May 7, 2010

Hail The Conquering Heroes

Capt. Mike and I saved the day aboard the M/V Sea Lion today.  There have been no orca sightings for several days despite all of the companies being out and scouring the watery countryside.  We were taking our place amongst them and heading out on a northwest wildlife tour when out of the blue, literally, popped an orca fin!  What, an orca fin?!  Yes, an orca fin!!  I, maintaining professionalism and decorum at all times, proceeded to run around the boat yelling and effusing.  San Juan Safaris had just made everyone's day and we had only been on the water for 15 minutes.  That's right folks, we were barely out of the harbor and practically tripped over 2 transient orcas.  The calls went out and we got to claim victory and direct the other whale watching companies to our location so that their guests could have the opportunity to watch an incredible animal in the wild.

After about an hour of pure elation we moved on to tour the islands and see what other surprises awaited us.  After watching violet-green swallows and pelagic cormorants along the cliff face beneath Turn Point lighthouse and spying harbor seals and an eagle around Sentinel Island we motored back towards Orcas Island in time to catch up with the fleet and spend a few more minutes with our orca friends.

It was sun all the way today and with pink noses and happy hearts we made our way back to Friday Harbor.  The two transients slid off into the distance as we headed in the opposite direction, hoping to meet them again in the coming months.  So, from all of us at San Juan Safaris, to all of you wildlife spotters out there, thank you and we will...

See You In The Islands!

~Tristen, Naturalist