July 26, 2020

Minke Whales Take Over Hein Bank

Minke Whales near San Juan Island

Olivia | M/V Kestrel July 26th, 2020 | 10:00

On our morning adventure trip out into the islands, we first decided to stop at Whale Rocks to view about five Steller’s Sea Lions (!!) and many Harbor Seals. It is extra exciting to be seeing Steller’s Sea Lions this time of year because they migrate to Alaska during the summer months and return here for the winter. The fact that we had five belching, bellowing, and face biting in the water already started the trip with excitement.

We continued southwest to scan the Strait of Juan de Fuca for any whales that may be traveling through our waters. Circling back to Hein Bank we found at least six Minke Whales foraging and lunge feeding in the area. This was bananas!  There was also a rogue Harbor Seal taking advantage of the large bait ball.

Eventually we headed back north scanning Salmon Bank, another shallow area within the large body of water, and ultimately drifted towards long Island to check out a Bald Eagle’s Nest. We even found Bald Eagles perched up near the nest, and a mum and pup Harbor Seal playing in the shallow protected beach off the island. On our way back towards Friday Harbor we found yet ANOTHER Minke Whale in the Harbor! This was completely unexpected and a fun way to wrap up our adventure trip filled with Baleen Whales.