September 14, 2017

Resident Whale Breach Fest off San Juan Island

Breaching

09/13/17- M/V Kestrel- 2PM

Our resident whales still seem to be sticking around!  We haven’t seen much of our resident whales this summer because of our record low salmon run, but today our guests were treated with the opportunity to see L pod. 

We headed down San Juan Channel and found the whales in Cattle pass.  When we first arrived we saw a few breaches and some other displays of social behavior.  The whales then shifted to a fast travel pattern while heading towards the direction of False bay.  We watched as the whales porpoised towards their well know feeding area when all of a sudden they started breaching!  We watched as a majority of the individuals in the group breached on after the other.  We even got to see L92, a fully grown adult male, leap out of the water.  We are not really sure why these animals leap out of the water but we see it as a social or communicative behavior for the whales since we usually see multiple whales leaping at one time. 

We decided to venture back to the whale rocks to get a look at some massive Steller’s Sea Lions.  We watched as they relaxed and scuffled together on the rock ledges.  We then made our way around long island and found a bald eagle feeding on the rocks.  We couldn’t identify what the eagle was eating but he was definitely enjoying it! 

Our guests were grateful for the opportunity to see such an amazing display from these magnificent animals. 

Naturalist Rachel