August 23, 2011

Lummi-ing Humpbacks

Headed out between Shaw and Lopez Islands, past Orcas and out towards Lummi Island, we were in search of the ever-popular but very elusive (in the Pacific Northwest) humpback whale.  Clocking in at an average 45 feet (school bus size) and 80,000 pounds, they are in the top ten largest animals to ever roam the Earth.  Could we find one?

We saw boats out by Lummi, and continued towards them.  And then, we saw a blow!  And then another.  But wait, there was another set of blows!  We had not one but two humpback whales!  As we continued to view the humpbacks, we noticed that one appeared a little smaller than the other; did we have a mother and almost-yearling calf?  The larger whale would breathe for about 4-5 cycles and then fluke-up dive and then the smaller one would follow suite.  Perhaps two juveniles, teens hanging out.

Inevitably, we had to go and headed to look for some harbor seals.  Before we could get too far, though, we saw lots of small gray bodies porpoising (bringing part of their bodies up) out of the water.  Harbor porpoises!  We did also find our seals, several basking and several taking on the cold waters and swimming.

Serena, Naturalist

San Juan Safaris