September 11, 2009

Here Comes The Sun Again

After what appeared to be the start of fall and winter, we are now back to the September weather that we are all so fond of. September really is the best month to see the islands and today was a perfect example of that.

I welcomed a lovely group of guests onto the M/V Kittiwake this afternoon and we headed off on our tour. The orcas were at the south end and west side of San Juan Island today, so it was difficult to decide where to go. Capt. Bill did a fabulous job though, and after taking us up San Juan Channel, past Spieden Island and through John's Pass, we arrived at Turn Point on Stuart Island just in time to see the orcas shoot off of it and out into Boundary Pass. They were in a rambunctious mood today too.

The orcas were traveling in two large main groups that were closely packed together with 30-40 animals in the area. They swam at a fast clip, but spent a bit of time tail slapping and lobbing as well as breaching. Especially, near a research boat that was taking breath samples, so it was motoring right alongside the whales. There was definitely a lot of high energy and it must have translated to the other species, since four Dall's porpoises shot past our boat leaving rooster tails behind them. They headed north and after several hundred yards dipped down and disappeared.

The orcas though, continued on across Boundary Pass and up Swanson Channel past North Pender Island. We watched as long as we could, but we finally had to say goodbye to the orcas and Canada and get headed back home. Along the way we stopped to see harbor seals at Ripple Rocks and a lone bald eagle on one of the Cactus Islands. The day was warm and sunny and perfect and I am so glad that I have taken the opportunity to live this life.

So, from all of us here at San Juan Safaris, to all of you travel bugs out there, thank you and we will...

See You In The Islands!
~Tristen, Naturalist

Orca Whales and Wildlife Are Our Only Business. ©