[Lauren Fritz, M/V Kittiwake, 08/04/17, 5:30 pm Charter] What an amazing day on the water! We had a charter this evening, and we were lucky enough to encounter an amazing humpback whale who was curious and playful - it swam right under us a few times! Check out my favorite photos from the trip. We...Read more
Lauren Fritz, M/V Kestrel, 07/19/17, 2:00 pm Tour Wow! We had quite the epic journey on M/V Kestrel today. Cruising across the bluest seas at our quick speeds really allowed us to make the most of the day. Humpbacks reported down south of Victoria in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, 25 miles away? No...Read more
What's up, humpbacks! On our whale watch on M/V Seahawk today, we had a chance to encounter these massive baleen whales out in the Rosario Straight - a real treat, considering we don't always get the chance to pass by Orcas and Shaw Island on our tours. These beautiful islands greeted us with views...Read more
Ever heard of a rorqual? Try saying that word ten times fast! Rorquals are the largest group of baleen whales, and even include the largest known mammal on Earth, the blue whale (those fellas can reach up to 200 tons - WOW). But what exactly is a baleen whale? There's some basic facts that can help...Read more
The humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) is the 5th largest of the great whales. An adult humpback whale can grow to 60 feet in length and weigh up to 80,000 pounds. As with most baleen whales, female humpback whales are larger than males. The largest recorded humpback whale was a female estimated to be 89 feet long and nearly 200,000 pounds.
Also known as the “big-winged New Englander,” humpback whales are most recognized for their disproportionally large pectoral fins. Measuring up to 15 feet long, the humpback whales’ long pectoral fins can even be used to swim backwards. The pectoral fin length can be as long as 1/3rd of the overall body length.
Humpback whales are huge even at birth! At birth, a newborn humpback whale weighs 2000 pounds and is 20 feet long, approximately the length of the mother’s head.
Many humpback whales encountered in the San Juan Islands are adult females with a new calf, or juvenile male or female whales. Recently, the very well-known humpback whale “Big Mama” returned to the Salish Sea with a new calf in tow, making this her 6th known humpback calf.
The crew and passengers aboard our original San Juan Safaris vessel, the M/V Kittiwake, braved the dense fog bank that awaited us at Cattle Pass in search of earlier reports of humpback whales. At certain points during the trip visibility was as low as 150 yds! Not to worry though, because Captain...Read more
We brought in the start of a new summer with great weather on the water today! Crew and passengers alike, busted out their shorts and sunscreen while we sped out of Friday Harbor to catch up with some of our favorite summer friends, our resident orcas, L Pod. We didn't have to go far since L Pod...Read more
What an incredible sight last night south of Victoria. Tangerine orange sunset and TWO humpbacks feeding in synchronization…they could have won a gold medal for synchronized swimming! These massive baleen whales were lunging for schooling fish and plankton. We could see their throat pleats stretch...Read more