August 26, 2019

Orcas and a Humpback kinda Day!

M/V Sea Lion | August 26, 2019 | 1:30 PM | Naturalist Alexandria

What a fantastic day we had on the water!  When we started out our trip we had reports of orcas in Cattle Pass.  As we loaded the boat and left the harbor we made a right hand turn in San Juan Channel taking us south towards this sighting. 

By the time we reached these animals they had worked their way north towards us so we were able to meet up with them in San Juan Channel right off of Lopez Island.  As we approached we were greeted by four gorgeous orcas milling about.

They were fairly non directional and actually crossed San Juan Channel after paralleling Lopez Island and ended up spending time heading towards San Juan Island across the channel.  They milled about in the bay, and then saw a harbor seal and knabbed it.  We got to see lots of splashes and ruckus as they caught this harbor seal and then made it their lunch.  It was quite an exciting behavior to get to watch and experience.

We hung out with these orcas for a nice chunk of time before heading further south out through San Juan Channel and Cattle Pass.  We were excited because Captain Pete had just caught a report of a Humpback Whale south of Lopez Island.

We decided it was worth heading towards that Humpback and getting to see one more species of whale! So we headed out towards this humpback and were excited to get to spend time watching this beautiful animal fee.  At one point they were even participating in a fun behavior called lunge feeding, where they lunged through the water, at one point startling a flock of birds on the surface of the water.  It was quite a site to see!

After hanging out with this humpback we started heading back towards Friday Harbor but not before stopping to check out some looks at some Steller Sea Lions that had been hanging out on Whale Rocks.  It was the perfect trip!

Until Next Time,

Naturalist Alexandria