July 30, 2018

Afternoon Trip with Southern Resident Whales off of Saturna Island! | 07/30/2018 | 1:30

Jordan | July 30, 2018 | M/V Sea Lion | 1:30 trip

Today’s trip started out with sunny skies and excited guests as we left Friday Harbor for our 1:30 trip on our Sea Lion vessel. Captain Pete, Naturalist Rachel and I heard reports of some whales far up in Canada. Luckily, they were headed south towards us, so we headed north to meet them! We boated up through the San Juan Channel and through Boundary Pass alongside the west side of Waldron island as we entered Canadian waters and passed by the east side of Saturna Island. Here we found our whales!

We watched the Southern Resident whales as they traveled very slowly against the flooding currents headed south towards the San Juan islands. It seemed as if all of J pod was together and swimming in a really tight group, basically touching each other. However, as they approached closer to land, the pod spread out and began looking for salmon. We even saw a few whales splashing around while they found fish. Then we saw a whale breach fully out of the water! After we examined a picture of the breach, we found that she was J36! Also known as “Alki.” We also saw her brother “Big Mike” with his giant dorsal fin swimming relatively close to our boat!

As the huge pod of whales passed by a rocky island full of harbor seals, I reassured our guests that those seals were perfectly safe around our Resident whales who only ate salmon! They didn’t even recognize the seals as a potential food source. These harbor seals were definitely taking advantage of the low tide as they spread out and enjoyed the sunshine.

Eventually we headed home very happy with a day full of whales!