June 27, 2011

Are we in Canada? Or the US?

Today was a day of border crossing, and re-crossing, and crossing again.  In search of orcas rumored to be nearly out of reach, we headed north out of the harbor, eventually crossing the border into Canada at Boundary Pass.  Up around Saturna Island, we went into the Strait of Georgia where we finally found whales.  We spent much of our time going back and forth across the border as we observed J-pod and L87, a large male named "Onyx" with a solid white saddle patch on his right side and a black-indented saddle patch on his left side.

The pod was fairly spread out, with a pair (female and calf?) towards the north and another pair southwest of us.  At one point, we shut the Kittiwake down just to listen and enjoy the quiet of the water and the sounds of the whales breathing before we  had to make the long journey back.  While we were powered down, a pair of females/juveniles/both came by our stern within one hundred and fifty yards and passed under us, popping back up off our port bow!  We only knew they had surfaced by the sound of their blows.  With that awesome finale, we powered up and returned to the harbor, but not until we had seen two Bald Eagles fish-seeking from pines on San Juan Island.

Serena, Naturalist

San Juan Safaris