July 13, 2010

A whole lot to love

Reaching the middle of July, summer in the San Juans is really in full swing.  The marine wildlife are just as active as the many visitors that come from around the world.  It's almost a sure thing that we will see orca whales these days.  Today we spotted members of the J and L-pods near Eagle Point on San Juan Island.  As we neared their location we could hear the impressively loud blows of the orcas' exhale.  Large clouds of mist shot above the surface.  Captain Craig lowered our hydrophone into the water, allowing us to hear them communicate below the surface.  Each of the pods speak their own dialect.  On average, each of the pods have ten separate types of calls.  Although the orcas were very entertaining, we couldn't spend all day with them.  As we turned back to Friday Harbor a Bald Eagle was spotted on the rocky shore.  The adult eagle's strikingly tall silhouette was outlined with snow-capped Mt. Baker in the distance.

Sally,

Naturalist