April 30, 2019

Two Whale Tuesday I Can't Handle It! : A Humpback Whale and a Grey Whale Travel Together

Humpback Whale

Erick | Tuesday, April 30, 2019 | M/V Sea Lion | 12:00

What a beautiful day!! Captain Pete, Sarah, and I set out with a wonderful group of folks to look for fun wildlfie out in the Salish Sea! It was beautifully sunny and calm today as we headed north. We started by going through Spring Pass and President Channel in between Waldron and Orcas Islands. Just as we reached the eastern entrance to this channel we got to see quite a few Harbor Porpoises fishing around Point Doughty. These animals are definately the most numerous of all the toothed cetaceans in these waters and they are always fun to see as the dart quickly in and out of the water to catch small fish all around the islands. We continued around Orcas Island and into Rosario Strait and as we passed Point Lawrence we saw blows in the distance! We approached where the blows were seen just past the Pea Pod Islands. We soon saw that it was two blows belonging to two different whales! So fun! We soon saw them surface closer to us and noticed that not only was it two different whales but it was two different species of whales. It was a younger Grey Whale and younger Humpback Whale traveling alongside each other. This is pretty odd and None of us here have ever seen this happen before! It's always fascinating and exciting to see new behaviors in our area! Both species are in their migratory periods currently as they travel from tropical waters into temperate and subarctic waters to feed, but when they migrate both usually travel solo and if they are traveling with other whales they usually stick to their own species. We watched this funny, inclusive pair as they travelled northward. Another odd part of their pairing up is that even though they are both baleen whales they eat very different diets. Humpback Whales feed in the water column where they gobble up small fish, plnakton, and krill in the water and filter the water out through their baleen while Grey Whales swim to sandy/muddy seafloors and scoop up parts of the sea floor and filter out all the water and mudd to find shrimp and worms with their baleen. So cool! It's always amazing to see something so our of the ordinary here and reminds us that reall anything can swim into this inland sea. We wish this pair luck as we left them continuing northward. We headed back west through the beautiful Obstruction Pass and made one last stop to look at a bunch of Harbor Seals sunning themselves on the rocks.What another beautiful day out here in the San Juan Islands. Whale folks, until next time.

 

Erick