bald eagles!  Awesome evening on the water!

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Humpbacks Galore in Port Angeles, Double-Header in Anacortes

Port Angeles

AM Tour:

Absolutely flat calm waters greeted us this morning making anything in the water easy to spot. Many harbor porpoise were seen on and off throughout our trip. The olympics had a good amount of cloud cover but some of the snow capped peaks   managed to shine through occasionally. Our first whale came as a pair of humpbacks feeding deep then resting at the surface   in between. They were whales we knew as BCY0523 and BCX1251 Orion. A little farther away we encountered another humpback also feeding and this one we didn’t recognize. After enjoying their company we continued our search and headed for Race Rocks.While there we found a myriad of pinnipeds from harbor seals and Stellar sea lions  to even 2 elephant seals. Ollie the sea otter even made an appearance. Birds were in abundance including 2 bald eagles, pigeon guillemots , cormorants, and black oyster catchers. As our time grew short we headed south ever vigilant for any more wildlife   that might appear. What a great morning out in the straits of Juan de Fuca.

PM Tour:

As we prepared to leave for our afternoon trip we couldn’t help but be excited as the water was glassy flat. It wasn’t long into our trip when the first harbor porpoise made an appearance. We traveled west  and found BCY0523 and BCX1251 Orion still hanging out together feeding and showing off their flukes. As we watched we noticed more humpback whales in the distance and we eventually went to check some more out. One of the whales turned out to be BCY0324 Big Mama. It was  amazing to see all the exhalations  in the distance. Being close to race rocks we took a little break to scope out the action there and found harbor seals  with a mom and pup nursing also. Steeler sea lions were abundant as were the seabirds along with one bald eagle. We continued our search and it took us to the far west with reports of lots of humpbacks . As we watched exhalations all around us we had one whale throw a cartwheel and then another breached in the distance. Naturally we headed over to the breaching whale to find out it was none other than BCX1068 Split Fluke and her new 2017 calf who was doing all the breaching while mom ate. We stayed as long as we could watching breach after breach until mom actually came and collected the calf  after eating her fill and put and end to the playtime. A long trip out west  that was well worth it to see all those humpbacks and great aerial displays.
Anacortes

AM Tour:

As soon as the boat got off the dock we decided we were going to head South in hopes of finding the first whales of the day! We made it by Whidbey Island and then heard reports of some Orcas just a few miles up ahead of us! We arrived on scene and saw that the whales we were with were the same Transients we saw yesterday morning, the T46’s! They were cruising at a steady pace as they went along the shore line. We left these whales as we went a tried to find some more wild life and ended up seeing a few looks at a Minke Whale popping up off the bow of the boat. This whale was pretty shy and didn’t hang around very long, so we decided to go see more of those orcas we had earlier because they were heading North towards the dock! We were with the whales for a little while until we had to start making our way back towards the dock! 


PM Tour:

Headed west through Guemes Channel to Rosario Strait and then southbound in Rosario. Spotted our first whale of the day! A humpback whale who had been pretty erratic before we got there, then began a slowly southbound trek. Fluked a couple of times. Popped up right off the bow, we got to see his blowholes!  Then turned north up Rosario Strait to Bellingham channel. Spotted rhinoceros auklets, common murres, pigeon guillemots and cormorants. Off point Lawrence we caught up with some orcas that were hauling northbound, at 7 knots! It was the T46s (T46, T46D, T46E, T46F and T122). They cruised northbound the entire hour plus we were with them! Saw some pretty lucky harbor porpoise, as the whales cruised by them without even looking twice. Nice looks as they headed toward Canada. A lot of quality time with them before heading home. Stopped by peapod rocks and found several harbor seals both hauled out and in the water, numerous black oystercatchers, and four bald eagles!  Awesome evening on the water!

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Humpbacks, Transient Orcas, and a Minke Whale




Anacortes
10AM Tour
Blue skies all around and glimpses of an osprey just before we left Cap sante!!! We headed out guemes channel up into Rosario straight stopping at Pea pod rocks for our first wildlife. Here we found a large group of harbor seals and even a few immature bald eagles. After that we continued north through Barnes and Clark islands stopping at Matia island for another bald eagle. We continued from there to Sucia island where we found an eaglet in its nest!!! From there we continued north passed Patos island toward Saturna island. We got a call at this point and quickly turned down Boundary pass. In no time at all we joined up with BCX0870 a humpback known as divot. He gave us a great show and showed his flukes a bunch of times affording us some great looks. After that we headed inner island passing another eagle on White rock, heading through pole pass and then back to the dock!!! It was an amazing day!!!!

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.

Port Angeles

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.

La Conner

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.

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Resident Orcas Off San Juan Island

Anacortes:

Highlights:
Rhinoceros auklets in Guemes Channel
Harbor seals on rocks near Shark Reef
Bald eagles throughout the entire trip
Resident orcas (members of J and K pods)!!

