Another fabulous day.
Our first stop was for a few Harbor Seals hauled out on the rocks. Our second stop was for the ever elusive Harbor Porpoise. It was one of the few times that I have seen a large number of them, too preoccupied while hunting, to care that we were watching. Most of the time all we see is a little black blip at the surface and have to spend the next several minutes trying to convince passengers that the blip was actually a porpoise. Today everyone got to see one up close. Capt. Mike shut down and we sat in the calmest water imaginable watching no less than 10 porpoise cruising around us. When we finally left them we continued on south toward Cattle Point. We stopped for a couple of gregarious Steller’s Seal Lions and then ventured out into the straight. L Pod was pretty much at South Beach when we first came upon them. They were spread out over a tremendous area. Once again the calm water made for easy identification of the saddle patch.
Among the first whales we saw were L2, L79, L72, and later L41 (Mega-my favorite).
We also had an amazing encounter with two juvenile whales who shot up, out of nowhere, in front of the boat, while we were shut down and proceeded to swim laps around us while we watched in amazement. The water was calm and clear and we could see the white flash from their bellies as they scooted in past us in a blur and then darted out to regroup before doing it again. In my whole summer out here I have not seen behavior like that from orca whales until today. Orcas may pop up near a boat and pass by at close proximity, but it is always with an air of dignity, as though they are on a mission and could care less about boat or the people on it. They always keep their composure and when they do let loose a little it is typically in the company of other orcas with boats watching from afar. Today was different. There was no breaching or rolling upside-down. No tail slapping or lollygagging at the surface. These two little guys were behaving, totally and completely, like a couple of hooligans. It was awesome. Even Capt Mike had to leave the wheelhouse and squeeze up to the railing to get a better view. It was one of those exceptional moments that makes you want to do a fist pump and yell, “Yessss!”