August 22, 2018

Morning Trip with Transient Whales near the Olympic Peninsula! | 08/22/2018 | 10:00

Jordan | August 22, 2018 | M/V Kestrel | 10:00 trip

This morning started off really crazily amazing! Captain Gabe and I headed out of Friday Harbor and headed south down through the San Juan Channel and almost immediately found a Steller sea lion eating a skate! Skates are a species of fish that are related to rays. So, the sea lion was splashing around at the surface, throwing around this flat floppy fish and ripping it apart! It was so exciting to witness the circle of life at work! The carnage started drawing in seagulls as they noticed the free chunks of food scattering throughout the water. What an amazing sight to see to start the day!

Then we headed down towards Whale Rocks near Cattle Point and we found another sea lion throwing around a fish right next to a whole island full of sea lions watching from a distance! Then we spotted little 5 feet long harbor seals watching our boat pass by. These seals were significantly smaller than our 12-foot-long sea lions.

There was also an eagle perching in a tree nearby who swooped over our boat as he eyed the chunks of fish floating in the water. Eagles are primarily scavengers so they do like to take advantage of as much free food as possible!

Then we headed south towards the Olympic Peninsula where we found our orca whales! Here we found the T65As! These amazing whales swam gracefully past our boat alongside the forested sea shore looking for their marine mammal prey. It was so much fun to watch these huge whales in their natural habitat. There was even a tiny little baby in this group! You could still see his blood vessels showing through his blubber making him look orange!

Then we headed back but found a humpback whale along the way! We had to return home pretty fast after our sighting but luckily we got to see his tail pop up before one of his deep dives! Very cool.

What a wonderful day!