July 28, 2020

A Minke Whale Forages in San Juan Channel

Minke Whale near San Juan Island

Olivia | M/V Sea Lion | July 28th, 2020 | 17:30

We started off the trip by heading south into the Strait of Juan de Fuca in search of the same Bigg’s Killer Whales we saw on our 13:30 trip. We knew they were heading south but currently no one in the PWWA was on scene with them, making it more of an adventure to find them. Our M/V Sea Lion as well as a couple other whale watching vessels out of Friday Harbor divided along the strait scanning and working together to provide our guests with the best possible opportunity to see these free-willed beings traveling around.

As we dove further and further into the Strait, our swells started to get larger and larger. We eventually were boating in a 6-foot chop and got reports that they were about 7 feet if we had continued to head south. With the safety and comfort of our guests in mind and knowing we gave it all we could to find those Killer Whales, we made the decision to turn around and head north into the calmer waters of San Juan Channel.

To our excited surprise, we found a Minke Whale foraging in the channel just outside of Griffin Bay! This was unexpected and unusual to see! We watched for a great chunk of time this baleen whale was lunge feeding and swimming in zig zags across the channel. From there, we traveled in between the Wasp Islands looking at Harbor Seals, Oyster Catchers, and Bald Eagles all while soaking in the golden rays of the San Juan Island sunset.