July 10, 2021

Minke Whale Near Lopez Island!

Jordan | M/V Osprey | 07/10/2021 12:30pm

The day began as Captain Brian, Naturalist Alexandria, Naturalist Haleigh and I jumped on Osprey with our guests and headed out to search the islands.

We headed south down the San Juan Channel and cruised towards Cattle Pass. Along the way, we stopped and watch the floppy seals enjoying their rocky haven. There were even pups there trying to keep warm in the sun.

 Continuing on our way, we saw the lovely Cattle Point lighthouse that indicates the southern point of San Juan.

We stopped to see Steller sea lions climbing around shear rocks jutting out of the water as massive waves crashed all around us and splashed onto the island. The sea lions did not seem to mind the chaos.

Getting out of the turbulent water, we boated towards Long Island. Here, we saw bald eagles! And, hiding in the trees, we also spotted their nest. This huge chunk of sticks and twigs formed their home high up in the treetops.

We searched along the shoreline and retreated back into the calm waters of the San Juan Channel when suddenly, Captain Brian spotted a Minke Whale! Close to the Lopez Island shore, we saw the shiny black back with a crescent moon shaped dorsal fin. He swam and dove and lunge fed throughout the waters. It seemed like he may have been circling the area as he filter fed his tiny prey.

Moving towards San Juan, the whale kept feeding and even popped his head up a few times! It was really fun to watch the smallest baleen whale in the world!

Some of the seagulls saw the minke whale as well and followed him to feed on his scraps.

Finally, we headed back into the harbor.

What a fun trip.