June 25, 2021

Humpback Whale Cruises the Haro Strait

Humpback Whale in Haro Strait

Olivia | M/V Osprey | June 25th, 2021 | 12:30pm

With the sunshine on our side, we immediately decided to make the decision to head north around the top of San Juan Island with some rumors of a baleen whale lurking in the air. This brought us all the way towards County Park, just north of Lime Kiln Lighthouse. Coming on scene, we quickly discovered that this baleen was none other than a Humpback Whale! 

 

This filter feeding ocean giant was slow traveling north along the westside shoreline averaging 5-6 minute dive times, a common length for all of our Humpback encounters. Using the image of that signature tail fluke, we were able to ID this whale as “Mantis” also known as BCX0936. Deriving in the ‘X’ category due to a mostly black fluke. This photo identification process is a very responsible, non-invasive way of keeping track of populations and the overall health of the individuals that come to these waters to feed during the summer months.

 

We eventually headed back north passing Bald Eagles on Henry Island and stopping at Spieden Island to admire the grazing Mouflon Sheep and Fallow Deer above the snoozing Harbor Seals. We even passed heaps of Harbor Porpoise along our entire route! It was phenomenal experiencing two types of cetaceans as well as pinnipeds and other wildlife this afternoon, always reminding us of the great biodiversity homed here in the San Juan Islands.