Laura C. | M/V Sea Hawk | 8/13/2019 | 2:00pm
M/V Sea Hawk traveled all the way past Alden Bank and into the Straight of Georgia today! We had beautiful seas and bright sunny skies along the way. It was one of my favorite days for whale spotting today. We had reports of a humpback whale in the area taking long dives but without other vessels to rely on, it was up to the crew aboard Sea Hawk to put their whale finding skills to use!
Captain Sarah turned off our engines and everyone on the boat started scanning and listening for the characteristic whoosh from the breath of a humpback whale. After a bit of concentration and patience we saw a blow out in the distance at our 11 o’clock! We moved our vessel forward with gusto to catch up to this fast moving whale and get a glimpse of her as she went down for a dive! Our next few surfacings were beautiful looks, as this 45-ton whale gracefully lifted her tail as she pushed her body underneath the waters’ surface.
This humpback whale was cruising today, traveling at around 6 knots! Luckily, this individual was graciously showing everyone the underside of her tail as she raised her fluke high into the sky! We identified her as a humpback whale named Anvil. Anvil has a mostly white fluke but there are two parallel black lines on the medial aspect near her tailstock, a unique pattern that is only hers! Sometimes we can identify humpback whales by their dorsal fins as well, though it is a little more difficult. Anvil has a light hook shaped dorsal fin with a little bit of white marks or scarring on the top. It was awesome to see such close looks at this beautiful whale today!
As we made our way home we were happily greeted by the never-ending presence of harbor porpoises! They were everywhere and we even saw some actively porpoising through the rough currents! This is a really cool behavior to witness from a harbor porpoise and it is not often we are able to see them come out of the water! Harbor seals were also in abundance and everyone enjoyed looking at these adorable seals happily swimming through the Salish Sea! We even found red-necked phalaropes and common murres which pleased the enthusiastic birders! Today was such a gorgeous out on the water and it was so much fun!