October 3, 2021

The Fall Migration of Humpback Whales Begins

Haleigh | M/V Kestrel | October 3, 2021 | 2:00 pm


Through the summer in the Salish Sea, we have the opportunity to spend time with Humpback Whales. Humpback Whales migrate to colder, nutrient-rich waters to take advantage of the abundance of food -- Sand Lances, Herring, and Krill. It’s important for these animals to stock up during these summer months before they begin their migration towards Hawaii. As we are entering our fall season, more Humpbacks are making their way through the Salish Sea eating thousands of pounds of food before eventually departing into the Pacific Ocean. Thus we are seeing Humpbacks almost every day! On this day, we spent some time with a duo of Humpbacks on two separate occasions! The calm seas allowed us to cruise alongside as these whales made their way through Boundary Pass. Along with these humpbacks, we gazed at the incredible honeycombed sandstone alongside Saturna Island. These steep cliffs towered over Java rocks, where Harbor Seals rested and Black Oystercatchers squeaked. Following this encounter, we reunited with the same duo of Humpback Whales from earlier! Each surfacing was powerful and smooth. It was a meditative experience sitting alongside 50-ton giants swimming just below the surface. As we were about to reach Friday Harbor, we encountered Dall’s Porpoise feeding in the channel. It was a full-wildlife day!