After awhile of listening to the orcas and getting a feel for their direction of travel (North), we continued very slowly South through the fog towards McArthur Bank. The bank is located off of Iceberg Point on Lopez Island and it was where the fin whale had been seen most recently. As we passed over Salmon Bank off the South end of San Juan Island, we saw a few Dall's porpoise! These black and white porpoise, which will often play and interact with boats, are not as common as they used to be in the area, so spotting them is very special.
Once we got to McArthur, we stopped the boat and listened for the fin whale's blow. Within seconds, I heard a large exhale behind us in the fog. I believe this was the fin whale! It breathed a few more times and then went on a deep dive. A few minutes later, we heard another blow off in the distance and we thought it was the fin whale again. So, we started slowly tracking the whale by its blows, without ever getting a visual on the whale through the dense fog. I then began suspecting that these blows we were following were from a minke whale and that the fin was now back behind us. The blows eventually led us to Hein Bank, where I then heard two different blows, one sounding like an orca. Soon, fog lifted and we spotted Ocean Sun L25 foraging by herself. My bet is that there were other members of the L12s around but they were just very spread out. A few minutes later we also spotted a minke whale, and this was likely the whale we tracked by sound from McArthur Bank.
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