Today after work we headed straight to the west side of the island, hoping to catch the whales. Earlier in the day all three pods reunited and made their way south from the Fraser River. They made good time, and a few of them had already passed by the time I pulled into Lime Kiln Point State Park. Many of the whales were way, way offshore, and all you could see were the blows illuminated by the sun several miles away. A few family groups were a little bit closer in, like these K-Pod whales:
It was a surprisingly warm and very tranquil evening, and the lighting made it an especially magical moment.
The whales didn't seem to be in any hurry, with several animals stopping to forage. Three whales circled around at the edge of the bay just to the north of the lighthouse, then passed by pretty close just a little ways off the kelp:
With the last group of whales many miles offshore, I began to notice some of the other wildlife taking advantage of the last light before dusk. A belted kingfisher flew by. A few rhinoceros auklets were diving for fish, and soon a bait ball formed which attracted some gulls. Gulls aren't normally considered diving birds but these guys did their best to get down to those fish:
A small harbor seal also popped up near the bait ball, and a little further offshore half a dozen Dall's porpoise went by heading north. We stayed long enough to watch the sunset, and overall the evening provided a much-needed lifting of the spirits!