Despite the chilly weather and gray skies today was another amazing day. Whales were down south of Salmon Bank. On our journey south we saw the usual (yet always exciting) seals, sea lions and harbor porpoise. Once we were out in the straight we had an unexpected encounter with 2 little minke whales (and 2 more in the distance). After the wonderful surprise Minke sighting we pressed on even farther south. The whales were headed south and west. The first two residents we came upon were L88 and L26. They were milling in one spot for several minutes, rolling around each other with some interesting behavior. After a while they straightened up and followed the rest of the pod west. We weren’t sure what exactly the whales were doing. Some of them seemed to be traveling at a good clip. Some of them were milling in all directions. Finally we saw several good size salmon leap out of the water; a good indication that hunting was indeed happening. Right before we turned to head back home a little whale surfaced just in front of us. We got a great look at the saddle and identified the little guy as K34, a juvenile (well, almost teenage) male.
It was a brisk day on the water, but worth it to be out with orcas and minkes!
Oh, a word to the wise, if you are reading this and will be coming out with us….bundle up! The weather has changed. You can never have enough layers and being prepared and warm will ensure that you get the most out of your wildlife adventure! The good news is, the whales don’t care if it is a bit chilly. They are always prepared. See you soon!