June 27, 2018

Happy Hump Day!

sea lions on whale rocks with seagulls

Jordan | June 26, 2018 | M/V Sea Lion | 1:30 trip

Another lovely day began with leaving Friday Harbor at our newly scheduled time of 1:30 pm. Captain Mike, Naturalist Erick and I headed south through the San Juan Channel and past Cattle Pass.

A group of giant Steller sealions were crawling high up on the rocks at Whale Rocks and then jumping off into the water, making a huge splash! There were also some harbor seals down on the lower rocks near the waters edge. Due to the seals bone structure, they are unable to climb high like their pinniped counterparts. Seals are forced to flop onto land instead of walking on all fours like the sealions.

Then, we headed toward the Salmon Bank where we saw minke whales!!  First, we spotted the giant bait ball, a swarm of sea birds hovering above the surface of the water, scavenging for food. It was quite the sight to see when all of a sudden, a whale popped up right in the midst of all the bird chaos! And then another minke whale emerged! Our guests were very excited to see all this animal activity.

Eventually we headed east along the south side of Lopez Island where we found a humpback whale! It seemed as though this whale was simply travelling, moseying about the area while taking shallow dives. But then all of a sudden, she took a big dive a showed us her giant tail! And with that glimpse we were able to surmise that this specific humpback is new to the area! She hasn’t been catalogued yet. It’s always really nice to see more and more humpbacks returning to the San Juan islands!

On the voyage home, we even caught multiple bald eagle sightings! We found one eagle perfectly posed on a rocky cliff, two soaring through the sky and then a pair of bald eagles sitting together on a small island!

And finally, when we reached our dock at Friday Harbor, an adorable harbor seal was in the water right next to our boat looking at all our guests! It was almost as if to say “Welcome Back!”

So many animals were out today with so many sights to see!