July 14, 2009

From Canada to the Coal Docks

It may not sound glamorous, but the day we had today on the MV Sea Lion definitely was. Capt. Craig got us out the door in a hurry since the orcas were all the way up in Active Pass between Galiano and Mayne Islands. It was petal-to-the-metal the whole way and in two hours we were northeast of the pass, out in the Strait of Georgia and I could see splashing on the horizon. It was still several minutes before we got there, but the dorsal fins and breaches were obvious well before we were on scene.

The orcas were spread out traveling in ones and twos and they must have all had their Wheaties this morning. There was one breach after another off into the distance and we had just gotten into the mix of it when one big male launched himself clean out of the water 200 yards from us. Jaclyn and I guessed it was J27 "Blackberry", but he was moving quickly away and it was hard to get a good look at the saddle patch behind his dorsal fin.

There did not seem to be much feeding going on this afternoon, as all of the animals were travelling very quickly and we did not see the erratic behavior that we normally would. Obviously, there was some important event that they all had to get to since they took us across the strait towards the coal docks and Tsawwassen ferry dock and we finally had to bid them goodbye. They continued their rapid trek and we turned for home and made the long, but truly lovely journey back to Friday Harbor.

It was all water and whales today and a boat load of wonderful guests. So, from all of us here at San Juan Safaris, to all of you water babies out there, thank you and we will...

See You In The Islands!
~Tristen, Naturalist

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