October 7, 2021

Snorts and Groans from Frankenstein, a Humpback Whale!

Haleigh | M/V Sea Lion | October 7, 2021 | 12:00 pm

 

Today’s weather was spectacular. The water was glassy and calm everywhere we ventured, and the sun was shining with the blue sky and puffy clouds above. We began our tour southbound to scan the shallow banks within the Strait of Juan de Fuca. As we made our way through Cattle Pass, Steller’s Sea Lions bobbed up and down in the water. We saw even more of these blubberous beasts lying on Whale Rocks, some roaring while others snoozed. Continuing South over Salmon bank we stopped at a feeding frenzy of birds, including Cormorants, Common Murres, and even some Surf Scoters

From here, we redirected our course to follow along the west side of San Juan Island in search of a reported Humpback Whale. We finally had our first glances of this Humpback nearing Stuart Island. As we slowly motored alongside this whale, we caught its stunning surfacing as it bubbled a bit before actually coming up above the water. This whale was ID’d as a Humpback named Frankenstein (BCX 1358), likely for the scratch marks and teeth rakes on the underside of the fluke or tail. Frankenstein was surfacing every 2-5 minutes through the duration we were there, producing some snorts, groans, and slight bubblings during every exhalation. It was something I’d never heard before, and definitely made this a trip I’ll remember forever! Perhaps Frankenstein was testing his tunes and vocal cords in preparation for swooning a female this winter. We listened to Frankenstein for a bit longer before wrapping around the North end of Stuart Island, enjoying the scenery and eventually making our way back to Friday Harbor.