Pea Soup (with a few whales thrown in)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

We woke up to news of whales off Val’s house, so enjoyed a quick breakfast of Leslie’s zucchini bread before cranking up the anchor by hand and heading out of Snug Harbor. We encountered whales almost immediately, but the animals were very spread out. We deployed the hydrophones, but the whales seemed to be heading south. We followed the orcas along the coast of San Juan island and had just passed the lighthouse when a thick, pea-soup fog descended. Although we continued to hear the whales intermittently, we could only see about 100 m from the Gato Verde. We made our way through the pea soup, looking and listening for whales and chatting with the other boats in the area. The fog finally lifted and the sun started shining after lunch. We recorded more calls, click, and whistles as we motored along with the whales off the west coast of the island. A group of young whales seemed especially playful as they frolicked, tailslapped, and breached. Regretfully, we had to pull up the hydrophones at around 3 pm to take advantage of the tides through Cattle Pass. Todd gave lectures on Rules of the Road and Sail Theory before pulling into North Bay. After the students took their sailing test, Anne and Ash made a grand attempt to use 2 of the remaining 13 cans of cream of mushroom soup by cooking a Minnesota Hot Dish (casserole to non-Minnesotans).

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