Today we left the harbor and went up over Lopez and out into Rosario Straight. We were nearly to Anacortes, just outside of Burrows Bay, when we saw a massive dorsal fin slice through the water. There were a couple of smaller fins in the vicinity and as we drew closer there was a huge explosion of water as an orca breached clear and landed on its side. Another breach followed shortly after and we noticed that there were whales very close to the rock. They were moving fast, changing direction a lot and finally our suspicions were confirmed when one of the whales surfaced, on its back, with a salmon in its mouth. We were able to identify Blackberry of J pod and Onyx (L-87). The whales gradually moved around the corner, deeper into the bay. We followed L-87 all by himself to the south and then rounded the corner to meet up with the whales in the bay. There were spyhops and then more spyhops, a few breaches, and lots of tail slapping. One younger individual swam on its back and tail slapped for a good 5 minutes straight. We prepared to leave 3 or 4 times but couldn’t tear ourselves away from the activity. It was the largest display of surface behavior I have seen all season.
Finally it was time to go, but only after we stopped to see a pair of Peregrine Falcons sitting in a dead tree. We saw eagles and hawks as well on our way home.
It was a nice little Thursday.
Laura, Naturalist, San Juan Safaris