Orca Whales Sighted!
We traveled southward for our trip today with word that some transient orcas were down near Whidbey Island. On our way to find them we spotted several animals including a great blue heron, bald eagle, and harbor seals. As we got within sight of the orcas near Eastern Bank we spotted a tufted puffin so we circled around to watch him for a while. Within minutes we were on scene with the transient orcas. They were swimming eastward toward Whidbey Island in a zig-zag manner. Before long the pod of 7 orcas grouped up and appeared to be going after some kind of prey underneath them, but we couldn't be sure. They kept circling in the same general area. One of the big males was slapping his pectoral fins and tailslapping. After a while they moved off and T102 breached three times for us, followed by a female that spyhopped. The orcas kept circling in the same area again while they were being very active and playful with each other. We saw lots of rolling around, tail slapping, tail lobbing, and swimming upside-down. They were hard to say goodbye to, but eventually we had to start heading back. Along the way back to the dock we saw a California sea lion and a Steller sea lion hauled out on the same channel marker, and we spotted lots of harbor porpoises. We had a great show today. Naturalist Bart Rulon