June 16, 2010

Sunset Safari

What better way to end a busy day shopping in Friday Harbor than on the calm waters of the Salish Sea?  Surrounded by marine wildlife in every direction, this evening's sunset tour was quiet the safari!  The adventure started with the misty blows of orca whales off Spieden Island.  As we approached them we were able to identify a few members of Jpod, including the impressive adult male "Ruffles", 100-year old "Granny", and "Blackberry".  They traveled in a large closely knit pod, with at least eight other orcas.  They swam along the backside of Spieden towards Turn Point on Stuart Island.  The orcas became quiet lively while heading over Boundary Pass, breaching, tail slapping, cartwheeling, and spy hopping.  The crowd cheered at the thrill of seeing such playful behavior in their natural environment.  It was difficult to leave the orcas, however we quickly spotted dall's porpoises as we returned home.  We wrapped up our safari by viewing a bald eagle and harbor seals.

The dynamic duo,

Sally and Casey

Naturalists