July 10, 2010

Searching the coal docks

Our afternoon trip returned with news that the whales were headed towards Canada.  Knowing that it can be a challenge if not impossible to reach them in areas like the Coal Docks and beyond the office staff worked quickly to contact everyone on the sunset tour and have them at the dock for an early departure. Within minutes of the boat arriving we loaded the evening passengers and quickly departed to get to those whales!

Cruising quickly through Presidents Channel we enjoyed the warm breezes followed by short bursts of cool air and the beautiful scenery. We made no plans to stop but I just couldn't help begging the Captain to stop for just short moment when I spotted a Stellar Sea Lion hauled out on a channel marker! Very unusual to see them this time of year as most of them are in Alaska on the breeding rookeries. A few quick photos and an educational moment then we were off again.

There were 4 other whale watch vessels spread throughout the area also helping in the search. Captain Mike maintained close contact over the radio as we all searched. Sally and I enlisted all eyes on the boat to help us look! They even spotted some Harbor porpoise on the way there. We reached the coal docks and carefully searched high and low. We even turned around to double check when our eyes and the eyes on other boats thought that maybe we were seeing something.  Other vessels scoured the area north of the coal docks and to the far east of the docks.  Sadly they were no where to be found. As a matter of fact none of the boats found them that evening....where does a 6-7 ton whale with a 6 foot dorsal fin hide I wonder? Sometimes they just like to remind us they are wild animals and you just never know what they will do or where they may be.

Even though there were no whales our guests really enjoyed themselves taking in the beauty of the islands, calm water, stunning views of Mt. Baker and a gorgeous sunset. On the way home we were treated to an encounter with the adorable Dalls porpoise.

-Casey