April 10, 2010

On The Road Again!

The whale road that is. Well, world's largest dolphin road to be exact. That is right, today we saw orcas! A small pod of transient orcas was spotted on the east side of Lopez Island near a reef called Bird Rock. When we arrived on scene it was to find two males and 3-4 female transient orcas in an active feeding pattern. We did not get to see any confirmed kills, but they were definitely an active bunch with lots of diving and not much time spent at the surface. We were able to get a good look at one of the males though and determine that it was T87. He is usually seen in the company of several females, so yesterday was not an unusual grouping. The other male with the group may have been T90, but he was being reclusive and staying well away from where the other animals were feeding.

Even though we never saw a kill, the presence of sea gulls and marine birds in the immediate area suggests that there was food in the water. Whether it was a school of fish or the remnants of the orcas' lunch we will never know. It made it much easier to track the orcas though with all of those birds around.

On our ride back to Friday Harbor we cruised around the south end of Lopez Island and up through Cattle Pass. At Whale Rocks we saw Steller's sea lions and there was a bald eagle in the top of a tree at Cape San Juan. We even got to wave hello to Capt. Craig's wife, Peggy, as we passed by the shore on our way up San Juan Channel.

It was a windy, but good, day to be on the water and our great group of guests had a fun time with our local wildlife. So, from all of us at San Juan Safaris, we would like to extend a warm welcome and congratulations to our new captain, Jeff Wood, and a thank you to all of you. Do not forget, we will...

See You In The Islands!
~Tristen, Naturalist

Orca Whales and Wildlife Are Our Only Business. ©