May 19, 2009

A bit of sun, a bit of rain, and a whole bunch of orca viewing!

The MV Sea Lion departed Friday Harbor washed with sunlight, ready to chug on up to Canada to try to catch up with J Pod. Our first report was that J Pod was up by Point Roberts headed south. The boat caught up with J Pod members north of East Point on Saturna Island. It was off of East Point that the first whale to be placed successfully into capitivity was captured. In 1964, Samuel Burich, a sculptor, was hired to kill a killer whale to use as a model for a life size killer whale sculpture for the Vancouver Aquarium. Burich harpooned his target, which didn't die, even after it was shot. A decision was made to tow the live whale back to Vancouver, were he survived in captivity for 87 days. This whale was named Moby Doll (he was actually a male), and sparked the whale captures for marine parks during the rest of the sixties and into the early 70's.

We travelled with various members of J Pod, who were spread out for miles between East Point and Patos Island. J1, Ruffles, and likely J2, Granny, made a nice appearance, passing in front of our bow after we had shut down the engine to allow them to pass. We saw breaches and spy hops from the distance and closer whales travelled on by. As we viewed the whales we passed in an out of sunshine and rain, hitting just a few rain clouds here and there.

The boat pulled into Friday Harbor to a cleared sky and are pleased guests gazed kindly at Friday Harbor after a great day of whale watch viewing.

Over and out.
Ashley, Naturalist




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