July 6, 2019

Southern Resident Orcas off San Juan!

Jordan | M/V Sea Lion | 07/06/19 | 1:30pm

Today, was a very special day for the Salish Sea! Why you ask? Because the Southern Resident Orcas are back!! For the first time in weeks J, K and L pods have been spotted in the San Juan Islands! This literally made national news! So, we were incredibly lucky to be able to boat out and see these amazing, special and famous whales!

Captain Erick, Naturalist Piper and I set out of Friday Harbor towards reports of whales! We headed up through the San Juan Channel, around Henry Island in the north and back down the west side of San Juan Island. Making it down to Lime Kiln, we spotted the whales! Both J pod and K pod were identified swimming throughout the Haro Strait but they were scattered all over the waters. We saw some swimming close to shore, over at another group of boats and then a couple huge males swam near our boat!

We were able to identify a couple individuals. We first saw J27 aka Blackberry! He was beautiful. This 30 foot whale showed off his 6-foot dorsal fin as he swam along looking for fish. Then, on the other side of the boat we suddenly saw J38 aka Cookie! This sprouting male burst through the water, surprising everyone on board. So cool to see these whales in action, living their lives in their natural environment.

Eventually, we headed back towards Friday Harbor. We went towards the south point of San Juan towards a big group of rocks in Cattle Pass. Here, we saw lots of harbor seals! They were so cute, like puppy dogs snuggling on the rocks. But then, in the water we saw huge Steller sea lions! So, lucky! Most of the sea lions are already up in Alaska for their mating season.  

Then, we boated all the way back up to our harbor. What a lovely day.