July 8, 2009

Spread out!

Welcome to the Pacific Northwest! We went from a sunny hot 4th of July weekend to a cool overcast/drizzly 60 degrees in a matter of days! After the weekend I forgot that I should always have my fleece hat with me.

It's been a rainy and cool couple of days, but no wind. And the wind is all I care about! I say that because both yesterday and today we had glassy waters, which as we all should know is the best for viewing wildlife, but especially whales!

Yesterday the 3 pods (J, K, L) of Killer Whales or Orcas returned from their quick stint in the Strait of Juan de Fuca for a truly spectacular day of whale watching!!! Monday...we knew where the pods were but they were out of range for our trips...so we instead had a wonderful trip to see Minke Whales, Bald Eagles, Seals, and Porpoise....not to mention touring through the San Juan Islands!!

My boyfriend makes fun of me for always saying..."oh my gosh" it was the best trip ever!! But really yesterday was the "best day ever"! All 3 pods of Orcas were back within reach! On the west side of San Juan Island travelling slowly, resting...grouped up and surfacing together. So peaceful and tranquil. We followed a group of them to the north last evening....Canadian Orcas as we like to joke when we cross into the Canadian Gulf Islands! Again a peaceful viewing experience. Unreal.

Fast forward to today. The Orcas have circled up and around the San Juan Islands...with one group coming south along the west side of San Juan Island, the other moving through Rosario Strait past the east side of Orcas Island and Lopez Island to meet up off the south end of San Juan Island. Again calm day out there...and now different behaviors than yesterday!

Quick paced, on the move, spread out...breaching! Awesome day once again! Our guests always ask...well you must see this everyday right? The answer is no! Everyday for us is a new day...the Orcas travel 100-200 miles a day if they want, they're moving where their food (salmon) are. They are wild and somewhat predictable in their travel patterns, and once we say that they go and prove us wrong by doing something unpredictable! Just goes to show you how with wild animals you never know what to expect! But either way it's sure to be a beautiful experience.

Signing off for the evening,
Jaclyn, naturalist

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