August 2, 2020

Minke Whales Milling in McArthur

Minke Whales South of Lopez Island

Olivia | M/V Sea Lion | August 2nd, 2020 | 13:30

Starting off our trip, Captain Pete and I decided to head south towards Haro Strait where we have been finding Baleen Whales foraging the past few weeks. On our route we stopped and saw heaps of Steller’s Sea Lions. These are my absolute favorite and the males are starting to return back to our waters after spending the summer in Alaska breeding with those females. The previous week we were only seeing roughly 3-5 individuals and now we have around a dozen hauled out belching and scratching in the sunshine as they thermoregulate and build up their oxygen storage. We stopped at Long Island shortly after to see Harbor Seals snoozing just above the water’s edge as well as a Bald Eagle perched in the pines near an active Bald Eagle’s nest. 

Heading southeast towards McArthur Bank, we passed a few Harbor Porpoise milling around and eventually found a couple Minke Whales feeding around the shallow waters. While the smallest of all the Great Whales kept us on our toes as they lunge fed in every direction of our boat, we happened to also spot a Fried Egg Jellyfish! Moving northeast we passed Harbor Seals swimming south of Lopez Island as well.

Continuing up Rosario Strait, we circumnavigated waters that had not been scanned yet by anyone involved in the Pacific Whale Watch Association. This lead us between Lopez Pass, west of Frost Island, and then cutting inner island down Upright Channel back in the direction of Friday Harbor.

This trip had it all; warm wind, baleen whales, two types of Pinnipeds, Bald Eagles, nests, gorgeous scenery, cliffy San Juan Island Coastlines. Come join us and experience the beauty of the San Juan’s for yourself.