May 27, 2010

Whales look better when they are wet!

It was a bit of a rocky day out there with 2 foot swells, but it was still a great day!  The Southern Resident L- pod was first spotted off False Bay on the southwest side of the island. The pod was spread out into several smaller groups.  We chose to take a look at a smaller group that seemed to be frolicking in the waves. They picked up speed to porpoise over them. Eventually they moved offshore to slightly calmer waters and milled about.  We continued along the west side of the island encountering a small pod of Dall's porpoise. These small black and white porpoises are often very social riding the bow wake of boats.  Rounding the northwest corner of the island the waves calmed and the ride began to smooth out. On the privately owned Spieden Island we had some up close views of the spotted fallow deer and mouflon sheep that were out grazing. We even saw some of the male mouflon sheep (rams) that have very large curled horns like those of mountain goats. A quick stop by O'neil Island, a small island composed almost entirely of limestone, provided us with a view of an adult bald eagle sitting on it's nest. Last year this nesting pair started a little late in the season, but it appears they learned from their lesson and have started early this year. They have been on this nest for approximately 4 weeks and we hope to see chicks soon! A few harbor seals later and we were back at the dock.

I'm not in Kansas any more!