August 21, 2018

Sunny August Day| 8/9/18| 1:30 pm

 

Leaving the harbor aboard M/V Sea Lion with Captain Pete and naturalist Eric, I️ was excited to be on the water on such a sunny August day after a couple of foggy ones. There was a report of a humpback not too far away from us, so we decided to head that direction. 

 

Headed up north towards Waldron Island, we took a left out of the harbor into San Juan Channel. The guests were enthusiastic and many seemed very interested to learn about the conservation efforts being carried out in the area specifically in regards to our southern resident orca pods. On the way to find the whales, I️ had very great conversations about things we could do to help this area and keep our ecosystem from struggling. It’s always so nice to be able to share knowledge of the area as well as ways to help out with my guests. After all, our boats really are floating classrooms! 

 

The humpback whale whom had been at Point Disney off Waldron Island was now moving farther West as we were coming closer to Presidents Channel, so we decided to stay on route. Heading up the San Juan Channel still, as we approached the mouth of Spieden channel, we spotted the humpback whale spout moving towards us! The animal seemed to not only be going West, but Southwest were we had came from. We slowed down and observed what direction it was heading. From about 200 yards away off our starboard side, we watched this animal surface many times, showing us it’s tiny dorsal (in comparison to their ~50 ft body) and absurdly tall spout! This humpback whale was surfacing for air way more often than usual, about every 2 minutes and showing us its fluke on almost every other dive. We changed our direction and followed parallel to it down the San Juan Channel. As we were headed South and closer to the San Juan island coast, the whale decided to cross under us and into the middle of the channel! Still parallel to us, but now on our port side, it surfaced yards away a couple of times and we were able to clearly hear its exhalation. 

 
Pulling away from this humpback and thanking them for the awesome encounter, we headed up the channel once again. Headed into Boundary Pass, we took Johns Pass looking for eagles and seals on the coast. We then took New Channel and stopped at a seal haul out to observe these seemingly lazy animals before heading back into Boundary Pass. We crossed over to Flat top island where we were able to spot many more seals and a couple of bald eagles! After circumnavigating the island, it was time to go home! What a beautiful day full of marine life!
 
Mariana, Naturalist, San Juan Safaris