July 24, 2009

Jolly ol' Js

It was a double round-trip for those guests coming from Anacortes today. We loaded them on the boat in Friday Harbor and then motored through Upright Channel and Thatcher Pass to get to Rosario Strait right outside of Anacortes. There was some fog again today, but it was well inland and offered a nice soft background for viewing the orcas. And orcas there were.

J pod was all there travelling in two tight family groups down the strait. The four big boys, both calves with their mothers, all of the juveniles and the grand dames as well. J1 "Ruffles" showed us some tail slapping action and then someone popped up in a spyhop. The calves were tucked into the middle of the groups with their moms at their sides and J2 "Granny" led the whole thing. The most picturesque moment came when most of the pod surfaced together for air with the lighthouse at Burrows Island in the background.

We finally ended the trip with a head-on view of the orcas coming right at the boat. A moment only allowed us to revel in the awe of these stunning animals and then we moved away before we disturbed their travel. By this time we were at the south end of Decatur Island, so we slipped through a narrow pass to the coastline of Lopez Island and followed that back around to San Juan Channel and home. A bald eagle, harbor seals and many, many sea birds rounded out our day of wildlife viewing and a close-up of the schooner Adventuress wrapped our day.

So, from Capt. Nancy, Jeanette, MV Sea Lion, San Juan Safaris and myself, thank you for all of your whale watching enthusiasm and we will...

See You In The Islands!
~Tristen, Naturalist

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