May 12, 2010

Gray Whale in John's Pass!

Today we departed Friday Harbor having heard word a gray whale was passing right on through the San Juan Channel! This was exciting news, because not is it a relatively uncommon event to see a gray whale in the waters around the San Juan Islands, it is even more unusual for a gray whale to pass by Friday Harbor.
With extra time on our hands, we left the harbor, stopped on by O'Neill Island and saw some bald eagles and passed by Speiden Island to view some exotic deer and sheep species.
Captain Craig then cruised the boat on into John's Pass, which cuts in between Johns and Stewart Islands. It was there the guests and I started seeing blows from the whale!
Gray whales are coming into or passing through this area during this time of year on their way up to Alaska to feed for three months in the summer season. Gray whales travel up to 12,000 miles round trip each year to their calving grounds off the Gulf of Baja California up to their feeding grounds in Alaska.
After spending about forty five minutes with the whale, we traveled onward. We passed in between Jones Island and Orcas Islands, viewing wildlife as we went.
It was a fantastic day on the water with an enthusiastic group of guests!