September 12, 2019

Three Humpbacks Swimming Near San Juan!

Jordan | M/V Kestrel | 09/12/19 | 11:00am

Today was sure an adventurous day!

Captain Pete and I took the Kestrel out of Friday Harbor and headed south down through the San Juan Channel. Once we reached the southern tip of San Juan, we spotted Cattle Point lighthouse as we neared a rock full of wildlife!

We found Steller sea lions! These 12-foot long 2,400 pound animals barked and crawled around the island as they looked for the best rock to nap on. Some of them splashed in the water as they played and contemplated where to hunt for fish next!

Then we continued a bit further south, towards Iceberg point off Lopez and saw some blows! We found a humpback whale! Humpbacks are one of the largest whales in the world at 40-50 feet long! This one definitely seemed to be a hefty fellow. He surfaced and sent his 20-foot blow exploding out of the water! So powerful! You could hear the 200 mph breath with every exhalation. His blubber shimmered in the light as he lunged for a deep dive. He displayed his massive tail as he dove deep into the water, searching for his tiny prey.

Further off in the distance, we spotted another humpback whale taking advantage of the abundance of food in the area. The two humpbacks seemed to be doing their own hunting but, they may eventually meet up to travel together.

We then turned up towards the west side of San Juan and found a third humpback whale a few minutes away! You could tell that these humpbacks all looked different from each other! This third whale seemed a bit wider with a more triangular dorsal fin. It’s always fun to not how each whale is really unique.

Then, we boated up towards the north point of San Juan, passing Lime Kiln lighthouse and making our way to Speiden Island. Here we found a bunch of animals!

Even though it started to rain, we enjoyed watching the harbor seals as they flopped about a tiny rock.

Then we found two bald eagles sitting up in a tree! Their little white heads sought shelter under the leaves of the pine tree. This pair was most likely a mated pair. And they mate for life!

We also spotted some mouflon sheep and fallow deer along the hills of Speiden. It’s always fun to see exotic animals in Washington!

Eventually, we headed back down towards Friday Harbor.

What a wonderful wet weekday!