September 30, 2017
September Orcas are the best Orcas!
[Naturalist Sarah – 09/29/2017 – M/V Sea Lion – 12:00pm]
September is so amazing. Even in the late days of this most magical month we have been treated to awesome scenery and wonderful wildlife. Yesterday’s tour was a perfect illustration of the quickly changing weather that we can receive in the Pacific Northwest.Leaving Friday Harbor we had very rainy conditions, not uncommon for this time of year. We always recommend that our guests bring warm layers as well as waterproof layers out on our tours. We also offer rain slickers for guests to borrow, just in case you forget yours at home!
Captain Mike steered the M/V Sea Lion south towards Cattle Pass between San Juan Island and Lopez Islands. We found so many Steller’s sea lions in the water foraging! The massive pinnipeds were right on edge of a kelp forest in a large group. We also found many of the huge animals hauled out on Whale Rocks.
We pushed further south towards Whidbey Island where we found members of the Southern Resident Killer Whale population traveling out of Puget Sound north towards the San Juan Islands. These unique whales are one of the most endangered populations on the planet, with only 76 members of the community alive today. These whales are salmon-eaters, relying on our very fragile salmon population. We got awesome views of J27 “Blackberry” and L87 “Onyx” among other individuals.
Amongst the whales we also got some GREAT birds yesterday! Common loons, red-necked phalaropes, and white-winged scoters!
Enjoy some photos from the day!