Whale Watching

Trip Start Aug 06, 2011
Trip End Aug 15, 2011

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Where I stayed
Rose Cottage

Flag of United States  , Washington
Saturday, August 13, 2011

We woke up to the sound of the ferries blowing their fog horns today. We stayed in bed later today and had a relaxing morning reading, blogging, and watching the fog lift as the ferries came and went.  By lunch time most of the fog here was gone.  We ate lunch at the cottage and then headed for Smuggler's Cove.  We stopped in Eastsound to get cash from the ATM as they give a 10% discount for cash.  When we got there it was as beautiful as yesterday at the end of the afternoon.  We soon found out that we would be going Whale Watching in the Black Fish and that the whales were 35 miles out in the fog that remained on the north side of San Juan Island.  Our captain was Beau and he has been doing this job for six years.  We picked up 4 more people at West Bay Resort.  On the way out we passed Spieden Island sometimes called John Wayne or Safari Island.  Back in the fifties it was turned into a big game preserve and animals were brought in from all over the world for people to come and hunt.  There are still sheep and deer from Africa on the island.  We saw Mouflon sheep from Africa as we passed Spieden.  We also saw seals on a small island nearby. 

We continued around the north end of San Juan and then saw the fog.  Beau had gotten message after message the J, K, and L pods of orcas, killer whales, were moving north along the San Juan shore, right into our path.  That is about 100 whales all together.  By the time we got there the first two whales were on their way toward us which was about 10 miles closer than when we started out.  The fog had pretty much lifted by this time.  We spotted their spouts and flukes (top fins) as they came up for air.  They were moving pretty quickly. They can travel up to 120 miles a day.  Beau put us in their path, shut off the engine, turned on the underwater microphone and before long there were many whales audible and visible, at least at a distance.  Erin and Derek got some good pictures.  Toward the end, after we had seen about 2 dozen whales a very large male surprised us coming right under our boat which was about as big as he was.  He came up right in front of the boat and we got a great view. 

On the way back to the dock we saw more seals and some porpoise.  The ride back was quicker as we had fought the incoming tide on the way out.  So it gave us a good push and increased our speed by about 5 knots.  When we got back, since it was so clear, we decided to go back up Mount Constitution.  On the way up we stopped at a vista and found Sunrise Rock across the valley.  We had seen people at the vista when we were at the rock.  We went back up the tower and took more pictures.  Mt. Baker was visible in the background and we couldn’t see it the other day.

When we got back I started supper while Larry, Derek and Erin had a beer on the deck.  I fixed bratwurst, spaetzle (German noodles with Swiss cheese) and sauerkraut.  We all read except Larry who sat on the deck enjoying the full moon and the ferries.   
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