October 28, 2019

Humpback Whales in the Salish Sea

Humpback Whale near Spieden Island

Sarah | 10/28/2019 | M/V Sea Lion | 12:00pm

Today was a beautiful fall day in the San Juan Islands. We enjoyed sunny skies out on the water and smooth seas as we cruised through the islands.

We started the day heading north through San Juan Channel. In recent weeks we have had great sightings up and around the Canadian Gulf Islands due to the plentiful nutrients and food in the area. We made it to Flattop Island and got a chance to see some harbor seals as well as some bald eagles perched up in the trees along the shore.

Captain Erick and I decided to head farther north towards President Channel, originally pointing for the Outer Islands of the San Juans: Sucia, Patos, and Matia. Our plans were derailed by a pair of humpback whales! Humpback whales are the fourth or fifth largest species of whale in the world. Here in the North Pacific humpback whales usually are around 45 feet long and can weigh 90,000 pounds. We got great looks at the whales as they surfaced and rolled around at the surface, we even got to hear them breathe!

After a great encounter with the whales, we went off in search of some other wildlife and beautiful Salish Sea scenery. We got to see some of the non-native hoof-stock on Spieden Island, some of our native sea birds, the light station at Turn Point on Stuart Island, and some more seals and bald eagles as we cruised. It was an amazing autumnal day, I can’t wait for tomorrow!

Filed by:

Captain, Lead Naturalist & Vessel Coordinator

Sarah M.

Sea Lion


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