July 26, 2020

Minke Whale Feeding Frenzy

Minke Whales Feeding

Olivia | M/V Kestrel | July 26th, 2020 | 14:00

After having an exciting morning trip, we were already enthused for our afternoon adventure! We immediately went south towards Whale Rocks in hopes to see the Steller’s Sea Lions to which they greeted us with lots of water wrestling and face biting! Seeing the world’s largest Sea Lions brawling in our waters was exhilarating.

As we are watching Steller’s Sea Lions, we found the same Minke Whale in the channel that we saw on our trip back to the harbor an hour prior. This Minke had the biggest lunge feed I have ever seen and looked like a full body breach with the height it got! This was insane! We watched as it swam up the channel and we continued south towards Hein Bank.

Hein Bank was yet again a feeding frenzy with at least six Minke Whales lunge feeding on every side of our boat. We sat with the engine turned off since we could not anticipate their movements.  Right when we stated these were going to be our last looks, we got mugged by a Minke! Although we never hope to have close encounters, it is, once again, a reminder that these cetaceans are intelligent free willed beings that go where they want.

After allotting enough time for these whales to disperse and providing respectful distance, we started up our engines and slowly moved out of range. Continuing back in the direction of Friday Harbor, we stopped at Long Island to see an Eagle’s nest, a couple Bald Eagles, Harbor Seals, and then a few Steller’s Sea Lions hauled out again as we passed Whale Rocks. We love that these baleen whales choose the productive waters of the Salish Sea as their home.