Humpbacks continue in Fritz Cove (from our boat). Flame was alone while False Butterfly and Twin Peaks continue to travel together.
We decided to check out the whale activity in Fritz Cove from our boat. We found Flame along with three other whales. Two of the whales (Twin Peaks and False Butterfly) were traveling together, while Flame and Nibblet were off by themselves. We left the area and headed toward Saginaw Channel. The water ended up getting rough so we headed back towards Auke Bay and encountered a pod of orcas near Spuhn Island. We watched as they headed towards Fritz Cove. We knew they were transients and expected them to go after one of the many sea lions or even harass one of the humpbacks in the area. They were pretty elusive and seemed to be heading towards Shaman Island when we lost sight of them. We briefly looked for them, but they simply vanished. We left the area thinking they were gone. Close to two hours later we stopped by Fritz Cove and found them again. I am thinking they went into stealth mode and began hunting sea lions causing us to lose sight of them earlier in the day. When we saw them later in the day, it was obvious they had successfully made a kill based on their behavior and the bird activity in the area.
Photos are super cropped and super grainy. It was nearly dark when we saw them the second time, and they were super elusive the first time we saw them.
From shore I observed four humpbacks in and near Fritz Cove along with dozens of sea lions. Three of the whales were traveling together, while Flame remained on her own surrounded by sea lions.
I found #1538 (Flame) feeding in Fritz Cove with at least a dozen sea lions. I have seen Flame in or near Fritz Cove in December for three years in a row now. I wonder if she will be heading to Hawaii soon.
This whale has been seen several times in Auke Bay, and at times has been seen very close to the docks at Statter Harbor. I am hopeful that he/she will stick around for a few more weeks. This whale as been identified as SEAK-2602.