Post image for Whale Watching and Other Things {July, Part 3}

Whale Watching and Other Things {July, Part 3}

August 30, 2010

So we’re back to July  and this should catch me up to what we’re currently doing. Denise left the weekend Matt and I went to see Big Head Todd and the Monsters. I’ve loved them since college. Kristin and I went to see them in 1995. Interestingly, Dave Matthews opened for them on that tour. The concert was great. Our tickets included a Meet & Greet before the show. They were all very nice guys.

Here we are with Todd.

I really loved the guys who opened for them, Truth & Salvage, Co. It’s always a pleasant surprise when the opening act is just a fantastic as the people you’re going to see. They had a bluesy, southern rockish sound. Each member of the band played at least two instruments and sang lead at some point.
Definiatley someone I’d see again. Here’s one of my favorite songs. Check them out!

Kristin and her gang arrived the next week. We were so excited to see them! Reaghan couldn’t wait to visit with her cousins. We had a big week lined up and were anxious to show them around Anacortes. I think one of the best places to see on the island is Washington Park. The trees are beautiful and you also get a fantastic view of the Guemes Channel. It’s a favorite spot for portraits too. The evening we went out there was neat little fog rolling in over the water. Here are a few of my favorites:





Kristin and her family were here for 6 days. We had so much fun. One of the days we went on a whale watching tour. Kristin and I had rented my favorite 200-500mm telephoto lens. We were so excited to see the Orca Whales! If you remember back in March, Reaghan and I saw the gray whales. We went with the same company, so I knew we would have a good experience. Boy did we ever! In fact, a few of the whales swam so close to us (and even right under the boat!) that the telephoto lens was unable to focus on them.

On the way out we saw these fabulous eagles. I swear one of these days I’m going to get a good picture of one!

Bald Eagle

Eagle in Flight

And here is one of the Washington State Ferries that leaves from Anacortes and travels around the San Juan Islands. I love ferry boats. I’m not sure why.

I love ferries!

Good showing of how large these ferries are.

In this picture you can see how large these ferries really are. They can carry a couple hundred cars in their bay.

I was really excited that naturalist and photographer Bart Rulon was on our boat ride. I’ve followed his photos on the Island Adventure Whale Watching Blog and on his personal site. It was fun to watch him work. I had a slight case of camera lens envy. Kristin and I were able to talk with him a bit about his gear and his recent honor of being selected to create the 2010 Skagit Valley Tulip Festival poster.

I want this cam

The whales were up near the Canadian border, so we had about a 2 hour boat ride to get to them. It was totally worth the wait. We found ourselves right in the middle of J-Pod. Whales were all around us! And, like I mentioned earlier, two swam directly under our boat!

Thanks to Kirstin for this picture.

Kristin took this picture. My telephoto lens would not focus on them because the whale was so close to the boat.

Whales swimming (porpoising) in unison. Thanks for the picture Kristin!

These two whales were "porpoising" or jumping up out of the water as they swam. These were the whales that swam under our boat!

This little guy was just peeking up out of the water. Scientists aren’t sure why whales “Spy Hop.” But one theory is that they just want to see what’s going on!

Whale Spy Hop.

J-Pod Whale "Spy Hopping"

Whales breaching at Stuart Point

We found these whales breaching and playing in seaweed off Stuart Point.

We had a great day for viewing whales. The skies were so clear! On the way back to Anacortes we had a great view of Mt. Baker looming up in the background.

Mt. Baker

Mt. Baker

Well, that pretty much wraps up our July. In August, Mom and Howard came to visit. They were here for Reaghan’s birthday on August 10. We had a great time showing them around the island as well. It has been fun to explore places with our family as they were here to visit. There is so much to do, I don’t think you could ever see it all in 10 years!

Mom and Howard did the whale tour also. We were able to see Minke whales on the first trip. The Orcas were too far North during the morning trip, so the company let anyone who wanted to come back for the afternoon trip as they felt the whales were moving back south. We decided to, and were so glad we did. We saw many whales on the second trip! Here are a few of the highlights from our day with Mom & Howard.


Purple Starfish clinging to a sea wall at low tide.


Sea Lions bathing in the sun.


Orca Whale getting ready to jump out of the water.

If you ever have a chance to see Orcas in their natural habitat, you need to do it! It is truly an amazing experience.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 DAD August 31, 2010 at 9:43 am

What a fund Blog, and summary of the long summer. Pictures are great! Send some to GM’s photo frame.

2 Mom August 31, 2010 at 11:45 am

I really enjoyed reading your blog–you live in such a beautiful area! We had such a good time getting to know “your” island and can’t wait to visit again. (Will Matt make King salmon for us again? :-)

3 Tina November 1, 2010 at 9:37 pm

I apparently missed this blog. I like that Truth & Salvage, Co. too. Kind of have a Dave Matthews sound at the beginning of that song. Awesome pics as always. I’m so jealous!

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