July 17, 2019

Adventurous Double Whale Day; Humpback and Killer Whales near San Juan Island

Humpback Whale near Spieden Island Bigg's Killer Whale in Haro Strait

Olivia | July 17th, 2019 | M/V Kestrel | 11:00am / 3:00pm

What an adventurous Adventure Tour on our M/V Kestrel with Captain Gabe! We had a morning trip with 22 passengers and an evening private charter with a fabulous work group for their team bonding. For both the 11:00am and 3:00pm trips, we saw the same Cetaceans within our waters.

In the morning we decided to head north around San Juan Island and eventually end up in Haro Strait where our first reported whale sighting was. On our way there, we made a pit stop at Spieden Island to discuss the history of the former “Safari Island” while looking at the remaining exotic hoof stock from Asia and Europe: Sika Deer, Fallow Deer, and Mouflon Sheep. In addition to that, we spotted Harbor Seals lounging about on the shoreline with their young pups.

As we continued across Spieden Island- SURPRISE! We stumbled upon a Humpback Whale that wasn’t previously found for the day. This was thrilling! This individual traveled all along the shoreline feeding with 2-4-minute dive times, allowing for many tail flukes. One of the Harbor Seals decided to come investigate all the smaller bait fish that were being stirred up from the large marine mammal.

Our Captain received word on larger waves in the Haro Strait that we would be trudging through, but our amazing passengers reminded us they were here for the adventure and were all about it. Therefore, all the kiddos sat up at the bow and had an absolute blast. Honestly, Captain Gabe and I had a great time as well. About a mile off Lime Kiln, we were able to view Bigg’s Killer Whales, the T60s, milling around and playing in the waves. We all agreed it was worth the trek through the swell! We even saw a large Bald Eagle near Friday Harbor on our way home!

For our evening Charter, we had a fun group of 14 who brought the sunshine after the warm, rainy morning. Our whales from this morning all moved up out of the large waves, therefore we headed north into Boundary Pass to sneak a peek. We stopped at White Rocks to view Harbor Seals and their pups, which everyone eagerly referred to as “Rock Sausages.” We flirted with the Canadian and United States border and hung around Patos Island to view our travelling Humpback. This baleen whale was still averaging four-minute dives but was a bit more unpredictable with its movements. This is always a fun way to spot mammals and a beautiful reminder that they are wild! We then voyaged into Canadian waters to view the same family group as this morning between Turn Point and Saturna. Here to they were milling and rolling about.

For both tours, it was a first time for many passengers to see wild Orcas and I received incredible questions the entire time. I love hearing what curious minds come up with and what our passengers want to know and where their passions lay. Despite some rain and wild waves, the trip stayed fairly warm and smiling faces all around. By far one of my favorite Adventure Tours of the season!