May 8, 2021

Sunset Spectacular with Transient Whales Near Friday Harbor

Jordan | M/V Sea Lion | 05/08/2021 |5:30pm

Today was one of the most magical trips of the season! And perhaps, my career.

It began just like any other day as Captain Pete and I gathered our guests and headed out of Friday Harbor. But, unlike a typical trip, it was a mere 2 minutes before we found the whales!

There was a pod of 4 Transient whales sleepily swimming up the San Juan Channel. There were hardly any other boats out as the sun sank lower and lower in the sky and cast a seemingly mystical hue on the backdrop of these already picturesque animals.

Then, something amazing happened. The whales abruptly turned and headed straight towards our boat! Pete shut off our engine and we all watched in awed admiration as the whales swam just under the surface, showing their bright white bellies through the green waters. Breaking the surface just off our portside, the four whales emerged all at once, showing us an amazing and rare up-close encounter of their true beauty.

It was such a special experience! We all felt so connected to the whales and grateful for their curiosity.

But it didn’t stop there!! The whales kept coming back to us! We stayed 300 yards away until they disappeared and over and over, they swerved over towards our boat. So, we ended up turning off our engines about 6 different times! I’m not sure why the whales seemed so enthralled to visit our boat, but it was amazing to see them repeatedly looking up at us! This behavior is incredibly rare, so we all felt incredibly lucky.

Eventually we said our goodbyes and headed over to Spieden Island! Here, we saw huge Steller sea lions, exotic grazing animals, multiple bald eagles and gorgeous rolling hills that lit up with the setting sun.

Finally, we headed back home. But wow, today was spectacular. And, we had so many wonderful people on board as well! I am so happy to have been able to share this experience with them.