June 5, 2016

On the Borderline: Humpback Whale swims along U.S. Canadian Border

Humpback Whale Fluking near San Juan Island

On Friday we went up north! We started our daily search for cetaceans by heading up near Flattop Island to both look at some Harbor Seals and Bald Eagles on this Federally protected island and also look in several different channels to see if any whales could be spotted. None yet so we headed east now through one of my favorite channels in the islands, President Channel! It runs between Orcas and Waldron Island so our journey east was framed by steep wooded slopes on Orcas and dramatic, sheer cliffs on Waldron. As we neared Sucia Island there was a lot more water to search for whales in and soon we spotted a Humpback hanging around Patos Island! Patos Island is on the very edge of the U.S. – Canada border and has a cute little lighthouse on it. So as this huge Humpback Whale ate its heart out and gave us a few flukes on its deeper dives we got a super nice backdrop of one of Washington’s best lighthouses. We eventually left the Humpback as it made its way west and we headed north to check out some cool currents around east point. There was a whole lot of Seals being pushed around in the water as they strained their necks to look back at us, and one California Sea Lion that kept popping up in unexpected places to stare at us as well. And even then the fun wasn’t over! We skimmed the south side of Saturna Island and found my favorite Peregrine Falcon nest, stuck back into a rocky crevice on a cliff, but no one was home… until we heard its call and two white, fluffy chicks popped their adorable little heads up to look at us as we boated by and mom swooped above!

What another San Juanderful day! Until next time,

Naturalist Erick

M/V Sea Lion

San Juan Safaris

Peregrine Falcon chicks