September 29, 2010

Some Days Need Bullet Points

San Juan Islands and Mount Baker. Photos courtesy of I am envious of those people that can sit down and power out a blog entry everyday and have it be different, interesting and engaging. I am finding that as the season grows colder, quieter and slower, I am having difficulty...Read more

September 25, 2010

Gelatinous Masses

When you cover as much water as we do in a week, it is easy to feel proprietary about the islands and creatures found therein. We all feel like we know and own the orcas, trees and birds. We even feel a fondness for the slimy spineless creatures, and who wouldn't when they make up most of the...Read more

September 24, 2010

An Orca By Any Other Name

The naming of an orca calf is a sensitive and involved process. By the means of soliciting suggestions, sifting through the offerings and choosing the best options, and then serving up the prime choices for heated voting, orcas are endowed with monikers that help elevate them to the most regal of...Read more

September 11, 2010

Lookin' At Lopez

The orcas and humpbacks were conspiring against us today. They were all 20 miles or more from Friday Harbor and were heading further west. Not a good combination for a successful whale watching tour. Luckily for us the minke whale were cooperating, so we went and spent time with them. Afterward...Read more

September 9, 2010

I'll Take A Side of Dolphins

At this point, our avid readers know that orcas are the world's largest dolphins, despite the fact that their common name is Killer Whale. Because the name Killer Whale is such a misnomer we almost exclusively use their scientific title of orca. Up until this week they were also the only dolphins...Read more

September 3, 2010


Being on the water six days a week pretty much guarantees that a person is going to see all things imaginable when it comes to these orcas. That, of course, in no way diminishes my excitement in seeing them each and every time. They are beautiful and sleek and amazing and unpredictable. Despite...Read more

August 29, 2010

Cross-cultural Communication

With the orcas being able to swim 30-35 mph and covering 100 miles in a day, it is easy to see how they can become "lost" from one day to the next. And with the Salish Sea being such a large body of water, how is it that the whale watching companies ever find what they are looking for? Since we do...Read more

August 29, 2010

Tag-wearing Transients

We often have people ask us about whether the orcas wear tags and if that is how we know where they are. Since the Southern Residents are listed as an endangered species, researchers are not given permission to attach tags to them. The same logic that discourages the use of tags is the same...Read more