Orcas In The Mist

Here’s a little photo essay for you about our day of whale watching, lots of it spent in a pea soup fog, some of it sculpted.

Our friend Barry is visiting from France and had never seen whales, so we decided to head up to Port Townsend to try to see some orcas.

Our first couple of hours out on the water we could barely see our own wake.

Even the birds couldn’t see to fly in the fog.

Our captain was piloting by instruments alone, with perhaps a little help from the hula spirits.

There had been reports of orcas around the west side of San Juan Island, and as we approached the fog began to lift a little.

Finally a couple of orcas surfaced, not too near us, paying us no attention at all.

This is when I discovered that my sexy new camera really needs a telephoto lens, but still.  An orca is an orca, even dimly seen in the mid-distance. The whooshing ruffle of their breathing is one of the best sounds in the natural world, and fog didn’t interfere with that a bit.

Leaving the orcas to their own meal plan, we headed into Friday Harbor for lunch.  Shel and Barry wanted to have the chocolate whale on a stick, but they were all sold out for the season.

It was gorgeously sunny by the time we got into Friday Harbor.

It’s a bustling harbor with craft of every shape and size

but it retains a lovely tranquility.

I think it’s one of the prettiest spots in the northwest,

the kind of place where anything might happen.

By the time we pulled back into Port Townsend the sun was shining there too, and we got to show Barry its trademark quirky architecture,

although they really need to underground those utility lines.

The architecture’s not the only quirky thing about Port Townsend!

And so our day on Puget Sound’s beautiful waters came to an end,

but we had no regrets, because the next boat we board will be taking us on our great adventure through the Panama Canal.

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4 Comments on “Orcas In The Mist”

  1. Amy Says:

    Makes me homesick for Puget Sound and the Pacific NW.

  2. Lori Says:

    How beautiful – makes me want to go back!

  3. forest Says:

    i love, love, love getting out on the water when i get to Seattle. Seeing your photos makes me miss the PNW. And, you know, i’ve never ever seen an orca for as much time as I lived there and as many times I insisted on going out (or making friends take me out!) on boats. looks like a lovely day (notwithstanding the fog)

  4. Christyne Says:

    Wonderful pictures. Thanks! It’s been too long since we’ve been up there. We especially love Whidbey Island and the lucious Penn Cove mussels.


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