August 10, 2020

Humpback Whale Splashes and Lunges Around!

Humpback Whale

Erick | M/V Kestrel | 2:00 PM | August 8, 2020

 

This afternoon the sun rally came out and the perfectly blue sky was reflected in the flat waters of the Salish Sea. Captain Brian and I headed out with a great group of passengers to go look for the local wildlife. We headed south through San Juan Channel and into the Strait of Juan De Fuca. We went just a little farther south than we had gone on our first trip and again we found the same Humpback Whale there. It was still feeding, making big circles in between bait balls out there but as well got closer it lounged out of the water with its mouth open! We could see its ventral pleats on its lower jaw and the baleen on its upper jaw! This was so cool! I have only seen this here a few times and its always a surprise! This is a tactic to get lots of fish in its mouth all at once! We settled in and watched as the Humpback Whale continued feeding around us and eventually started lobtailing! This means it was lifting its massive tail and slamming it down in the water over and over again. We believe they do this for a few reasons. It could be to remove parasites on the skin, to scare their prey into more of a tight school, or it may just be fun! It was so incredible to see this gigantic animal move so quickly! After that show it was time to head back towards San Juan Island. We made a stop at Whale Rocks to look at the very large male Steller Sea Lions. There were a few splashing around in the water and a couple chest bumping each other to get the best resting spots on the rock. We could also see some Harbor Seals safely avoiding all the action in the background. Next we made our final stop near Deadman Island where we got a great look at two Bald Eagles perched on a snag as well as some Harbor Seals popping their heads up in the currents near us! Another amazing day here!

 

Stay whale folks,

Erick