Erin | M/V Sea Hawk | 2:00 PM | Tuesday, July 9, 2019

What an incredible adventure aboard the M/V Sea Hawk! The sun was shining and the ocean was calm. It was a perfect day to be out on the water. We left the harbor and headed north toward East Point. We were destined for Canadian waters, where we heard that there were some humpback whales! We took a beautiful route through Johns Pass, where we saw a bald eagle resting on top of a flagpole. It was looking quite majestic. We also got to see Camp Norwester, which takes place on Johns Island. It looks like a fun camp! As we made our way into Boundary Pass, we got some incredible looks at some harbor porpoises! There were 4 or 5 of them at the surface together, and we shut down our boat so we could hear them breathe! It was surreal. We continued on toward the humpback whales, and eventually we saw some giant, 15-foot blows up at the surface of the water. 

As we got closer, we could tell that there were two humpback whales travelling together. The first dive that we saw them take was over 10 minutes, but then for the rest of the encounter they were taking dives that were less than five minutes. They were doing some zigzagging and circling, so it was possible that they were searching for some food in the Strait of Georgia. Almost every time they dove, we got to see their beautiful, unique flukes. We noticed that one of the whales had more white on its fluke than the other. Otherwise, they were mostly black flukes. We were able to identify the whales as Heather and Raptor. They have been frequently seen together in the Salish Sea this summer. We spent most of our time watching them with our boat completely off, so we got to hear their massive, powerful breaths, and we were all in awe. 

We left the whales and headed back toward Roche Harbor. On the way, we stopped by Spieden Island. We saw two bald eagles: one at the top of a tree and one resting on a rock. We also saw about 20 Mouflon sheep! As we were heading away, two harbor seals popped up next to our boat. One of them was a seal pup, and it was resting on its mom's back and nuzzling up against her. It was so adorable! After an incredible day of wildlife viewing, we made it back to the harbor with memories to last a lifetime! 

Naturalist Erin