A very brisk day out as we made our way across the harbor though the water was amazingly flat. We headed northwest as reports came in of humpback whales over by Vancouver Island. We found our first humpback and he was doing a lot of fluking and we were able to identify him as one known as Mathematician. We watched him for a while and then two other humpbacks showed up not far off so we went over to check them out. They both looked like totally new whales and one had an unusual injury to his dorsal giving him the appearance of having two dorsals. We will be sending off photos to the researchers to document these animals, but they are not currently in the local catalog! Later reports came in of a fin whale near Secretary Island so we trekked over there with high hopes of getting to see a very rare whale for our area and the second longest whale in the world. A few boats were also there and we looked and searched and eventually had to give up as he never appeared. We had some great looks at a mature bald eagle, however, on the island and then a few Steller sea lions popped up and one even was chomping down on a salmon swallowing it whole. We headed back east and had a whale suddenly appear next to the boat and then disappear just as suddenly . From the descriptions some of the passengers gave we believe this may have been the elusive finback whale but alas it was such a sudden appearance and vanishing act that no pictures were gotten. With all the excitement over we turned our sights towards home and nice cups of hot chocolate to warm us up as we discussed the days events on board.
The sky was blanketed in grey as we left Cap Sante this morning. The wind was picking up as we cut down Rosario Strait and stopped off at Bird Rocks to see what we could find. Several harbor seals and two mature Steller sea lions were hauled out and dozing, flocks of double-crested cormorants amongst them. We continued south, rounding Lopez Island where we spotted a mature bald eagle perched along the coast. We watched as it took off, being harassed by crows and gulls mid-flight. It eventually landed in a tall cedar where another mature bald eagle was perched. Not ten minutes later we spied a third bald eagle perched on Swirl Rock. We continued west, cutting out into deeper water as we pointed towards Constance Bank. There we met up with FIVE humpback whales!!! Two pairs we coupled off. One pair demolished a bait ball, leaving us all in awe. Following the feast was a celebratory breach by one of the two. We broke away from them to visit with our other pair, they circled for a bit before showing us a mighty peduncle throw. All five, the two pairs plus a lone whale we met up with first, all lingered around Constance Bank, zigzagging back and forth. We took the inner island route home, stopping off at Whale Rocks to visit with a few dozen Stellers socializing, then cut north up San Juan Channel, following the ferry route back through Thatcher Pass to Anacortes.