June 27, 2019

Orcas in Canada! 06/27/19

whales whales whales

Jordan | M/V Sea Lion | 06/27/19 | 5:30pm

What a gorgeous day out on the water! Although the clouds floated low towards the island, it didn’t take away any beauty from the surrounding islands. Captain Pete and I took the Sea Lion out of Friday Harbor for our sunset tour. We headed north through the San Juan Channel towards a report of wildlife up in Canada! We crossed under the southern bank of Speiden Island when we spotted our first animals!

On rocks close to the waters edge, we found a huge group of harbor seals basking. There were so many seals, they were practically laying on top of each other! Some flopped around trying to get a better position on the rocks. So cute! Always fun to see those little rock sausages!

Sitting right next to all the seals was a huge bald eagle! Potentially hoping to scavenge off the fish scraps that the seals bring in, the bald eagle perched on the rock surveying the water. He was posed so beautifully amongst his seal friends. So cool!

Then we spotted movement on the island and discovered mouflon sheep! They were meandering amongst the grassy hills of Speiden Island, grazing as the sun lowered in the sky.

Then we headed up north towards South Pender Island! A little ways off the shoreline, we spotted orcas! We figured out that these animals were transient whales aka Bigg’s whales aka marine mammal eating orcas! So, they were perusing the island looking for their prey. They seemed super stealthy as they disappeared beneath the surfaced and reappeared minutes later.

Then suddenly, they appeared near the boat! Everyone gasped. Pete shut off his engine as they swam towards us and, for a second, checked out our boat! What a fantastic moment! You could literally here them breathing. The boat was dead silent as everyone took in this magical experience.

We continued to watch them swim and mingle with each other as they headed towards Saturna Island.

Eventually we headed back towards San Juan Island. As we neared the harbor, we spotted an amazing double rainbow!! It pointed right at Friday Harbor, leading us home.

What a perfect way to end the day!