July 14, 2018

Morning Trip with Humpbacks and Resident Orcas in Middle Bank | 07/14/2018 | 10:00

Jordan | July 14, 2018 | M/V Kestrel | 10:00

It was such a fantastic day out on the water today! Captain Gabe and I heard reports of Southern Resident whales down near Discovery Island in Canada so we headed south down through the San Juan Channel.

BUT before we even reached Cattle Point, we found two humpback whales! It was incredible. These huge whales dove majestically together heading south. In fact, just as we were about to leave, they synchronously dove and both their tails popped up at the same time! Really beautiful sight. It was cool to see the two vastly different tails. One whale was entirely white and the other was completely black! This color differentiation is one of the ways we categorize and keep track of our humpback whales that travel through this area.  

Then we headed out past the southern tip of San Juan island, past the Salmon Bank and into the Middle Bank where we found the orca whales! Within the first few minutes one of the whales breached right next to our boat! It was really amazing and a really nice welcome from J pod and K pod! These pods were spread out for miles; every which way you looked there were whales! It was great. We saw spyhopping and porpoising and tail slaps as giant males and females alike journeyed towards a mysterious goal. As the day progressed, the whales began to book it towards San Juan. They most likely sensed a delicious group of salmon closer to shore and were really excited to go hunting.

As we followed along, we realized it was time to go home so we headed back to Friday Harbor. We stopped briefly to check out some adorable harbor seals and continued on to the island with elated spirits.