We had an awesome trip filled with tons of orcas!  We spent time with members of the J14s and K16s off Eagle Point on the westside of San Juan Island.  The weather was great and so were the whales!

La Conner: 

Highlights:
SO many great blue herons
Bald eagles
White pelicans off March Point
Black oystercatchers at Swirl Rocks
Steller sea lion at Whale Rocks
Resident orcas (members of J pod)

What an amazing day on the water!  We left the dock and headed north out of the slough past the train bridge and down Guemes Channel passing the Anacortes waterfront.  We made it over to the westside of San Juan Island where we spent time with members of Jpod resident orcas : L87, J22, J38, J16, J26, J42, J50, J19, J41, and J51.  Great whale time all before heading to lunch in Fisherman’s Bay on Lopez Island.  After lunch we made our way back toward out dock in La Conner through Deception Pass.  Beautiful.



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Double-Header from Anacortes and Double-Digit Humpbacks from Port Angeles



Anacortes Highlights:
T65A Transient Orcas
Humpback BCZ0180 “Monarch”
Harbor Seals
Harbor Porpoise


Sunny and calm with just a slight ocean swell when out in the Strait. We encountered harbor porpoise in Rosario Strait and then made a slow down near the south end of Lopez Island where we found multiple harbor seals hauled out, pigeon guillemots, and a mature bald eagle perched on Swirl Rocks.  South of Salmon Bank we found a humpback identified as BCZ0180 (Monarch).  Monarch’s breath patterns were a bit unpredictable today, but we saw some gorgeous flukes twice. Next we headed north up Haro Strait into Canada and trekked up to Beaver Point where transient orcas, the T65As, were headed southbound. T65A3 was alone leading the group with her family trailing behind. We went a long way to get them but it was worth it.  We headed home inner island, ending a sunshine filled day and two species under our belt!





Port Angeles Highlights:
Too Many Humpbacks to Count
Sparring Elephant Seals
Sea Otter
Bald Eagle


What a beautiful day awaited us. Blue skies, flat seas and the Olympic Mountains in full view along with Mt Baker in the distance. A few harbor seals popped up alongside us as we idled out of the harbor.Harbor porpoise were spotted breaking the surface of the water as we cruised in the straits. Not long after we spotted our first whale of the day ..a humpback whale named Stitch. He was feeding in the current lines  and staying at the surface  on a regular basis. A lot of direction changes brought him close to our boat and he seemed to want to feed right near us rolling on his side a few times showing  us half flukes . As we watched we could see other whale watch boats in the distance and  they also had 2-3 whales around them and we had 2 more off to our side feeding not far from stitch. We could see at least 8 or more humpback whales. We finally broke away from stitch and headed over to race rocks  with 3 more humpbacks surfacing not far from us. All the whales were feeding near the surface and were not really flaking so identities were kept hidden from us. At Race Rocks  we got great views of the lighthouse and all the harbor seals hauled out on the rocks. Black oystercatchers and pigeon guillemots  speckled the rocks. Ollie the sea otter was wrapped up in kelp and trying to be inconspicuous. We got lucky and had some good looks at the elephant seals as a few males decided to spar it out. We continued on our way heading back across the straits and  found 5 more humpbacks and once again they were feeding close to the surface and made many close passes by the boat. One even rolled on his side bringing up his white pectoral fin close enough we could see the barnacles on it..As the day  continued we  found ourselves having to say goodby to our friends and head for home. We couldn’t have asked for a better day!

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Transient Orcas, Close-Up Humpbacks, and GOATS!

Anacortes Highlights:
T2C Transient Orcas
GOATS!
Harbor Seals
Bald Eagles
We started down Guemes Channel passing harbor porpoise and cormorants, then north up Rosario Strait.  There were plenty of harbor seals on south Peapod and a mature bald eagle on north Peapod.  We continued north and eventually crossed into Canada for our whale sighting today, the transient family the T2C’s that aren’t often spotted here.  We followed them for quite a while, from Java Rocks to Monarch Head where we also found one of the neatest sightings – a huge group of billy goats on the rocks near the water.  After meeting back up with the orcas (complete with a few tail slaps and a spy hop!) we traveled south along the east side of Sucia Island and found more eagles and a California sea lion snoozing on a buoy north of Guemes!
Port Angeles Highlights:
Multiple Humpbacks
Bald Eagle
Elephant Seals


