August 12, 2018

Morning Trip with Resident Whales in Salmon Bank! | 08/11/2018 | 10:00

Jordan | August 11, 2018 | M/V Kestrel | 10:00 trip

The early morning clouds burned away as the sun rose higher in the sky. We knew right away it was going to be a great day as we received reports of whales along the west side of San Juan Island! Captain Mike and I sped off on our Kestrel vessel and headed south through the San Juan Channel and through Cattle Pass.

We passed by Whale Rocks and took the opportunity to check out the harbor seals and Steller sea lions that were lounging under the sun! The tide was very low so we watched the seals squirm and jump off of high rocks into the water. A few feet away Steller sea lions barked at each other as their massive bodies lumbered around the small island.

Then we headed into the Salmon Bank where we found our orca whales! Specifically, we found J pod! J pod is a group of 24 of the most beloved whales in the San Juan islands. At one point the whales completely surrounded us so that every which way we looked there were whales somewhere in the distance!

We even saw multiple breaches and whales doing headstands! They would throw their entire bodies into the air, leaving only their heads in the water! These beautiful animals gracefully swam and hunted throughout the surrounding Salish Sea waters as we simply admired their existence from a distance.

Eventually we headed back towards Friday Harbor and passed by Long Island where we spotted a bald eagles nest! These nests can get really huge! In fact, researchers weighed a nest at 2,000 pounds! They just keep building more and more sticks upon the same nest every year.

We arrived back into harbor, happy after a full day of wildlife watching.