Heading south from Friday Harbor, we had word that a potential transient pod was seen off Middle Bank and was headed further out towards the Strait of Juan De Fuca. With the traveling pod in mind, we searched out in that direction. After a about and hour and a half of travel, fifteen plus miles and some choppy seas, we spotted some whale watching vessels and then, at last, the orcas! A pod of four to five unidentified transients were on the move, surfacing for several breaths and then diving as a group for two to three minutes at a time. A small calf was seen with the pod, with 1-2 males and 2-3 females and/or juveniles.
Alas, our time was up and we had to make the inevitable journey back to Friday Harbor. But the wildlife viewing was not over. On our way back in we saw several bird balls of gulls and other sea birds, possibly foraging on bait balls. At Whale Rocks, we saw ten to fifteen stellar sea lions hauled out sunning themselves and resting as well as a few harbor seals swimming in the water. Just when we were running low on time and about to make our final turn towards the harbor, we had one last surprise: six to ten dall’s porpoises swimming quickly around the boat and diving as fast as we were seeing them!
San Juan Safaris