Whales Ho!

As the title implies, I went in search of whales, on a tour boat (Puget Sound Express) with 25 other people. I’m not exactly Ishmael, but it sure was fun to be on the hunt. Our spears and harpoons are digital cameras. Our whaling boat is a catamaran that can go 40 knots. Our route is unknown save for a time limit of 4 hours and a general limit of the Salish Sea at the eastern edge of the Straits of Juan de Fuca. Google map this for details. We left out of Port Townsend on an overcast day in the hopes of seeing at least one of several varieties of whales that inhabit the region at this time of year. Some are transitory, some call this area home. Our crew included the captain, the naturalist (as in person with environmental expertise), and the galley mate. Off we sailed, er, motored into open waters.

Normally, I would tell this tale with a build to the payoff, but today it is desert first. We saw whales and I got video and pics. I spent many years in Florida and the closest I’ve been to whales was SeaWorld. This, folks, is the real deal – in the wild – Orcas.

We found a family of whales – Dad, Mom, and two juveniles. The video shows an adult tossing a fish in the air to teach the juvenile to catch its prey.

Even the crew was surprised by our good fortune to witness this activity. The whales were close to shore, another unusual behavior, and the explanation was that this was a good training area and there must be some plentiful food sources. Here are some still photos. Please understand that the boat has to stay a certain distance away. I have many dozens of pics of fins – catching the whales above water is not easy. The grainy appearance is because to see anything requires taking the pic with zoom on my iPhone and then maybe some zoom in editing.  Hope you enjoy. Hover for some captions.

The rest of the travelogue includes going through Deception Pass at the tip of Whidbey Island, seeing some seals resting on shore and sea lions trying to lounge on a buoy, boaters, and a red tree that only can be found in the PNW including Alaska.

Sadly, we did not see any other whales. We did see a bald eagle. He’s up in the tree. Hope you enjoyed the ride!

IMG_2950
Bald Eagle – top, left!

 

1 Comment

  1. Whale watching is awesome! You were so lucky to spot a family let alone training a young one to catch fish. I am so enjoying your posts. Keep them coming.

    Like

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