Orcas

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Orca mom and baby (T65A’s) in Puget Sound.

June 20

I went on a whale watch tour with the Puget Sound Express.  The tour leaves from the same marina/campground where we are staying, so it was convenient to walk over.  On the way, we spied this little river otter hanging around the boats.

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River otter in Point Hudson marina.

Christopher, the captain heard about some whales by Seattle, so we headed south on Puget Sound.  The whales were located right off the campground on Bainbridge Island where we stayed recently.  We saw the group T65A’s.   It was a family group and there was a baby whale.   Sarah (Puget Sound Express) gave us lots of information about the whales and lots of other things.  She told us this was the only known baby whale in the area.  I got lucky!!  Christopher and Sarah were knowledgeable and delightful.  It was a great trip, so I hope to do it again before we leave.

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Orca (T65’s) in Puget Sound.
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Orca (T65’s) in Puget Sound.
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Orca mom and her baby (T65’s) in Puget Sound.
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Orcas (T65A’s) in Puget Sound with the Olympic Mountains in the background.
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Orca’s (T65A’s) with Seattle in the background.

There are a lot of deer in the area and you meet up with them any time of day or night. Yesterday, there were a mom and two fawns at the entrance to the marina.  We saw the buck below when we drove around the area the other day.

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Deer in Port Townsend.

And, as I keep saying, I love the flowers.

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Flower in Port Townsend.
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Flower in Port Townsend.

Three years ago I took a whale watch tour with Puget Sound Express and saw orcas.  I wrote a blog post here.

Under the Salish Sea

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Sea anemone at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center.

June 19

The weather warmed up quite a bit yesterday.  I woke up yesterday morning at 4:30 to watch the sunrise.  Dart joined me.  The water was calm and the sky was clear.  I saw a sea lion swim by and a few seals.

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Sunrise over Puget Sound June 18.
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Sunrise over Puget Sound June 18.

Later, we rode our bikes a couple miles to visit the Port Townsend Marine Science Center to get a look at the animals you can find under the Salish Sea.  They had microscopes set up so you could view the life in the drops of water taken from the Puget Sound.  I could have spent hours watching the zooplankton swimming around.

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Sea anemone at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center.
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Sea life at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center.

We almost died riding our bikes.  We had to ride up a long hill to get to the Center and I couldn’t do it.  I was very proud to get up the first part of the hill.  When I rounded the corner and saw that I was no where near done, I gave up and walked.  It was exhausting.   There is a big difference riding in flat Florida compared to riding these steep hills.

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Ferry crossing Puget Sound on June 17.

Last night we got quite a thrill.  There were over a dozen river otters moving through the water together.  They may have been feeding.  They were lots of fun to watch.  They hung out together in a tight group.  I am happy to have a good pair of binoculars that work well in low light conditions.  We could hear the otters making noises.  Sometimes they would all pop up their heads at the same time, chitter to each other, then go under the water at the same time.  We watched them for at least 20 minutes before they got too far away.

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Dart and Coco. Dart is a Shetland Sheepdog and Coco is a Bedlington Terrier.

I tried some sunrise pictures this morning and the sky was not as clear.  There is some cloud cover coming in.  The sunrise lacked some of the warm colors I saw yesterday.  (The best colors are always before the sun rises.  The best sunset colors show up after the sun sets.)

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Sunrise over Puget Sound June 19.
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I believe this is an immature White-Crowned sparrow.

Drama

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Purple martins

It is entertaining to watch the drama with the Purple Martins.  Watching them in the air was like watching a dogfight between early era airplanes.

 

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Purple martins
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Purple martins
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Purple martins
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Purple martin
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Purple martins

We got onto the water today to do some kayaking.  I love watching the seals pop their heads up to check us out.  Really, that is so cool.

Regis has been going out every morning on foot or bike to check out the pastries in town.  I think we’ll have to go on a major diet when we leave Port Townsend.

Our son and his friend left today.  We’ve had so much fun getting together in the local restaurants that I’m going to miss the GREAT food and company.  We’re going to have to fast for the next couple weeks!

 

Purple Martins

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Purple Martins (female).

Our new campground has 4 nest boxes set up by the water that have attracted more purple martins than the boxes can accommodate.  There is a lot of twittering, communicating, and bickering going on.  Regis saw two females fall out of the sky latched onto each other.  They parted when he went to get a closer look.  They are a constant source of entertainment.

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Purple martins (female).
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Female Purple Martin.

Our son and his friend are staying in Port Townsend only a few blocks from our campground.  We’ve had lunch and dinner with them the last few days.  It’s been wonderful.  We’ve had a lot of great food and many of the restaurants are right on the water.

