June 15, 2018

J Pod Joy!

Southern Residents near San Juan swimming

Jordan | June 15, 2018 | M/V Sea Lion | 12:00 noon

Today the Sealion journeyed out of Friday Harbor for the 12:00 noon tour with Captain Pete, Naturalist Rachel and myself. Reports of the J pod were coming in from the southwest side of San Juan Island, the same region this group was found yesterday! Perhaps there is a great group of salmon in that area.

Our boat headed south towards Cattle Pass and we stopped at Whale Island, a tiny island off the tip of Cattle Point. Here we saw Stellar sealions! In fact, there was one especially huge sealion that seemed to be arguing with the others and barking aggressively at them. The kids on the boat thought he looked like a bear!

Then, we headed up towards False Bay and found the Southern Resident whales! The J pod was spread far apart along this western coast of San Juan. But, even though they were separated by distance, the whales still kept in communication with each other. At one point during our tour, a huge female slapped the water three times and headed closer into shore. Immediately the three groups closest to her stopped what they were doing and headed in the same direction! She was definitely the leader amongst these whales.

Then suddenly, we spot the far-off blows of a humpback whale! So, Captain Pete drove over to find him. The humpback was traveling alone, seemingly taking his time and not taking much notice of the orcas nearby. The guests were very excited to see multiple species of whales on the same day!

Eventually we went back to spend more time with the killer whales and were overjoyed by the breaching displays they showed us! The kids were especially excited to see orca whales for the first time in their lives!

Heading home, everyone wore content smiles.

Naturalist JordanĀ