... it is easy. This was one of those times.
I had fueled the boat late yesterday, so all I had to do today was the normal prep. The day started off even foggier than yesterday, but it burned off around 11:00. I turned on the radio when I started my prep: the whales were at the southwest side of the island... it was still foggy at Cattle Pass. A half hour before departure, the whales started moving north, at a pretty fast pace. The visibility was reported good to the north.
Yep. At this pace, going north will be the easy way to go.
The guests were all checked in early - my first mate brought them down... early. I did my safety talk and we departed... early. One in a row!
Checking the radios again, the whales had continued their up-island running. I let the guests know that "the plan was unfolding just the way we hoped." A cheer!
I barely had to go south on the other side of the island - the whales met me at the northwest part. I swung into a position, and they came to us. I bumped out a bit to stay at the proper distance, and we watched the first group of K-Pod go by.
Easy. And a good viewing...
If you had been there, a second sooner, this splash was a breach...
I was just having fun, watching it all unfold...
That boat looks close - it isn't. That's the perspective from the lens. We did, however, see a private boater run right up on the whales, and at a high rate of speed. The dumbass had to drive between all the other boats that were staying 200 yards away... even if you DON'T know the rules, it should be apparent that you are doing something that NO ONE ELSE is doing. Most people would notice that. The sad part: it was a C-Dory. People were hollering at him on the radio, and SoundWatch went up to them once the whales had passed... they later told us that was the SECOND time they talked to this guy. Sigh.
I had to just let it go. We ran north with the whales. When they got to Stuart Island, I rotated the boat and told our guests that these would be our last views. I went down from the helm to make sure everyone was happy with the views and was ready to see some other fun stuff. Another cheer! I like this group.
We ran along the back side of Spieden Island, and my favorite little run between the Cactus Islands. We saw seals playing in the water and two bald eagles posed for photos...
Heading south towards Friday Harbor, we came upon a group of harbor porpoise... these guys looked a lot happier than the ones we saw being hunted by the transients earlier this week.
The water was mostly smooth, the weather was sunny and beautiful. The guests were appreciative of the day they had with us. The boat didn't need much clean-up. The three naturalists said, "Captain Jim, come with us to get ice cream!" What a nice day!
The end of this work week for us. One week to go, but for now, we're looking forward to a couple days off.