Some days we just know we have to go the distance to find the wildlife. But the general rule of thumb is: it’s so worth it!
Today, we cruised out of sunny Friday Harbor with both boats–Sea Lion and Kittiwake–full of eager wildlife seekers. As we pleasantly made our way north through many of the islands dotting the Salish Sea, we saw birds and boats and waves and trees and then: the channel marking the border to Canada. Once we crossed that, the wildlife appeared in full force! Up in the Swanson Channel off North Pender Island, we caught up with a mixed pod of orca whales. Both J and K pods were socializing in a group of about 15-20 individual orcas. One passenger assisted in confirming the identity of J-34 “Double stuf” (son to “Oreo,” brother to “Cookie;” see a theme here?!).
We stepped out of the orca watching crowd to search for a possible seal carcass on the other side of the channel and found harbor porpoises along the way and [LIVE!]harbor seals hauled out on the rocks. Oh and an orange-beaked oystercatcher bird flying by. And then we saw the bald eagles… feeding on a nasty, smelly harbor seal carcass at the high tide line; one of which was a mottled brown and white juvenile bald eagle. Gruesome, gross, and awesome!
Back at the whales we saw the new baby, K44, swimming just next to and behind mom before we had to start making our way back to the harbor.
San Juan Safaris