Sea Lions, Harbor Seals, and ORCAS, OH MY!
As we left the harbor we traveled north through the San Juan Channel to Spieden Island where two large Stellar Sea Lions were hauled out on the rocks. Six other sea lions swam along the shore surfacing, rolling, and diving in succession as if performing synchronized swimming acrobatics. As we continued down the coast we had great views of the Mouflon sheep and Sika deer including some wee babes. Roughly 40 harbor seals were seen resting on a small rocky outcrop just off Spieden Island.
THEN Captain Craig received a call on his cell phone with information on the location of Orca whales. We made an immediate U-turn, traveled back down through San Juan Channel and to the Southern end of the San Juan Island to reach the whales.
We found transient Orca Whales at the southern end of Lopez Island today (48°24’9″N, 122°53’31″W). Seven transient whales, including T049C, were observed resting at the surface and traveling slowly within close proximity to each other. This provided us with a wonderful viewing opportunity of these stealthy whales. We were with them for nearly an hour and they stayed in that general area the entire time.
The trip wasn’t over yet. Captain Craig found us bald eagles near a nest and another Steller sea lion haul-out with about twenty animals sharing, and a few grumbling over, the close quarters.
Naturalists Colleen and Amy
San Juan Safaris Whale Watching and Wildlife Tours