Humpback Whales Feeding in the Strait of Georgia

Laura | M/V Sea Lion | 6/19/2020 | 12:00pm

What a gorgeous day to be out on the water!  The seas were glass calm and we were surrounded by sunshine and picturesque mountain views throughout our trip!  Mount Baker and the Cascades seemed especially vivid today.  Captain Pete and I headed north with 13 excited passengers on board through the San Juan Channel and into Boundary Pass.  We stopped along Flattop Island for some cute harbor seal viewing.  They were also enjoying the nice weather, swimming around the tiny cove areas and sprawling out on the rocks.  Harbor porpoises were in abundance today and were seen in literally every channel we traveled!  On such a clear day like today the small triangular dorsal fins found on harbor porpoises were easy to spot and showed how ample of a feeding area this is for so many different marine species.

 As M/V Sea Lion approached Patos Island, we noticed a cluster of birds by the currents around East Point.  These birds are great indicators that there is some exciting action going on below, as they can see small schooling fish rising to the water’s surface.  A few seconds later I was thrilled to see a large blow right below the gulls!  And then a second!  We found a pair of humpback whales!  A third humpback was then seen about ¼ mile apart from the pair.  The pair turned out to be a mom and her calf!  It was obvious by not only the difference in height between their exhalations but also by comparing their tail sizes as they lifted their flukes up to go down on a dive.  How exciting!!  These humpbacks were certainly taking advantage of all the small schooling fish in the area and were actively feeding, taking deep dives ranging from 4-5 minutes.  Passengers got great photos of these beautiful tails along a mountainous backdrop; a dream shot.  At one point we had the single humpback on our starboard and the pair on out port side, fully surrounded by humpbacks!  I looked around and thought how lucky we all were to be sharing this awesome experience together in such a gorgeous area!  As we made our way home harbor porpoises kept popping up all around the horizon line.  They were the perfect compliment to these humpbacks, so we saw two very different yet equally wonderful species today!