September 5, 2009

Tales of Whales

Some days are just not like the others and sometimes the orcas do things that we just can not predict. Yesterday, members of K and L pods swam up San Juan Channel between San Juan and Lopez Islands. That was only the second time this season that they have done that, and we were there to see it. They made it all the way to Friday Harbor before they turned around and headed back south. It was a lovely, mostly clear day and with the orcas traveling in two large, close groups it was easy to both see and hear them.

One of our young guests has had an adoption of "Moonlight" for a couple of years and he was anxious to see her. With so many animals around it was hard to tell at times which individuals were there, but he and I were both pretty sure that we saw her family. There was also "Flash", "Saanich", "Raggedy", "Cappuccino", "Ino" and many, many more.

It was a unique and interesting opportunity to see these animals right in and amongst our islands. No one can say why they choose to come through here, or why they usually do not. There is salmon in the area, as evidenced by the seals and sea lions that we see feeding on them. Even yesterday, in a little cove on Sentinel Island, there was a young harbor seal with a huge fish and lots of seagulls around begging for scraps. So food is available, but whether it is not plentiful enough, or if there is too much boat traffic it is hard to say what directs the orcas' paths to the outer channels and straits. Luckily for us and our guests on the M/V Kittiwake though, the orcas chose a different path this time and we were there to witness it.

So, from Capt. Craig, me and all of the crew at San Juan Safaris, thank you and we will...

See You In The Islands!
~Tristen, Naturalist

Orca Whales and Wildlife Are Our Only Business. ©