Broad Reaching with Andrew Cross

Whale Tale

Ghosting along in barely five knots of breeze I heard the whale’s spout well before I saw it broach. Scanning the water with the binoculars I wasn’t the first to see it break the surface of the water off our starboard bow, but when I did, I was in awe. It was a lone orca, effortlessly pushing water aside as it glided past our bow. Having never seen a killer whale outside of Sea World, I watched in amazement with each broach and spout.

Over the past year and a half I’ve cruised quite a few miles on the Puget Sound and had never seen a single orca. Even while spending three weeks cruising the San Juan Islands, they eluded me. But there it was, right in front of us; with white spots near its eyes, a tall black dorsal fin and tail that surely moves a lot of water, it was unmistakeable. This is one of my favorite things about cruising, the wildlife: Birds, mammals, fish, crustaceans, all there for us to enjoy. It is no wonder the native people of the Pacific Northwest have held these animals in such high regard for so many years. Shouldn’t we all?

Enjoy this week’s edition.

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