A pod of orcas was observed near Mountain Point very close to shore. They were moving north and eventually crossed out into Nichols Passage closer to Annette Island. The pod appeared to be split up into at least two groups of maybe three or four whales per group. They were 20 minutes or more apart from each other, but they appeared to be travelling in the same general direction. It looked as though they may have circled back and started moving south near the mouth of Annette Bay. As we were watching the orcas, a humpback surfaced near the shores of Annette Island. We watched it move north toward the pod of orcas. The humpback appeared to dive, displaying its flukes, in the same area that the orcas were milling about. Approximately 30 seconds after we saw the flukes of the humpback, we saw what we thought was another humpback dive and display its flukes. We were perhaps half a mile away so it was difficult to see. We were only able to get a picture of one set of flukes, so we cannot be sure that we actually saw two humpbacks. We were able to get pictures of the orcas; however, the water was rough so it was like taking pictures while sitting on top of an electric bull. Needless to say, many of the pictures are blurry.
These orcas have been identified as the I15s. They are resident (fish eaters) orcas. One whale was positively identified, along with one probable identification. Many thanks to Northern Resident Orca Population (see their Facebook page under the "Links" tab) for identifying these whales.
After getting home, a humpback was observed swimming south very close to shore. There may have been a calf with this one. I noticed a large spout and then several seconds later a smaller spout seemed to appear out of nowhere. None of my pictures show two whales, but the dorsal fin in one picture looks different from the rest.
The first humpback was spotted right in front of our house as we were driving down the driveway. It surfaced and then slowly dove displaying its flukes. The whale was massive. Perhaps the largest humpback we have seen.
Several hours later and from our boat, we spotted what we think was the same massive whale very near Pennock Island in the east channel of the Tongass Narrows. It put on quite a show repeatedly lunge feeding and diving.
After we got home, two more humpbacks swam by our house. They did not appear to be travelling together, as they were a fair distance apart. One stayed long enough to bubble net and then disappeared. Both of these whales appeared to be smaller than the whale we saw earlier in the day.
From Rotary beach I observed two humpbacks swimming close to shore. I watched them surface several times as they moved south toward Mountain Point. I was convinced I could see a calf at one point. I thought I saw a small back and dorsal fin very close to one of the adults. The weather was stormy which made it difficult to decipher exactly what I was seeing. I was hoping I would be able to see a calf in my photos. Unfortunately none of my photos resolve the calf mystery.
Watched one humpback surface twice in Nichols Passage. No pics.
I finally saw a couple of whales! From the bike path as I was riding south I spotted one humpback swimming north. I watched it surface several times and was able to get a couple of pictures. As I continued south I noticed a large crowd of people gathered at the end of the bike path near Mountain Point. Then I saw a single humpback tail slapping very close to shore. It did this several times. It then moved south towards the Mountain Point boat launch, slapping its tail a couple more times. It rounded the corner past Mountain Point and I could no longer see it. Approximately ten minutes later, it surfaced right in front of me and continued moving north.
So far this week it has been a little quiet around here as far as whale sightings go. The whales I have seen have been far away. Today from Rotary beach I spotted the spout of what appeared to be one whale in Nichols Passage near Gravina Island. Approximately 20 minutes later I observed another spout even farther out in Nichols Passage. I am assuming they were humpbacks. No pics.
I have been seeing a far amount of stellar sea lions.
Observed one humpback from our deck. The whale was near the mouth of Annette Bay. I watched it surface two or three times. About an hour later I noticed it near the southern tip of Pennock Island. No pics.
On 4/17/16 I spotted a small pod of harbor porpoise near Mountain Point. They appeared to be swimming south.
We took our zodiac out for an evening ride and saw one humpback surface in Nichols Passage. We waited near Rotary beach and watched it surface a few more times. We last saw it surface near the southern tip of Gravina Island.
Yet another double header! The first sighting was from our deck. I spotted a lone humpback very close to Annette Island. I watched it surface three times before it dove and disappeared. No pics.
Around noon we launched our boat at Mountain Point and started heading south. I immediately spotted dorsal fins straight across from Mountain Point near Annette Island. The pod of orcas were slowly moving north, staying close to Annette Island. We got to see them do a couple of tail slaps as they moved along. We last saw them out in Nichols Passage. These orcas have been identified as the A30s. They are resident (fish eaters) orcas. Multiple individuals were identified. Many thanks to Northern Resident Orca Population (see their Facebook page under the "Links" tab) for identifying these whales.
Late in the evening another humpback was spotted from our deck. We briefly saw it surface once and then it disappeared. No pics.
I am feeling very lucky today as we got to see humpbacks and orcas. The day started with a brief sighting of two humpbacks right off of our deck. I saw their backs right before they went back under the water. We watched for approximately 15 minutes, but we never saw them surface again.
Later in the afternoon, I looked out the window and saw a pod of orcas in Nichols Passage slowly swimming north towards town. I last saw them near the east channel of the Tongass Narrows. We were able to get a few photos from our deck. Approximately two hours later, I spotted them very close to Annette Island right outside of Annette Bay. They were moving south towards Mountain Point, so from the bike path we followed them to Mountain Point. They stayed close to Annette Island and the weather was awful, so getting pictures was difficult. We did, however, manage to get a few. These orcas have been identified as the A30s. They are resident (fish eaters) orcas. Two individuals were identified. Many thanks to Northern Resident Orca Population (see their Facebook page under the "Links" tab) for identifying these whales.
As we were watching the orcas, a humpback surfaced approximately 200 yards behind them. If they all would have surfaced at the same time, we probably could have gotten them in one picture. It was an awesome day for whale watching!