October 29th - Humpback whales Nike and Zig-Zag doing cartwheels!

The skies cleared up just as guests were suiting up for our 11am departure on Cascadia. It is much colder at this time of year but everyone bundled up appropriately and braved the cold for a wild adventure. We headed south through Dodd Narrows and out through Porlier Pass towards reports of two humpback whales in the middle of the Strait.

Humpback whales KEX0003 “Nike” and BCX1193 “Trinity/Zig-Zag” were hanging out together and being very active! They spent lots of time at the surface and kept showing us their gorgeous flukes as they would raise them high into the air. On more than 5 occasions we even got to see them cartwheel! A humpback whale cartwheel, in theory, is much like a human cartwheel. The whale keeps its head underwater and with a great force, propels its lower body and tail sideways overhead through the air. Each time it took us by surprise; such a huge and acrobatic animal!

We saw the two whales feeding and a couple of times were lucky enough the see all of the tubercles covering the head and the baleen in the mouth.

This is a fantastic time of year to watch humpback whales in our area. If you are out on the water and see a humpback you can try and figure out “who” it is by visiting www.ketacoastalconservatin.org and using their free online fluke catalogue.

We have one more tour going out tomorrow at 11am and are crossing our fingers to find even more of these gentle giants!

 A humpback raises its pectoral fin before slamming it down

A humpback raises its pectoral fin before slamming it down

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 Look at the tubercles on the face!

Look at the tubercles on the face!

 Cartwheel!

Cartwheel!

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 Fluke of humpback whale “zig-zag”… see the three zig-zagging dots on the top left?

Fluke of humpback whale “zig-zag”… see the three zig-zagging dots on the top left?

 Fluke of humpback “Nike” … see the Nike check mark on the top right?

Fluke of humpback “Nike” … see the Nike check mark on the top right?

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 “Nike”

“Nike”

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 BIG fluke!

BIG fluke!

Jilann LechnerComment