June 22, 2013

Summer Time and the Livin' Is Easy...With Minke and L Pod Sightings!

We brought in the start of a new summer with great weather on the water today! Crew and passengers alike, busted out their shorts and sunscreen while we sped out of Friday Harbor to catch up with some of our favorite summer friends, our resident orcas,  L Pod.  We didn't have to go far since L Pod was grazing along the west side of San Juan Island searching for their favorite food, Chinook salmon. Chinook salmon makes up 80 percent of resident orcas diet and on average they eat about 200-400 lbs of food a day! Sure is a lot of salmon!

Most of L Pod was spread out along the coastline constantly searching for food to curb that ravenous hunger. And lucky for us, we met up Mega, L-41, and Ocean Sun, L-25, right off of Eagle Point. We were even greeted with Bald Eagle calls in the distance! Mega and Ocean Sun didn’t disappoint our guests today as they slowly meandered along the coastline giving ample opportunities to get great shots of these resident orcas while foraging.

L Pod wasn’t the only type of whale out enjoying the productive waters off San Juan Islands’ coastline. We also got great views of Minke whales not too far away! Minke whales, unlike Orcas, are baleen whales that have bristle-like plates that they use to filter plankton and small fish out of large gulps of seawater. These guys are one of the smaller of the baleen whales, but no less impressive to see at close range. Overall it was a great opportunity to see not one, but two very different types of whales that live right off the coastline of San Juan Island!

Caitlin, Naturalist- M/V Sea Lion, San Juan Safaris