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Whales all day!

06-30-22

Anacortes Location



AM

We headed out on another beautiful day on the Salish Sea. We cruised south from Skyline. We enjoyed calm waters as we made our toward Admiralty Inlet. There was a shore-based report from earlier in the morning, so we arrived in the vicinity and Captain Matt came to the rescue! He found the killer whales on the complete opposite side of the inlet than they were reported! Great eyes, Matt! We found the T65As and a few other whales further inshore of them. We had great looks at T65A2, as he cruised closer to us than the rest of his family. Then, all of a sudden, almost all the killer whales changed directions, it looked like there was something on the lunch menu. They made short work of the porpoise or seal they were working on. Several gulls came to the area to pick up scraps left behind by the whales. The flood tide kicked in and pushed the whales further to the south, so we headed back toward homeport. We swung by Smith Island and found a couple of tufted puffins! We had some fantastic looks at these special birds. We continued on our journey, north, past our marina. There was one more whale in store for us today! We found a humpback whale cruising north in Rosario Strait. This particular whale was incredible to watch. The whale swam just underneath the surface the whole time we were with it. We could watch it the whole time! It was amazing! Eventually, we had to turn and head back toward home port. What a great doubleheader!


PM

Our afternoon trip started as we trekked to the west. We slowed down along Colville Island where we spotted several harbor seals sunning themselves. We continued to the west where we found a tufted puffin near Hein Bank! It is rare to see a puffin far from Smith or Protection islands. But this puffin was a few miles away! On top of that, the puffin ended up jumping up on a piece of driftwood! In my 16 years whale watching in the Salish Sea, I have never seen a tufted puffin on a piece of driftwood. S/he took flight and ended up landing near another piece of driftwood which s/he promptly jumped up on. What a weird encounter! I loved it! Just ahead of where the puffin was found, we found two humpback whales who were swimming toward the southwest. They weren't swimming side by side, they were about 1/2 mile apart. We had some great looks as they cruised by. After a little while, we departed and continued to head west. When we were almost to Canada, we caught up with some killer whales! They were the T46 family who were maintaining rhythmic breathing as they headed north in Haro Strait. We spent a lot of time with them before we had to head back toward home port. As we crossed Salmon Bank, Captain Matt found us two minke whales! They were actively feeding amongst the birds. They were tricky to keep track of, but we had some amazing looks as they sought out their dinner. We were close to Whale Rocks, so we took a quick stop there to check out some Steller sea lions enjoying the evening sunshine. After a day full of wildlife, we headed for home with sunshine and calm waters.

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