June 13, 2018

An afternoon spent with killer whales in the San Juan Islands | May 26, 2018 | 02:00pm

[Sarah – 05/26/2018 – M/V Kestrel –  2:00pm]

On our second trip of the day Captain Mike and I decided to head north out of Friday Harbor! There was beautiful water, and good reports to our north, which was for the best as the water conditions to our south had deteriorated. We loaded up our guests and took off!

Our first whale encounter was with a pair of humpback whales cruising the South Pender Island shoreline and circling out into Boundary Pass. These whales are usually solitary in our waters, so to have a pair traveling together was kind of a cool sighting! We watched as these school-bus- sized whales surfaced and fluked, diving below the surface. After spending some time with the humpbacks, we headed for some other wildlife! We sped towards Java Rocks, finding a half dozen bald eagles sitting on the rocks and swooping through the skies. We also caught glimpses of harbor seals around the small chain of islets.

After a good search around the Saturna shoreline we headed across Boundary Pass to the area where there had been some orcas reported. We were lucky enough to encounter three families of Bigg’s killer whales traveling together. Usually these orcas like to travel in small, stealthy groups of three to six individuals, we had a group of over a dozen whales! It was awesome to watch as the whales socialized and rested.