Transient orcas on first day at sea

Transients traversing the San Juans

Griffin Bay to Port Townsend:
We departed San Juan Island with the intention of sailing all the way to Neah Bay, but shortly after finishing our chores, Kathryn said the word everyone was hoping to hear “whale off Starboard!”

We were able to identify Transient male #87, and think we know some of the females as well. First the male was swimming with four others, then two groups converged for a bit of exciting times, and departed once again.  Overall, the transient group seemed bound to the east/southeast.  They led us past Smith Island and all the way into Admiralty Inlet.

Once we were joined by two whale-watching boats the whales seemed to lighten up and give us a show. We saw plenty of tail slaps and harmonious movements, and even a spy hop and peck slap were seen. Great first day of being on the boat! The sun was out for most of the day, and the wind was gentle so we did not put up the sails.

We set up and tested the new hydrophone array.  All 4 elements work and we were able to hear nearby boats, but the transients made no audible sounds during the hour or so that the array was in the water.

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