May 25, 2011

Rainy Day Whales

I know I have said it before, but I will say it again.  I love rainy day whale watches.  Not the gross, windy, perfect storm kind of days, but the days when everything is still and calm and you can see every bird, porpoise, and seal within five miles of you.  Today was one of those days.  From the second the passengers set foot on the boat today it felt like it was going to be an adventure.  I got lots of questions within the first few minutes of the trip and learned that among the group we had some birders, seasoned whale watchers, and a few who were on their very first whale watching trip.

Passengers donned the foul weather gear and headed out to the rails with binoculars at the ready.  This was not your average group of whale watchers.  These were very hearty, very excited people.  We motored up President's channel and out into Boundary Pass.  East Point came into view along with a giant dorsal fin.

We waited in the mist and 3 more whales came into view.  It was looking as though we had encountered a pod of Transient Orcas.  They were heading south so we turned around and headed south as well.  They were moving in a fairly straight line when suddenly they stopped, turned and started rolling and diving.  It looked as though a hunt had begun.  We couldn't see much from the surface but a minute later the gulls moved in and swept the surface in search of scraps.

We continued along with the whales a while longer but eventually peeled off to leave them to their travels and search for other wildlife.  We stopped on the north side of Speiden to watch a bunch of Harbor Porpoise, Seals, and a couple of Bald Eagles.  Mouflon sheep and a Bald Eagle in flight topped it off for us and we headed in.

Gotta love the rainy days.
Laura, Naturalist