Kayaking With Seals

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Curious seal keeping an eye on me during a kayak outing on Puget Sound.

June 30

We are on our way to Burlington, Washington today and will be crossing Puget Sound on the ferry from Port Townsend to Whidbey Island.  I love Port Townsend and will miss it, but there is lots to see and do on the other side of the Sound.

We have enjoyed kayaking while here.  Since it’s been chilly, we have to dress warm;  When we go out on the water, we hope we don’t fall in.  I have enjoyed the seals.  They are very curious and pop up to check you out.  I love just paddling along and having a seal pop up not far from the kayak.  I’m glad we’ve had the opportunity to kayak several times while we were here.  We hauled these kayaks across country and stopped at 4 checkpoints in 4 states to have them checked for mussels.  This weeks kayaking adventures made it all worth it!

 

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.

Otter

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Otter in Puget Sound.

We’ve spent the last several days on Bainbridge Island which is a ferry ride to Seattle.  We only got to Seattle once, but we’ll be back later.  The campground is on the water, so we got to see the amazing cloud formations as the weather changes.  We experienced sunshine, overcast, rain, and hail during our stay.

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View from Bainbridge Island.

This morning was the coolest because we saw an otter in the water.  It stayed around for awhile and was very interesting to watch.  It seemed to be curious about the people watching it.  Neither Regis or I got a good picture, but we’ll share what we have.

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Otter in Puget Sound
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Otter in Puget Sound
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Otter in Puget Sound

We are now in Port Angeles for a couple days before we head to Port Townsend for a couple weeks.  My son and his friend and Coco will join us in Port Townsend while we watch the kick off to the Race 2 Alaska.  It’s a very cool race.