This morning I paddled out with two couples for a 3 hour sea kayak tour from Roche Harbor. While we paddled down the west side of Henry Island we saw a large number of whale watch boats out in the Haro Strait. As we drew closer we could make out small black dorsal fins surfacing out there, and could even see some of the larger splashes from these southern resident killer whales tail slapping and breaching. As my guests didn't have to rush back to the docks, we decided to extend our trip and cross our fingers that whales would come our way.
While we sat off the southwest corner of Henry watching the whales from a distance I saw 5 or 6 whales come around Kellet Bluffs very close to shore. We brought our kayaks together to form a raft and watched as a few whales continued in our direction. When one large male dived on one side of us and surfaced on the other, we thought we had seen it all, so we were all the more surprised when a female with a very young calf did the same. When those two surfaced they were not more that 25 feet away!! We were so close to those animals, and could see the dorsals wobble a bit on the surface. It was truly an incredible encounter, and one not likely to be soon forgotten!