Another beautiful day out in the straits even though it was rainy onshore thanks to the rain shadow effect. We headed off to find whales but had to stop at the harbor entrance to admire two male California sea lions basking on the buoy. We had a bald eagle perched on a pole outside the coast guard station allowing us great looks and harbor seals  stared at us from the water wondering what we were looking at. We found our first whale not far off just north of the Elwha River  in the current lines. As we watched it became apparent there were  two humpback whales in a slow sleeping mode just heading west . We stayed with them for a while and then a third humpback appeared not far from our duo. Two of our humpbacks turned out to be one named Boulder and the other one was BCX1193 Zig Zag.The third appeared to be a new whale not in the official ID guides, but nicknamed “Hemlock”. As we continued on with out whales a fourth whale appeared and this humpback was one we know as Nike. We were able to identify them by the underside of their flukes as the raised them out of the water letting everyone see the difference with 3 black flukes and one with quite a bit of white. With Race Rocks not too far off we continued our search for whales and headed to Race Rocks getting beautiful looks at the granite lighthouse. Harbor seals were aplenty today dotting almost all the lower rocky ledges. California sea lions and stellar sea lions  had their favorite spots on the higher rocks. A real great treat was the 5 elephant seals we got to see…two of which were hauled out allowing us to see just how really big they are  being our largest pinniped. A mated pair of bald eagles sat atop the rocks survey their domain. Heading home and always on the lookout  we saw a whale in the distance breach three times but he settled down before we  got  close to him . He was feeding and heading west so we eventually had to part ways  and head back to port. All in all a perfectly fine day to be out on the water.

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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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Orcas and Humpbacks from Both Locations!





Port Angeles Highlights:
Lone Male Transient Orca
Humpback Whale
HUGE Elephant Seals!

It was a beautiful day – cloudy but calm waters greeted us. As we headed out into the straits, about 40 harbor seals were hauled out on the tip of Ediz Hook. Our search for whales brought us into Canadian waters where we were treated to one lone adult male transient orca slowly traveling eastward in a sleepy mode. After watching him for awhile we received a call about a humpback whale not far off so we ventured over to check him out. Calm waters must have put our whale friends in a sleepy mood for the humpback was also in a slow sleep travel mode. We left him to his nap and headed over to Race Rocks where we saw and amazing array of pinnipeds including our small harbor seals, barking California sea lions, and lounging steller sea lions. Our biggest treat was the large amount of massive elephant seals we witnessed!  A pair of bald eagles and lots of pigeon guillemots completed the scene. Harbor porpoise were spotted quickly surfacing through the water during our travels. The day ended with lots of sunshine  and smiles.



Anacortes Highlights:
Transient Orcas
Humpback Whale
Bald Eagles
Steller Sea Lions

More details coming soon!

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Maiden Voyage of the IE5 from Anacortes, Humpbacks in Paradise from Port Angeles!

Thanks to Steve Berentson for capturing this fantastic photo of the Island Explorer 5! 
Anacortes Highlights
Maiden Voyage of the IE5! 
Humpback Whales
Elephant Seals
Sea Otter
Race Rocks

Today marked a momentous occasion – after two long years of design and construction, the beautiful Island Explorer 5’s maiden voyage was a huge success!  We started out down Guemes Channel and then into Rosario Strait where harbor porpoise abounded.  We came across plenty of harbor seals and pigeon guillemots at the south end of Lopez Island, and then came across an eagle’s nest in MacArdle Bay. After that, it was out to the west in record time!  We made our way to Race Rocks and found California sea lions, elephant seals, and A SEA OTTER! Cruised through a couple of times (since we had plenty of time), and then headed toward where the Island Explorer 3 from Port Angeles had found whales earlier. Before we could even get back up to speed, two humpback whales popped up right in front of us! It was BCX1057 and MMY0009. They surfaced simultaneously in a rhythmic breathing sequence. They popped up close to the boat as they resurfaced from their deep dive a couple of times! We could even hear them exhale. It was so exciting!  As we cruised back toward home, we caught a few quick glances of a bonus whale – a minke at Salmon Bank!  We headed in toward Whale Rocks and found several Steller sea lions hauled out and in the water. Two even chased each other into the water! They were running!  We navigated home through the inner islands, why? Because we could! We made it to Race Rocks, spent quality time with whales, had the chance to see animals that previously were quite rare to see on an Anacortes departure, even had enough time to cruise inner island. We were only 15 minutes late! Woohoo!

Look closely…. Can you spot the otter?

Port Angeles Highlights:
Humpback Whales
Harbor Seals
Sea Otter
California Sea Lions
It was a beautiful sunny day from Port Angeles with blue skies and calm seas and good looks at Mount Baker all day.  The day started with three California sea lions hauled out on a buoy just off the tip of Ediz Hook. We also saw a couple of harbor seals swimming nearby. We continued on north after a report of humpbacks in the area and caught up with one humpback about halfway between Port Angeles and Victoria. The whale showed us great looks of the tail and seemed to be showing some feeding behavior. After watching this whale for a while, we turned west and headed toward another report of several more humpbacks a few miles west of Race Rocks. We caught up with at least two more humpbacks, possibly three. There was lots of surface activity and even a couple pectoral slaps! The whales seemed to be socializing and rolling on top of each other!  We also got looks at a few bird species including common murres, pigeon guillemots, rhinoceros auklets, and harlequin ducks. As we departed, we caught up with a pod of harbor porpoises. We then cruised to Race Rocks where we saw more California sea lions, harbor seals, many cormorants, and even our resident sea otter in the kelp! We then made our way back to Port Angeles to continue enjoying the sunshine. 

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