Almost left a naturalist at the dock today! With the winds prevailing, the naturalist wasn’t quite fast enough to get on board once she let the lines loose. Luckily the captain came back to pick her up at the “Spring Street Landing” dock. With all on board we headed out through the San Juan Channel. A light drizzle and sun-teasing skies had the crowd curious. We arrived at the first stop on the north side of Spieden Island and found one lonely Steller Sea Lion. Traveling our way through the channel between Stuart and Jones Island, wildlife was scarce and the crowd grew anxious. Mother Nature could tell we needed a little excitement so she whipped up a large gust of wind and off flew a fender, right from the top of the boat. With the water as choppy as it was, it seemed we had lost her for good. High winds and choppy seas are very unusual around the San Juan Islands April through October. We headed out towards Morsbey Island where we saw a few Harbor Porpoises and the excitement grew.
Next stop, Mandarte Island. The bird sanctuary was highly active with Cormorants and gulls. As we made our way further into Canada and past Sidney there were no Orcas in sight, even though we had a solid report of transients around 10:00 AM.
We headed back to the southern side of Spieden for a little more wildlife viewing. Sitka Deer and Mouflon Sheep were interspersed along the hillside. Little fawns were spotted, causing a few of the passengers to grow soft. As we approached the very end of the island we caught one last glimpse of excitement. 8 or so Bald Eagles were feeding on what appeared to be a baby Sika Deer carcass. Just in time for dinner!
All-in-all, it was another great day aboard the Sea Lion!
Naturalists Tara and Colleen and Captain Mike