For a day where the weather forecast predicted rain, it was awfully sunny and calm in the San Juan Islands today! As we left Friday Harbor we stopped to view a California sea lion hauled out on a buoy right outside the harbor. We then headed south towards Salmon Bank to look for minke whales since the water was like glass, the perfect condition for spotting minkes! But before getting there we were able to see harbor seals hauled out and in the water, double crested cormorants on Goose Island, and a single, giant male steller sea lion hauled out on Whale Rocks. It was rubbing all over the rocks; a very cool behavior!
At salmon bank it wasn’t long before we spotted a minke in the not so far distance. It surfaced twice and then disappeared. We turned around eager to spot more, but came across two more steller sea lions thrashing around in the water. A flash of a fish in it’s mouth and swarming gulls told us they were foraging! Finally at 48o 24.0930′ N, 122o59.0386′ W another minke was seen. We watched for a while before heading to Long Island where we saw a single bald eagle next to its huge nest. Finally, back in San Juan Channel there were two groups of at least six harbor porpoises on either side of our boat, still surfacing as we made our way back.
Kristen, Naturalist, San Juan Safaris