After two summer of only seeing tiny dorsal fins miles away from shore, I finally got to go whale watching on a boat and it did not disappoint. The Saratoga found Orcas within about 15 minutes of leaving Edmonds, and it was pretty incredible. We had several very close passes, and witnessed a kill from about 400 or so yards away, and the aftermath from closer.
Several highlights: at one point the whales dived for about 5 minutes, and the boat was going at about 5 knots. The whales popped up right in front of the boat and we almost collided with them, it was crazy. They then rode right past the boat. When we went to find the whales who had killed a harbor seal, and it was pretty wild to see them teaming up to make the kill. I reviewed my photos and they are too low quality for me to identify if it was three member from one family, or a combo (which would be interesting).
Some people from shore yelled at our boat “You are too close” but the guides said their perception was off. While that was true in this case, as we were more than the required 200 yards away, we definitely broke the rules earlier when we almost ran over an orca.
FINALLY, we got to watch a Grey Whale for about 45 min at the end, very cool as well. I learned a ton about them from the guides. Aside from some cool dives, it was doing some spy hopping. The guides said they do not know why, but all grey whales seem to spy hop right at 48.00640° N, 122.29438° W, just east of Hat Island in water that is more shallow then they are long. They hypothesize perhaps they are scratching themselves?