May 16, 2009

A Porpoiseful Day

Boy, did we have a great day out on the water today! A boatload of guests, Captain Pete, naturalist Tristen, and I departed Friday Harbor with the sun glistening on our faces. The weather today was warmer than the past few days, it is really starting to feel like summer is coming to the islands. Captain Pete had heard that J Pod was up by Point Roberts in Canada - so northward we went!

As we cruised up toward Canada we pasted many, many harbor porpoises porpoising (because the porpoise of porpoises is porpoising, of course). The area must have been rich with small schooling fish today! We also saw a few bald eagles as we cruised along. The MV Sealion reached Canada and we checked out a large group of Steller Sealions (males, females, and young) hauled out on a rock off of East Point (on Saturna Island). As we marvelled at the massive size of the Stellars, suddenly a male and two female orcas came porpoising behind the boat. They were travelling quickly and the other members of J Pod were quick to follow. Captain Pete shut down the engine and we let J Pod start to pass. After most of the group had travelled by, Pete joined alongside Blackberry (J27) and what appeared to be his siblings, Tsuchi (J31), and Mako (J39). Spread out all over the place, we watched orcas breach, tailslap, porpoise, and just travel along. We saw a wide variety of orca behavior and had some wonderful views at many members of J Pod.

As the boat cruised home we spotted more harbor porpoises abound, quite a few more bald eagles, harbor seals, and even a river otter off of Green Point on Speiden Island.

What a fabulous day!
Ashley, Naturalist