June 20, 2020

Humpback Whale on the Summer Solstice

Humpback whale flukes

Sarah | 06/20/2020 | M/V Sea Lion | 12:00pm

We had an excellent, albeit the moody weather, out on the water. On my first tour back on the water this season, we got to see so much wildlife, and enjoyed some stunning scenery.

We left Friday Harbor and headed north through San Juan Channel, and took a right up President’s Channel. While we cruised through the impressive channel with the tall hills and bluffs of Orcas Island and Waldron Island on either side of us, we got to see some surfacing harbor porpoise. These small cetaceans are some of our most common marine mammals in the Salish Sea.

We continued to work our way north and found a humpback whale on West Bank just south of Patos and Sucia Islands. We got great looks at the whale as it surfaced, even lifting its giant 15-foot-wide tail into the air as it dove.

After our encounter with the whale we stopped at Skipjack Island to check out some harbor seals and a juvenile bald eagle before pointing back towards Friday Harbor. Happy Solstice!