June 22, 2018

Celebratory Cetaceans

Playing whales

Jordan | June 22, 2018 | M/V Sea Lion | 12:00 noon

What an amazing day out on the water! Captain Mike, Naturalist Rachel and I voyaged out of Friday Harbor towards a report of whales traveling along the east side of Lopez Island. We traveled north up the Upright channel where we saw two bald eagles perching in trees near their giant nest! It was very cool to see this pair, mated for life, nestled within the huge trees that they called home.

We then traveled down the east side of Lopez where we found our whales within Lopez Sound! These Bigg’s (transient) whales were the T65As which gave our whole boat an amazing display! The family of orcas was jumping and slapping the water with their tails, waving their bodies in the air, breaching, doing backflips, rolling around the surface, and spy hopping! I’ve never seen such a great display of social behavior and playfulness! Especially because transients are known to be quiet and stealthy, this rambunctiousness indicated that they most likely just finished a meal. Thus, they cold afford not to be their typical sly selves. It was so nice to see family bonding time! The siblings were rolling around in the water together and we even witnessed the giant older brother T65A2 wrestle around with his younger sibling in midair! We could have watched these amazing whales all day, but eventually we had to go home.

We traveled along the south side of Lopez up to Whale Rocks where we saw some Stellar sea lions! These huge mammals were barking at each other and even leaping off the rocks into the water!

What a fantastic day for seeing the great joys of nature.