August 12, 2013

Resident Orcas All Day Long!

M/V Kittiwake, Captain Jim, and myself had a busy day! We had early morning reports of our Resident Orcas moving south in Haro Strait. Our guests were very excited to hear the news and begin our trip.
Along the way to the Orcas, we were lucky to see Harbor Seals and Steller Sea Lions! On Whale Rocks there were two large male Stellers that jumped into the water and another that was laying on the rocks! Since these guys are known as Grizzly Bears of the ocean, it was awesome to see them jump into the water! We greeted our Resident Orcas near the Southwest side of San Juan Island and were very lucky to get some great views of several different Orcas! K-21, Cappuccino, surprised us and surfaced off our stern! With more and more whales heading our way we started to head home. Captain Jim had a tricky time trying to get us home because of all the orcas were heading south so we ended up getting more views of other orcas! Needless to say our guests weren't in a hurry to get home.
After making it through the pack, we made it back in time for our afternoon trip, which was just as spectacular as our first one! When we left the Orcas, they were moving fast and southwest, so Kittiwake made its way southwest to catch up to the trailers in between Salmon Bank and Hein Bank. On this trip, the Orcas were surfacing together and were very active! We were seeing tail lobes, pectoral fin slaps, and breaches! My favorite way to view the Orcas is when our engines are shut off, the Orcas surface together, and you can hear all of their blows. Today our guests got to hear that and enjoyed it just as much as I do! We were able to watch this surface activity go on for a long time and finally we had to say our goodbyes to the Residents. At the end of the trip we had smiling guests with great photos who had a great time out on the water!

Aimee-Naturalist, M/V Kittiwake
San Juan Safaris