April 25, 2011

Orca Monday!!

The season officially started last Saturday with some beautiful days and plentiful Harbor Seals and Stellar Sea lions.  But the real show was today aboard the M/V Sea Lion.  We had reports of J-pod out towards Victoria and heading West into the Strait of Juan De Fuca.  We boarded our passengers a little early and went for it.

The rain was coming down steadily but cleared as we approached Discovery Island.  Pretty soon the whales were up ahead.  Somewhere between 10 and 14 members of J-pod was consistently swimming southwest with short down times.  We watched for a few minutes when a few of them suddenly switched direction and became more active.  A juvenile breached a few times, followed but others tail slapping and rolling on their sides.  We watched the activity for about 30 minutes before we headed towards home.

Before reaching Friday Harbor we encountered some Harbor Seals hauled out, a few Bald Eagles in the trees, and to top it off a Stellar Sea Lion at the surface with a big salmon in its mouth tearing off pieces by shaking its head. Nature at its best!