July 14, 2019

Great Gray Whale and Wonderful Wildlife!

Piper | Sunday, July 14, 2019 | M/V Sea Lion | 1:30 PM

On today’s bright, sunny afternoon tour, Captain Pete, Jordan, and I took an awesome boat full of people into the Salish Sea to look for some whales and wildlife! Not very far outside of the marina of Friday Harbor we spotted a gray whale moving north through San Juan Channel! It’s quite rare for us to get gray whales this far north in the Salish Sea; when they are seen here, they’re typically spotted south near Whidbey Island and we don’t often get the opportunity to see them, so today was a very special treat!

We watched as the gray whale came up for air, giving little bubbles at the surface before each giant exhalation of air. The whale’s long mottled gray back, covered in barnacles and whale lice, up to 400 lbs. of it, slid through the surface of the water, often with an arch before flashing its awesome tail flukes in the air!

After a while we headed farther north through the channel up to the Cactus Islands and Spieden Island to search for other wildlife where we spotted a ton of harbor seals, bald eagles, mouflon sheep, and fallow deer all over the islands!

We went south again and got to have one last look at the gray whale fluking around near Yellow Island while guests got an up-close view of a piece of baleen, the keratin plates gray whales use to feed in the muddy sea floor!