Blog Archive for August 2011

August 30, 2011

T's in Town

Transient killer whales were the big sea creatures in town today!  We filled up the Sea Lion vessel with eager passengers and went out to the Rosario Strait just past Orcas Island in search of ocean life.  In the distance, we could see a splash then a white cloud indicative of whale snot (a blow...Read more

August 30, 2011

August Whale Sightings

Well, we just did the math.  From August 1- 29 we have ran a total of 49 Whale Watches.  Of those 49 trips we successfully located whales 47 times.  And not just Orca, but Minke and Humpback Whales as well!!  That is a 96% success rate at seeing whales on our trips.

On top of whales we...Read more

August 29, 2011


Today we traveled all the way to Victoria to see one lone transient.  He was magnificent.  It was a long haul but when we arrived he appeared to be patrolling up and down the rocks.  He has one of the broadest dorsal fins I have ever seen.

The word on the street was that he had been...Read more

August 29, 2011

Sea Lions off San Juan Island from a 5:30 Sunset Tour

Attached are two pictures of Sea Lions, taken during my visit to San Juan Island last week. These pictures were taken while on the Whale Watching tour with San Juan Safari, on 8/20 - the Sunset Tour.
Sending these for the photo contest, under "Other Wildlife" category.

August 27, 2011

Killer Whales Everywhere!

It was easy, maybe too easy, finding killer whales today. We headed up north from Friday Harbor, and just east of Spieden Island we encountered both K and L pods. They were everywhere around us! Breaching, spy hopping, and tail slapping. After watching them for a while, we headed back south...Read more

August 26, 2011

A little bit of Everything

Another calm clear day around San Juan Island.  We were able to find most of the Southern Residents heading north past the west side of the island.  As we came on scene we found a nice group of about 10 animals traveling together.  It was difficult to get good IDs but there was one adult male...Read more

August 25, 2011

Whales galore

After two whole days without orcas around (but with Humpbacks and Minkes!) our residents returned to the sound in full force. There were lots of animals around on the way up to see the whales: harbor seals, harbor porpoises, and even a bald eagle! As for the whales,  there were groups...Read more

August 23, 2011

Lummi-ing Humpbacks

Headed out between Shaw and Lopez Islands, past Orcas and out towards Lummi Island, we were in search of the ever-popular but very elusive (in the Pacific Northwest) humpback whale.  Clocking in at an average 45 feet (school bus size) and 80,000 pounds, they are in the top ten largest animals to...Read more

August 22, 2011

Rainy day doesn’t keep the whales away

It wasn’t exactly the nicest day on San Juan Island, but having it rain did not prevent us from going out and seeing the wildlife the Salish Sea has to offer. We first saw a bald eagle perched in a dead looking tree. Then, we saw some whales I haven’t seen for over two months…transients! There...Read more

August 21, 2011

Enjoying the wildlife in the Salish Sea

The reports were that the killer whales were headed far west, out towards the Pacific Ocean. But this gave us a chance to see all the other wildlife the Salish Sea has to offer. So we headed north out of Friday Harbor on our way to Patos Island. On the way we spotted a whole bunch of harbor...Read more

August 20, 2011

It feels like summer!

These days I hail from Maui, Hawaii and it's rare for me to say it's hot in Washington.  But today, it was hot!  In town.  And quite comfortable on the water as well.  We traveled out to be next to the Olympic Peninsula and the snow covered mountains; and it was a day of epic weather, water and...Read more

August 19, 2011

Porpoising L Pod

Today was the first time I have seen east point in what seems like months.  We ended up at the south end of Saturna to catch up with L pod, headed north.  They were cruising.  When we got there  they were moving at a slowish speed, which was great because we were able to catch up to them before...Read more

August 17, 2011

Breaching Whales

It was bright and sunny as we headed north out of Friday Harbor. On this trip, the first thing we encountered was harbor seals hauled out on a rocky island. Next we spotted a few killer whale dorsal fins off in the distance. Everyone got excited as we scoped out the area. As the boat turned...Read more

August 16, 2011

L-Pod Party!

It was a beautiful trip from the beginning today!  Heading out of Friday Harbor on a wonderfully clear day we were able to get some amazing views of the snow-capped Mt. Baker.  The usual sunbatheing Harbor seals were all out in about swimming on both sides of the boat and we got a great view of...Read more

August 16, 2011

West Side Whales

As we headed south through Cattle Pass a grizzly-like head broke the surface with a large fish dangling from its mouth. The snorting and huffing creature was a male Steller sea lion, the largest of all the sea lions and the third largest species within the Pinnipedia suborder. The silhouette of...Read more

August 13, 2011

Close Encounters of the Orca Kind

Something rare occurred today; killer whales surprised us by coming up not only next to our boat, but a couple swam under our boat! Let me start from the beginning… we left Friday Harbor heading south, stopping to see some harbor seals hauled up on rocky areas. We also went around whale rocks...Read more

August 12, 2011

Epic voyage to Victoria

Oh Humpbacks.  How I love them.  Seeing Humpback whales is always a little bit like watching fireworks on the 4th of July.  When an animal the size of a school bus surfaces a football field away from your boat it is always shocking in the most wonderful way possible.  There is always...Read more

August 12, 2011

Emerging from the fog with whales

Southward from sunny Friday Harbor quickly led us to dense fog with visibility at maybe 100 yards (maybe) just before Cattle Pass.  Armed with radar, the captain navigated us through the pass and over to Whale Rocks where we found seven large stellar sea lions and numerous harbor seals hauled...Read more

August 11, 2011

Let's Change Things Up a Bit...

Thursday brought blue skies and calm seas.  However, there were no reports of anyone seeing any Orcas in the Salish Sea.  So we took the best lead we had and headed towards Victoria to try and find the elusive Humpback Whale.

On the way out we encountered lots of harbor seals bobbing in...Read more