The killer whales were close today so we had plenty of observation time and were able to see a smorgasbord of species. We first encountered L pod and successfully identify the 34-year-old male Mega (L-41) who was traveling alongside the 22-year-old male Gaia (L-78). What was really exciting was the amount of calves that were traveling and playing together. There were at least three youngsters who were taking turns lob tailing, propoising, spy hopping and breaching next to each other. It was just amazing to watch!
After spending our fair share of time with the killer whales, minke whales were next out by Salmon Bank. There were two whales which surfaced more frequently than normal and surprised us by coming up right next to the boat, close enough to hear them breathe. We then passed Long Island and saw an eagle perched at the top of a tree next to his large nest of twigs. As we made our way back to Friday Harbor, we noticed two behemoth brown bodies basking on Whale Rocks. These male steller sea lions were met shortly by another male who leaped out of the water to join them. They were an interesting comparison to the small pinniped cousins, the harbor seals, which were hauled out on the other end of the rocks. It was a great trip full of fun, not only for our passengers, but for us as well.
Kirsten and Kristen, naturalists, San Juan Safaris