July 4, 2020

Many Minke Whales in the Strait of Juan de Fuca!

Minke Whales near San Juan Island

Olivia | M/V Sea Lion | July 4th, 2020 | 09:00 Charter

 Today was the most beautiful day on the water I have had yet this season. Good thing too because it was a holiday! We booked a 9:00am charter to head out in the morning in search of whales around the San Juan Islands. Being the first boat on the water this morning, it was our job to first scan and see what could be swimming around.

Captain Sarah decided to head south into the Strait of Juan de Fuca into the glassy, sunny seas in search of whales. The trip started off calming as we passed Cattle Point Lighthouse and dipped into the big, open water. We stopped at Salmon Bank to take a look around for possible baleen whales where we saw a large bait ball. This did not disappoint! We saw not only one, but three Minke Whales feeding around our boat. If you have seen Minke Whales before, you know they are called ‘Slinky Minkes” for a reason- they were showing up randomly everywhere, keeping our guests on their toes!

We decided to continue on our search and made our way down to Hein Bank. After stopping to take a scan, we saw MORE Minke Whales! I bet there were at least six between these two banks, with great sightings of four that we could keep track of. This was the highest number of Minke Whales I have seen in a long time and it felt extra riveting. As we were basking in the sunshine watching whales, we saw heaps of Egg Yolk Jellyfish, Harbor Porpoise, and a Harbor Seal swimming.

Despite being in U.S waters, we had clear views of Vancouver Island and flat waters all the way to the Olympic Mountains. As we traveled north back up the San Juan Channel we stopped at Whale Rocks and saw a large Bald Eagle periodically flying and landing on another spot to scan around. It was the perfect morning on the water to start off our Fourth of July festivities.