May 17, 2011

Whales and all

There is only one word that could describe today.  Epic.

The sun was shining and the water was calm.  We headed north on a whim, taking the opportunity to cruise the scenic passes between Saturna Island and Pender Island.  We ended up slightly north of the Coal Docks and found ourselves amid Orcas.  At first I thought they were Transients.  There were two whales cruising west, then three, then a whole bunch more.  They were spread out to the east and west of us and we realized they weren't transients.  One male with a huge dorsal cruised by and I suspect it was Mike of J pod.  We shut down and watched the whales mill around us.  At one point there was a large direction change and suddenly the whales were headed east.

The best part about the encounter was three moms with calves, cruising close together.  The females would surface and then the little guys would pop up for a quick, mini breath.  When time ran short we headed back around toward East Point, took a quick peek at some Stellers, caught a quick glimpse of some Harbor Seals, and even saw a few porpoises right outside of the harbor.

One of the most encouraging things to see, when observing a struggling, endangered animal, is new life.  The little calves warmed our hearts and made our day extraordinary.



Naturalist, San Juan Safaris