Guess what?! No fog today! Ok, that’s not entirely true, we had some fog in the morning, but it dissipated quickly and didn’t stop us finding whales.
We had an amazing day both on the water and in the office; lots of people walking in today. We managed to send six zodiacs as well as an Ocean Magic II trip! Mark was first out on the zodiacs at 9am followed by Rush and Bo, they all got two trips apiece. Ocean Magic II was out at her regular time, 12:15pm with crew Jeff, myself and Matt.
Mark headed into the fog this morning with no reports, just a hunch and wouldn’t you know it, found killer whales! Initially Mark spotted J-pod, spread out along San Juan Island but later on Matt and I IDed a male from K-pod as well!
Everyone spent the day enjoying our resident killer whales. They’ve been out of town for about 4 days. We observed them feeding, made obvious by rapid changes in direction and sudden bursts of speed. The male we identified was Lobo, K26. He is a beautiful young male with a tall slender fin and today he seemed rather taken with Ocean Magic II.
There we were, minding our own business, sitting 200yrds from the nearest killer whale (as is the law in US waters) when all of a sudden, Lobo is coming right for us. We made our best attempt to back away, but he kept coming! Finally we shut down our engines, to let him move safely further away. Instead he just kept coming closer!
This is not an everyday occurrence, and generally not something we advertise; it was pretty shocking. My heart rate spiked just thinking about it! Turns out, from the wheelhouse Jeff spotted a massive salmon seeking shelter under out boat! Lobo wasn’t coming for a visit, he was hunting! And his prey was underneath us. He hung out for about 7 or 8 minutes trying to shoo the salmon, while my passengers freaked right out.
Other wildlife spotted today included Dall’s porpoise. Likely the same group sighted yesterday because there was a hybrid porpoise visible! We also picked up a humpback whale in Juan de Fuca, a bald eagle, and of course tons of harbour seals.
What a day!
Also, just in time for Thanksgiving we had another large sighting of Turkey vultures! Join us this weekend and see all the wildlife we are so thankful for!
By Jennifer Dickson