July 29, 2009

Orca Madness

While a heat wave roars through the Pacific Northwest, we here in Friday Harbor decided to cool our heals in the waters of Boundary Pass. The orcas had been north and east and everywhere according to the reports that we were getting, but we found them heading west towards Swanson Channel and the Pender islands. Supposedly, J1 "Ruffles" had been over near Lummi Island, but almost like clock-work he and his family showed up off of the starboard bow of our boat.

Capt. Craig always seems to know where to find them and he makes Kathy's and my job so easy. He slowly maneuvered the MV Sea Lion around to run parallel to the orcas and keep our customers insight of them. There were a few breaches in the area, but it was mainly a sunny stroll through calm waters. The orcas slowly spread out and dissipated until we were tracking just one or two. So we waved a last goodbye and headed off to see some of the other amazing wildlife in the San Juan Islands.

Flattop Island, a National Wildlife Refuge, had several mature bald eagles sitting on it and each little rock that stuck up had a harbor seal on it. We even saw one female on Ripple Rocks that had been stained rust color from excess iron in the waters where she has been living. Cormorants sunned on the rocks nearby and harbor porpoises fed in the area. It was a good reminder of the bounty of this area and that orcas are not our only natural wonder.

It was another great trip well attended by both wildlife and guests. So, from all of us here at San Juan Safaris to all of you sun babies out there, thank you and we will...

See You In The Islands!
~Tristen, Naturalist

Orca Whales and Wildlife Are Our Only Business. ©