July 3, 2009

Whales Gone Wild!

Thought I'd take a moment to share with you all a little about our trip last night (Thursday 7/2). It was one of those perfect evenings that we in the whale watching world dream about!

It was unbelievably calm...glassy seas, extremely clear skies and lots of whales! The Southern Residents (killer whales) had met up earlier in the day to form a superpod, and while I was not out on the 1pm trip I was happy to discover that all three pods (J, K, L) were all still together when we encountered them on the west side of San Juan Island last evening! They were still traveling northbound at a slow pace....milling about....rolling over, tail slaps....a spyhop or breach from time to time.

It was so quiet out that you could hear the vocalizations of the Orcas from hydrophones' on nearby boats! We dropped ours in a few times and heard some great squeals and squeaks and whistles!

One of my favorite sounds is hearing the whales surface and just breath. The exhale of hot air through the blow hole, heard from one Orca and then another and another is indescribable.

A little later we had some nice looks at K21 (Cappuccino) and K40 (Raggedy) and another male Orca....then some very flirtatious activity between Raggedy and this other male. A little date? ...and then, as one guest described the mating behavior..."Whales Gone Wild!" I won't go into details hear, but we all got a good laugh out of that comment!

And so with that grand finale to our Orca viewing we motored on back towards Friday Harbor. The evening glow of the sun was perfect as we took a scenic tour through Mosquito Pass and past the busy port of Roche Harbor and back down through San Juan Channel.

Truly, another beautiful evening enjoying the serenity of the San Juan Islands!

-Jaclyn, naturalist

Whales and Wildlife Are Our Only Business. ©
Photo added later by colleen of Captain Nancy and Marine Naturalist Jaclyn