PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — At least two professional whale watching companies in the Puget Sound area in Washington spotted four species of whales during one whale watching trip on Mother’s Day.
The achievement is known as a “grand slam,” according to the Pacific Whale Watch Association.
PWWA boats saw a minke and gray whale in Rosario Strait, a mother humpback whale and her calf near Waldron Island, and several Bigg’s killer whales in the area, according to the company.
Captain Matt Stolmeier said seeing the mom and calf humpback pair was the perfect Mother’s Day treat.
“It was a beautiful day on the water, and I even got to stop offshore at my parent’s house to wave and yell happy Mother’s Day to my mom,” he said.
Naturalist and photographer Brooke McKinley said she’s worked on a whale watching boat for 15 seasons and Sunday was only her eighth “grand slam” ever.
“It was a glorious day, sunshine, flat calm waters and whales everywhere!” she said.
The Pacific Whale Watch Association said with the arrival of gray whales in the region in early spring, an abundant population of Bigg’s killer whales throughout the area year-round, and humpback whales just starting to return from their winter migrations, the area has an abundance of whales in early May.
They said the fact that there are so many whales to see this time of year is something to celebrate.
More than 50 orcas were spotted in Puget Sound over Easter weekend this year.