May 4, 2011

Southern Residents!!!

Heading south through cattle pass we encountered some Harbor Seals as well as a lone Steller Sea Lion swimming south and playing in the current.  Whale rocks also provided us with some very large male Stellers' maneuvering awkwardly on shore.

We then headed into the middle of Haro strait to try and confirm the rumors of J-pod.  Sure enough, in glassy water with very light wind, we saw two orca cruising at the surface.  They were heading west at a pretty steady pace.  After scanning the horizon we realized that some other boats in the area were watching their own groupings of J-pod.  There were whales spread over a couple mile radius around us.  While we couldn't get a good positive ID on the first two whales we saw, as we moved towards a second group we recognized the distinguishing saddle patch of Blackberry!  The guests were very excited to see the residents cruising at the surface, and some were lucky enough to get pictures of the whales with Mt. Rainer and the Olympic Mountains in the background!

 

Mike - Naturalist, San Juan Safaris