This afternoon we left the dock at 2pm for the final trip of the 2011 season and what an amazing trip to finish the season:)
We had received a report earlier in the day that the Southern Resident Orcas had been heard on the Port Townsend Hydrophone at 9am moving north out of Puget Sound (they had been spotted near Vashon Isl the previous day, north of Tacoma)! So we crossed our fingers hoping that they would move far enough North that we would be able to encounter them on our 2pm tour.
In the meantime we received a report of two Humpback Whales south of Discovery Island and that was the first Whales we encountered during our afternoon tour. Amongst the 2 Humpbacks was "Split Fin", I first encountered this particular Humpback back in 2007 and one of my favorite Humpback Whales:) So I was very happy I got to see "Split Fin" on my final trip and say au revoir until next year!
As we were watching "Split Fin" and the other Humpback we suddenly started to spot several dorsal fin near Oak Bay Flats and realized we had members of J-pod withing 200yds of the Humpback Whales:) We watched several members of J-pod chasing Salmon and I managed to i.d. J27 "Blackberry", J26 "Mike", J22 "Oreo", J34 "Double Stuf", J16 "Slick", J17 "Princess Angeline" and J38 "Cookie"! It was so exciting but also a little sad to realize this would be the final encounter of the 2011 season with the Southern Resident Orcas!
This was the perfect trip to end the 2011 Whale Watching season, one of the best seasons we have had in recent years:) I look forward to seeing our friends, both the Marine Mammal's and our many passengers that have become friends, again in 2012!
You can see even more pictures from our final tour at our Facebook site. See the link on the right hand side of this page.