August 7, 2017

Humpback Whale Survives Attack from Killer Whales

[Sarah C. 8/7/17 10am and 2pm Kestrel] Humpback whales are probably most well-known for their impressive flukes, featuring complex patterns varying from all black to all white, and everything in between. Displayed on every deep dive, humpback whale flukes are used as their main identifier in the...Read more
Minke whale surfacing

May 27, 2017

Minke Whales at Partridge Bank on May 25th, 2017

The 25 th felt like summer! We had bright blue cloudless sky and smooth waters as we departed Friday Harbor with a small, intimate group of guests on the M/V Sea Lion. We took a right out of Friday Harbor, heading south, and immediately got views of harbor seals hauled out on rocks and Mt. Baker’s...Read more

September 29, 2016

Transient Orcas in the Strait of Juan de Fuca

Today we had the rare opportunity to view four different family groups of transient killer whales. When we pulled away from the dock, reports of killer whales in the Strait of Juan de Fuca brought us south of San Juan Island. On our way down, we encountered all sorts of wildlife, including Steller...Read more

September 26, 2016

Black and Whites of a Different Sort

The arrival of fall brings a lot of changes to the Salish Sea and the San Juans. Garry Oaks start to turn rusty brown, the air cools and the wind picks up, and seabirds start morphing into their winter plumage. Fall also brings the arrival of new species that spent the summer busy in the open...Read more

August 28, 2016

A T Party in San Juan Channel

Is fall finally arriving to the San Juans? Seems like it! We had our first big rainfall in several weeks today, which is great, because we've had a very dry summer, and I'm sure our plant life could use some love! We felt like absolute royalty on Kestrel in our big, protective exposure suits,...Read more
Chilling Stellar Sea Lions

August 19, 2016

Raging Seabird Party, or Bait Ball? Also, Chilling Sea Lions

Whoa, Friday Harbor! Are we getting a heat wave or what? Nothing beats summer here in the Pacific Northwest. Dry heat, and out here on the San Juan Islands, it typically doesn't rise above 72 degrees during the day. But the winds have shifted for a few days, and we've been getting some beautiful...Read more

July 25, 2016

When You Come Across Minke Dinner Time...

M/V Kestrel has the day's reports! Today, we got to see two very interesting species of baleen whale, one a bit uncommon and the other fairly elusive. Because the Salish Sea offers the chance to see an abundance of wildlife, we never know what we're going to see out here - but days like today are...Read more
Transient Orcas in Strait of Juan de Fuca

July 25, 2016

Hot Pursuit: Transient Orcas (T65As) chase Minke Whale!

Sometimes when we watch these super intelligent and social creatures we forget that they are predators as well. Orcas exist at the very top of the food chain, even larger sharks steer clear of them due to their ability to outthink and out maneuver even Great White Sharks. Even the majority of...Read more