October 9, 2019

Triple Humpback Whale Day!

Humpback Whale

Naturalist Erick | Wednesday, October 9, 2019 | M/V Sea Lion | Noon


Today, was another sunny, fall day in the San Juan Islands. Captain Sarah and I headed out to search for some wonderful wildlife. We headed south through San Juan Channel and as we passed Turn Island we spotted a majestic Bald Eagle soaring along the rocky, cliff-lined island. We usually see the Eagles being lazy and perched on a rock or tree. This one was soaring in the blustery fall air and making dives over the water in the channel. We moved on and made our next stop at Whale Rocks. We rarely see whales here but this time of year we often see Steller Sea Lions! This brown sea lions are giant and so fun to watch. One swam by us and gave us the eye as we passed by. They look like big swimming bears in the water, and the ones on the rocks were perched high with their heads pointed up in the sky to dry off. We soon passed them listening to their loud growls and smelling their smelly rock and headed further south to MacArthur Bank. Here we saw a Humpback Whale! It was feeding in the waves and we saw it come to the service quite a few times before we headed east to Lawson Reef where we watched two other Humpbacks! These two were pretty goofy. We saw them fluke up several times and could hear their blows! As they fluked up we saw the underside of their tails and could identify these two as Uluka (MMX0132) and Scratchy (MMY0079) who are both Humpbacks that we have seen before in our waters and are now common visitors! It is always amazing to see these leviathans inside the Salish Sea since they were hunted out and were gone for several decades. These two continued traveling and feeding and at one point Scratchy rolled over its friend Uluka and raised its pectoral fin and its fluke up. It looked a lot like the whale tripped over the other whale! So goofy! We watched these two for awhile and got some great looks! We headed back to a sunny Friday Harbor after another magical day on the Salish Sea!


Naturalist Erick