April 11, 2019

Orcas Squared!

Orcas surfacing

Alexandria | Thursday, April 11, 2019 | 12:00 | M/V Sea Lion

Today we had an awesome day on the water!  It was so awesome that we got to hang out with our group of orcas not once, but twice!   When we loaded onto M/V Sea Lion we were very excited to see what the day had in store.  We met up in the office and headed down to board our 55ft vessel.  Once on board Captain Brian and Captain Sarah introduced themselves and talked about what the game plan for the day was.

We had some reports of orcas within our close vicinity but we never can quite promise anything until we are on the water and seeing dorsal fins in person!  Once we had gotten off the dock we talked about the wildlife we were going to be on the lookout for and how to spot those animals.

We started heading south down San Juan Channel and were lucky enough to not have to go too far to spot our first glances of orcas!  We saw some dorsal fins in the distance and some blows on the horizon! 

We excitedly watched as these gorgeous creatures swam closer and closer to us! 

We got some amazing looks at these beautiful creatures including some very young orcas!  There was an awesome spread of different sizes of dorsal fins, which allowed us to compare and get some great looks!

Once we had spent a nice amount of time observing these Biggs Killer Whales, we decided to go check out some Steller Sea Lions out on whale rocks.  Off the southern tip of San Juan Island we got some awesome views of Haro Strait and Cattle Point Lighthouse.  After hanging out with these Stellers for a bit we headed to check out an eagle and then slowly worked our way back north. 

We caught up with our orca friends again and spent some more time with these amazing creatures!  After we had gotten plenty more quality time we decided to head north a bit more and find some harbor seals- also affectionately referred to as “rock sausages.”

Finally it was time to begin the trek back to Friday Harbor.  We headed back to the harbor and looked at the ID guide to get some final looks at the dorsal fins and saddle patches we saw on the individuals we hung out with today.  What a beautiful afternoon filled with orcas!

Until Next Time,

Naturalist Alexandria