With blue skies above and calm waters all around Capt. Jeff and crew members, Jen, Mika and Lindsay, headed the Ocean Magic 12.15 out into the Strait of Juan de Fuca to follow up a report of several Minke Whales over at Hein Bank, near San Juan Island. Majestic, Mt. Baker, a dormant volcano, was visible on the horizon in the east. Hein Bank is a shallow bank/plateau beneath the surface where whales, especially Minke, like to forage for small schooling fish. We could see several bait-balls in this area, where many gulls and other sea birds were hovering. Several Rhinoceros Auklets, sea birds, had bills full of small fish. The collective, dipping and diving of bird behaviour indicated not only were there fish, but also, where the whales were foraging. We could see several whales surfacing all around the boat. It was quite exciting to see so many of this smaller, fast moving, long diving, ‘ Balleen’ type, toothless, whale. Our guests on board enjoyed the education that our amazing crew shared. It was another exciting show of a different species of whale found in these waters.
Most of the images on the blog are shot with a 400 mm & 600 mm telephoto lenses. Because of our restrictions around wildlife (100+ meters), we use powerful lenses to better share orca activity that passengers see on their trips. Keep in mind this also heavily compresses space between objects. We also crop images for best blog viewing.