A Day of Rarities
The morning started off with 3 strange and rare sightings all at the same time. SV Tuan was cruising through one of our favorite nearby reef systems and low and behold we saw a Sea Otter. This large individual was floating on its back in amongst the kelp and drifting with the tide. This is the first Sea Otter we have ever seen in this area and can only hope that it is a sign of their recovery after being extirpated from this area over 100 years ago by fur traders. At the same time as this was happening a Whimbrel flew by calling its unique call. This is the first one we've seen this year. We looked further up in the sky and saw a Caspian Tern which is an uncommon sighting for this area as well. Then a second Whimbrel flew by. SV Tuan ended up going further in 1 trip than we've gone in years to find the resident Orcas. When we did though we had a wonderful time with them listening to their vocals before they formed a resting line and got quiet. MV Cetacea also had a wonderful trip and ended up seeing over 30 Orcas! On the way home they saw a Bald Eagle swimming to shore with a massive salmon in its talons. Other sightings today were numerous Dall's porpoises and Harbor Seals, Red necked Phalaropes, Common Murres, Pigeon Guillemots, Rhinoceros Auklets, Black Oystercatchers, Surfbirds, and Black Turnstones.