Our week 7 guests hailed from Maine and California.
The week got off to a major bang after yet another Monday and Tuesday that were too windy to get out to sea. After seeing blue whales and dolphins on Wednesday we thought we would head back earlyish. We carved a path through the Carmen Danzante channel and there it was! The largest dorsal fin in the ocean was the first thing I saw and suddenly a routine journey back to the marina became an orca frenzy. For over 3 hours we followed this pod of 7 orcas south. 3 of them were absolutely thrilled to play with our boat. They rolled upside down, swam right next to us, under us, and behind us. They opened their mouth’s and surfed in our wake waves. the others would come and go and the one male which had a soft curved notch on the trailing edge of its massive dorsal fin awed us each time we saw him. There was one calf but it was not very young. The encounter was thrilling eliciting many exclamations of excitement from one and all aboard. So 2018 became the third season in a row with multiple orca sightings, which for me is a first.
We continued to see the very same individual blue whales, which is how this season went. Blue whales were present and observed almost every day this year, but the turnover was minimal. So the whales that were here stayed here for a long time and new arrivals were few and far between. We did have 2 humpback whales that were observed multiple days in a row including 2 days we went out after the last group left. They were seen each and every time among hundreds of common dolphins, usually with diving birds present, and at times lunge feeding on sardines. We would see the sardines erupt from the sea followed by the mouth of a humpback. But these surface breaking lunges did not come very high above the surface.
We continued to see dolphins in large numbers. We finally saw a blue whale surface feeding just once, and we also finally saw a blue whale poop, also just once the whole season. The weather warmed although it stayed quite cloudy, and the north wind remained a problem right up until the end of the season.
So now we are done. A year-end report will follow in the coming weeks with some more detailed information not the numbers of whales seen from each species for the entire season. We are tired, and packing up the team for our journey north to the USA.