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Flower at Point Hudson

Yesterday we went to Sirens for lunch.  It’s on the third floor of a building and we were seated on the outside deck.  While waiting for our drinks to show up, we noticed the crows catching small fish that were left behind in puddles after the tide went out.  They would take the fish and bring them up past the tide line and bury them.  The fish were still wiggling.  After they tucked the fish away in a suitable location, they would cover them with grasses and such and go get more fish.  We could have stayed all afternoon watching these guys.  I will definitely return later this week.  The food was delicious, so it will be easy to return.

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Flowers at Point Hudson

Our son and his friend took the kayaks out.  They kayaked on the shore next to town which happens to be next to the ferry terminal.  They were too busy sightseeing to pay attention to the ferry which had to toot at them to get out of the way because it was departing!

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Gull feeding.

The weather is warming up and it’s been very nice.  Since we are camped right next to the water, we get a cooling breeze that usually requires a jacket.  But, once you walk into town, it’s much warmer.

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We finally got a view of Mount Baker from our campsite.

On our return from dinner, we noticed a beautiful rainbow in the sky.  Today, they celebrated Pride in Port Townsend, so it was very fitting.  As the sun went down, it reflected nicely off the clouds.

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Evening view from our campsite.

Gifts of the Day

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Racoon. 

I love to venture off with the camera and see what gifts the day will bring.

I heard a bunch of crows screaming at something.  I investigated and saw the racoon hanging out in the tree.  Every time the racoon moved, the crows went crazy.

I loved this little Kingfisher.

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King Fisher at Fort Worden State Park.
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Kingfisher at Fort Worden State Park.

A pair of Bald Eagles were hanging around.

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Bald Eagle at Fort Worden State Park.

This little bird was singing his heart out.

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Flowers everywhere!

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Momma and her little one showed up in our campground.

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Fawn in Fort Worden State Park.

 

 

Junuary

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A crow with the body of a crab in its beak.

Apparently, the locals call June Junuary because it is cold.  Summer weather doesn’t arrive until the end of the month.  I’m wearing my Florida winter gear while vacationing in Washington in June.

Our son and his friend are in Port Townsend until Sunday and we wanted to enjoy a a campfire together.  Last night was our last night in this campground that allows us to have a campfire.  Today we move to a new campground where we will stay for the next two weeks.  So, last evening we put on our coats and huddled around the campfire sitting as close as we dared in order to warm up.

And, while I sat on the beach in the afternoon with layers of warm clothing on, I saw someone swimming in the water.  Crazy!!!

Regis went off exploring and took a bunch of pictures yesterday.  He left the camera card on the table in the motor home.  When I saw it, I thought I forgot to put the card back in the camera, so I put it back.  Whenever I put the card back in the camera, I reformat it.  Oops!  All those pictures are gone.

Regis keeps an eye on the ship traffic.  He saw a submarine leaving Puget Sound yesterday.

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Ship entering Puget Sound.

I went on a separate exploration and found a White-crowned Sparrow singing his heart out.   I also saw a sea gull stalking a seal.  Every time the seal popped up, the sea gull flew over to it.  I think the seal was actively feeding and the sea gull was hoping to benefit from it.

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White-crowned sparrow in Fort Worden State Park.
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Killdeer trying to lure me away in Fort Worden State Park.
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Seal

There are lots of crows here and they search the beaches and campground for food.  They like to land on top of the motor home and run around.  It’s hilarious.  It drives Regis nuts.

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Crow with a tasty tidbit.

 

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A closer look at the crow’s tidbit.

And They’re Off

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2018 Race 2 Alaska competitors.

We woke before 4:30 this morning to watch the start of the Race 2 Alaska (R2AK).  The sky starts to lighten around 4:00 here, which is taking some getting used to.  We are camped right on Puget Sound, so I grabbed Dart and my camera and walked over the small dune to the beach, sat on a drift log, froze, and watched the boats powered by wind and/or humans race by.

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Sunrise over Whidbey Island

There were numerous boaters out watching the race, so it was hard to tell who was in the race and who was just watching.  I was very impressed with the paddle boarder, kayaker, and rowers.  There wasn’t much wind, so the human power crafts started off well.  But, it’s long way to go.

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Folk watching some Race 2 Alaska competitors as they pass Point Wilson with the sails glowing in the morning sunlight.
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2018 Race 2 Alaska competitors.

I love this campground.  I’ve seen seals, dolphins, fish, and an otter out in the water.  We’re staying in the Port Townsend area for a couple of weeks.  It’s going to be nice to drink a cappuccino while sitting on a log looking out over the water as the sun rises over Whidbey Island and the animals reveal themselves just offshore.