August 9, 2020

Minke Whale and Humpback Whale in Strait of Juan de Fuca!

Humpback Whale

Erick | M/V Kestrel | 10:00 AM | August 8, 2020

 

There is a reason that we call August Fog-ust out here. This morning started out a little grey and foggy this morning. Captain Brian and I took a good group out as the fog banks sailed in and out of San Juan Channel. As we made our way south the clouds broke, and the sun started to come out as cloud scraped the Olympic Mountains in the distance. We made our first stop at Whale Rocks where we saw a few male Steller Sea Lions growling at each other. We mainly see these furry behemoths here during the fall and winter months. They are the size of a small car and they love growling at each other as they crawl around the rock and flip around in the water. We left those sea bears and headed south past Salmon Bank. Here we saw a Minke Whale! These are smaller baleen whales that inhabit the Salish Sea. They are about 30 feet long and spend a lot of time near the shallow banks feeding on smaller fish species. They are sometimes a little cryptic, but it is always great to see them here! We looked at this a whale a few times as it travelled in between bait balls and then headed further south. One of our colleagues on another boat found a Humpback Whale near the Romeo Buoy so we headed that way. As we first arrived, we were surprised when we saw it lounge out of the water with its mouth agape catching a lot of fish! That was so cool! We even got to see the pleats on its lower jaw! We got to watch this whale for a while as it traveled between massive bait balls feeding as it went. There were birds everywhere also feeding on the fish and we could see the school of fish just at the surface making the water appear as if it was boiling silver! Such a cool day! We stayed with this whale for awhile until it was time to return home! Another magical day in the San Juans!

 

Stay Whale Folks,

Erick