We often tell guests that Killer Whales can travel 100 miles in a day, a point of reference for the potential for viewing them in this immense archipelago. As we left Friday Harbor we were witness to how far a group can travel. The morning reports had the J2 Matriline somewhere on the South end of San Juan Island but we were headed for the East entrance to Active Pass, about 50 miles away from where they’d started.
Personally heading up through the similar, but just slightly different island chain of the Canadian Gulf Islands is always a treat. While we’ll happily cross the border, going through Georgenson Pass is a serious endeavor but a beautiful trip, slipping between narrow islands the fan out between Plummer Sound and the Strait of Georgia. The long slog was worth it though, because not long after getting into the strait of Georgia we found the whales!
The J2 Matriline has been traveling with the J19s lately, which meant we had cute overload with this year’s calf J50 in tow. The animals were traveling in a tight cluster when we arrived but that didn’t stop J2 from showing us her belly while slapping the water with her tail. This appeared to have a great effect on the others because soon afterwards we had a handful of breaches and a few spy hops. As we left them traveling slowly East, we took a moment to enjoy the big bull, J27 who was following nearby but not with the rest of the group.
No day with breaching whales ends poorly!
M/V Sea Lion San Juan Safaris