August 3, 2013

Beautiful Day on the Water- And Whales!!!

As I drove down to our Friday Harbor location today to go into work, the weather didn't look super. However, right before we went to un-dock the sun decided to make an appearance! It ended up being a gorgeous day on the water today- little to no wind, sunny, clear skies, and beautiful wildlife.

As we headed out the San Juan Channel and into Cattle Pass, we encountered a small Minke whale feeding on small schools of Sand Lance, Krill, and Herring. Minke whales aren't normally found right of the Eastern side San Juan Island, so we were all pretty excited to see a whale so close to the Harbor! The whale looked to be about 20 feet long, which is relatively small for Minkes which can grow to be 35 feet long!

After spending some time with our Minke whale, Captain Jim decided to take us to Goose Island where we could see lot's of fledgling Pelagic and Double-Crested Cormorants. These are diving birds and are very neat, they can dive up to 180 feet (roughly 60 meters)! There were also Harbor Seals swimming around Goose Island, forging and teaching their pups how to survive. These Harbor Seals have actually been known to give their pups "piggy-back" rides when they get tired!

As if the day wasn't already great, we also encountered a pair of Seller Sea Lions; which, if you've been following my blog, you know I just love! These are the largest of the Sea Lion family, weighing in at almost a ton! They always impress me (and our guests) when they come particularity close to our boat and lift their head out of the water to check us out! We also say another Minke long feeding (awesome), and Harbor Porpoise! It was such a great day! I'm so happy to have sunny skies again!

Heather, Naturalist, M/V Kittiwake
San Juan Safaris