July 28, 2010

Gratitude

The afternoon reports were in.  There were ten to fifteen orca whales spotted near Stuart Island.  We traveled north and encountered the orcas near Turn Point.  Turn Point is the very northwest piece of continental land in the United States!  Captain Mike slowed the boat as we approached the misty blows of the orca.  The whales were traveling very close together, heading north towards Pender Bluffs on South Pender Island.  Not only were they in a large group, but they were showing off the white undersides of their tails when they slapped the water.  The highlight of today's trip was when an adult breached about 250 yards away from our boat.  It's amazing what a lasting impression the whales can make.  The image of a breaching orca resonates with you all day.  Walking around Friday Harbor images of orca whales are ubiquitous; these images bring back the memories we experience on the boat.  We are so fortunate to have 90 resident orcas in the San Juans every spring and summer.  With that said, I shouldn't fail to mention the bald eagle and harbor seals that we spotted near Spieden Island.  There's a lot to be thankful for.

Naturalist,

Sally