We had a fabulous trip to the south side of San Juan Island today. Sunny skies and calm waters in the Strait of Juan de Fuca made for incredible whale watching! After seeing several harbor seals cruising through Cattle Pass, we encountered the Steller sea lions on Whale Rocks. At least ten were lounging in the sun. As we headed into the strait, we saw several members of the resident L-pod actively feeding offshore of South Beach (48°26N, 123°00W). First we saw members of the L12 matriline, including L41 “Mega”. He was switching directions and slowly coming to the surface. At one point he rolled on his back and slapped the water with his pectoral fins and tail. It looked like he was doing the backstroke! We also saw L94 “Calypso” with her calf L113 “Molly”. “Molly” was very active, splashing, rolling, tail-slapping. L77 “Matia” was also spotted with her calf L119 born earlier in 2012. After observing these special mammals, we headed back to Friday Harbor. So thankful for another day to see these orcas in the wild.
SJS Naturalist Jenny