Friday morning we got a surprise call from our financial adviser's assistant, robin, inviting us to go whale watching on Saturday. I can only assume the late notice was due to someone else higher on the list canceling out. But it took us only five minutes to consider and call back. Yes! Seize the day. Besides, I knew it was going to be a beautiful day, the first above 70 day so far this year, and we had most of the work done we needed to do to be ready for our family, arriving on Sunday.
We left Seattle about 8:15 Saturday morning, headed for Anacortes, and giving ourselves ample time. I kind'a figured we'd find a Starbucks if we arrived early. We did.
No calorie counting today!
We met up with our hosts at Island Adventure, checked in, and went to the boat.
Finally, we were under way.
This Buoy Boy, a California sea lion, was our first wildlife sighting.
We had Mt Baker on the stern and the Olympic Mountains on the bow.
A mix of harbor seals and sea lions were enjoying a day in the sun.
If you look closely in the photo below you can see Mt Rainier in the background.
We were in the channel off Lopez Island when we spotted these Minke whales. It's hard to tell size, but they are large, up to 33 feet and 10,000 pounds.
These were the only whales spotted in the entire area today, so there was a flotilla of other boats there too. After watching quite a while, and trying to capture some photos using both cameras, we moved off, back around the seal rocks.
I would have loved to see a pod of Orcas, but it was not to be today, and besides, I was just thoroughly enjoying the ride, and the day, and the scenery.
These auklets skittered across the water away from the boat, their tummies apparently too full to allow them to lift off.
Near Smith Island, off Whidbey Island, this sand bar is home to many birds. Right in the middle of this shot is an eagle's nest, built on the ground! There are no predators here, so ground nesting is safe. The fledglings have flown, and cormorants are using it for a perch.
When this young eagle zoomed in and landed, the other birds got their feathers ruffled.
A harbor seal in the water.
As we headed back to shore, we circled Allen Island. Paul Allen owns it, and it's for sale, priced reduced to about 17 million. A peregrine falcon's nest is on the island and this one landed in a tree conveniently for our cameras.
Across the channel, nesting sites for humans. Birds of a feather flock together.
What a day!
Loved the green water here.
Ocean going tugs in dock.
Heading toward home, I thought this looked like a good place to end up.
But then, I would miss my garden. And besides, Jill, Isaac and Irene are arriving here in about an hour!
What a life!