August 31, 2018

Windy and Wavy Orca Sighting| 8/31/18| 2:00PM

Guests aboard Kestrel along with Cpt. Mike and I were excited to get on the water with a report of transient orcas already moving East from us. About an hour travel time for us to get on scene with these whales, Mike and I were eager to get everyone on the boat and ready to pick up speed. 

As of earlier, the day had been calm and sunny but now the wind was starting to pick up and the clouds were starting to show up. On our way over to these whales, we crossed San Juan Channel to take the inter island way and head towards Cypress Island where they were last spotted.

The wind was starting to pick up and the seas were getting fairly big making it a real “adventure tour.” As we crossed Obstruction Pass, we could see a whale watching boat in the distance, so were now scanning the waters for any dorsal fins. Moving slowly, before spitting out into Rosario strait, we spotted some dorsal fins off the coast of Orcas Island. There seemed to be 3 whales, one calf and two others who looked to be females. There were 3 foot waves out there now, making it a bit hard to see them surfacing. After patiently watching them appear and disappear for a couple of minutes, they made it closer to us and we were able to see some of their markings such as their eye patch and saddle patch. At this point, we were able to identify these guys as the T34s! 

We followed these whales into Rosario strait until it got a bit rainy and it was time to head home. We took a different route home and headed south rounding the tip of Lopez Island. This route allowed us to get a very clear view of the south western waters where we spotted cool bait balls and some harbor porpoises. On the way in, we made a pit stop at Long Island where we were lucky enough to spot a bald eagle and the nest along with some harbor seals. Last but not least, we had to go say goodnight to our steller sea lions on whale rocks to wrap up the trip before heading in.

Mariana, Naturalist, San Juan Safaris