August 19, 2019

Orca Whales and More Near Friday Harbor!

Jordan | M/V Sea Lion | 08/19/19 | 1:30pm

Wow! We saw so much wildlife today! Hope everyone knew how lucky we were to see all that we did!

As soon as Captain Pete, Naturalist Piper and I left Friday Harbor, we boated about 5 minutes north and found orca whales immediately! Amazing! Typically, we travel far and wide to see the whales!

These transient (Bigg’s) killer whales were travelling around San Juan Channel but erratically changing directions every few minutes! They really kept us on our toes as we followed their zig zag path. They even turned and led us right back to Friday Harbor!

It was so much fun to watch this family. We identified them as the T49As! This beautiful family swam around looking for harbor seals and porpoises. Within the pod, a huge male showed off his 6-foot tall dorsal fin! So amazing to see this 30-foot whale acting like a big mama’s boy and swimming closely next to her.

Then, there was also a little baby whale! The 2-year-old whale excitedly swam alongside her family as they searched for their prey. Always great to see youngsters learning from the world.

Eventually, we headed up north towards Speiden Island. Here, we started to spot some animals on the shoreline! Amongst the trees, we found herds of mouflon sheep! Wow! You could see some running through the shadows.

Then we turned towards the Cactus Islands and we found bald eagles! In fact, we found a mated pair of eagles snuggling up in the trees! You could see that the female was slightly bigger than her mate! Super cool. They were scanning the area for any potential food in the water.

But the, there were also harbor seals! They were swimming in between bulbs of bull kelp and twisting and turning through the water.

We rounded the other side of Speiden Island and saw even more mouflon sheep grazing along the hills. We even spotted some fallow deer as well! These large deer with spots and antlers also meandered along the island and sat in the shadows.

We then turned back up towards the San Juan Channel and we saw the orcas again! They were still hanging out close to the harbor. What luck!

Finally, we made it back to the harbor! What a lovely day.