October 10, 2016

Whales Killin it. Humpback Whales, Seals, Sea Lions, and Killer Whales killin Seals

Transient Orca

We see whales most days and they are super! But some days we have an extra special day. Today we went north and motored through some of the outer islands north of San Juan Island. We first stopped around Flattop Island to look at some really cool Harbor Porpoises surfing in the windy chop south of the island. After we checked out their silly antics we continued north and saw quite a few majestic Bald Eagles and as we approached East Point on Saturna, one of my favorite places in the islands just because of its shear beauty and awesome currents and we saw two Humpback Whales. It was Big Mama and her calf! This was a pair that we saw traveling north this spring and this calf has gotten a whole lot bigger. They were feeding in the rip currents off of the point and we even saw them fluke up a few times. As they were fluking we also saw more Harbor Porpoises and a sleepy Elephant Seal floating on by. Next we continued further up north and went through the Belle Chains and saw a huge group of Steller’s Sea Lions laying and growling on the tall rocks there next to some much smaller Harbor Seals. Some of them started to growl and wrestle and do some pretty amazing flips in the water. And even after that wwe got to see some more amazing things! We slipped through Georgenson Pass which is a beautiful small pass that seems almost like a river as fast tidal flow pushes through a narrow pass bordered by two very tall islands. Finally we made it even further north into Navy Channel where we spotted two families of Transient Orcas, the T36A’s and the T65A’s playing and hunting and eating ver close to shore. It was incredible to see them gracefully move through the water, flip, spyhop, and spin around each other as they hunted their prey, dispatched it, ate it, and celebrated all in a quick succession of moments. We soon had to leave their to make it back to Friday Harbor, but what amazing day seeing all sorts of wildlife playing around.

 

Naturalist Erick

M/V Sea Lion

San Juan Safaris