July 31, 2020

Minke Whale Mania on Salmon Bank!

Minke Whale

Erick | M/V Sea Lion | 12:00 | July 30, 2020

 

Today was another beautiful, sunny day here in the San Juan Islands. Captain Pete and I left the dock with some great guests in search of the marine wildlife here. We started by heading south towards Cattle Pass. We made our first stop at Turn Rocks just off of Turn Island. Here there were quite a few Pacific Harbor Seals and some pups basking in the beautiful sun. Many of them were holding their ‘banana poses’ where they hold their head and back flippers up the highest. We next headed through Cattle Pass and out to Salmon Bank. Just south of the Salmon Bank marker we saw some Minke Whales break the surface! Minke Whales are one of the species of Baleen Whales that we can see in the San Juans. They are about 30 feet long and hunt for bait fish in certain areas of the archipelago. These two were hunting back and forth on the edges of the bank and we go some really great looks when one did a dive underneath and popped up on the other side of the boat! It was so cool to see the tops of their mouths as lunged through the schools of fish! We watched these two Minke Whales for awhile as the went about their lives just south of San Juan Island. Next, we went around Long Island and made a stop at Whale Rocks where we saw a group of Steller Sea Lions! These were some early returners from their summer breeding groups up north. I love seeing these animals since they look like big funny, swimming bears, and tend to growl and posture a lot with each other. So cool! Our last stop was to see a Bald Eagle sitting majestically on a tree just above the shoreline! Well, folks it was another magical day here. Every day is different and we never know what we are going to see out there!

 

Stay Whale Folks,

Naturalist Erick