August 19, 2019

Heaps of Whales Close to San Juan Island!

Bigg's Killer Whales near San Juan Island

Olivia | August 19th, 2019 | M/V Kestrel | 11:00am

 The whales made our job look so easy today since there was absolutely no build up when we found them right out of Friday Harbor! The only thing we had a chance to see prior was a Bald Eagle soaring above the pines while I was giving my animal sighting chat to our passengers. The T49A’s were milling south in the San Juan Channel and we were able to view them for a wee bit before splitting off and checking out more wildlife. We do our best to respect this wildlife in their natural habitat while spreading awareness and educating on their conservation. This means we really focus on limiting our viewing times, how many boats are on scene, the speed around them, as well as the distance we maintain while viewing.

This allowed us gorgeous views of Cattle Point Lighthouse and stopping to see Cormorants, Harbor Seals and Steller’s Sea Lions on Whale Rocks! They were awfully stinky, but definitely a crew favorite! From there, we headed southeast of Hein Bank to catch a glimpse of a Humpback Whale that was averaging 3 minute dive times, making it so much to fun chat a wee bit while they were feeding and just take in the sights of this Salish Sea success story as this ocean giant came to the surface for a breath of air.

With shorter dive times, this allowed us many views of that massive tail fluke in a short amount of time, leaving us room in our trip to go east of Lopez Island and witness a T Party of our ‘transient’ Bigg’s Killer Whales! This comprised of the family groups T34’s, T37, T37B’s, T36A’s, and T99’s- like I said, T Party! While these groups typically travel with just their mothers and siblings, they love family reunions and to socialize like we do.

Like I said, whales made our job easy today! It is not every trip that we get this lucky, but we sure are not complaining because this was extraordinarily fun for not only our passengers, but Captain Gabe and myself as well! Come join us on our adventure trip to learn, fall in love, admire, and have so much fun!