A member of J pod spyhops in Haro Strait

 

Today on M/V Sea Hawk was amazing. We caught up with some whales earlier than expected, just off of Turn Point. It was J2 Granny! Although there were no other whales in our immediate vicinity, there were some a few miles away, and thats nothing when you can communicate like an orca can (via sound that travels 8-10 miles). Everyone on the boat, and everyone on shore watched in awe as the oldest known killer whale in the world (105 this year) swam along Stuart Island--even a dog that seemed to be barking at her. After letting her pass by, we waited for the next group to come by. These were the J16s. J16 Slick and her daughter J36 Alki swam past first, trailed 1000 yards later by their children J50 Scarlet and J52 Sonic, who were being babysat by their sister and aunt respectively, J42 Echo. We could see J26 Mike off in the distance, whom also belongs to this pod, and another boat claimed to see L87 Onyx out there as well, who travels with J2 Granny. As we cruised slowly south, we were finally passed by the J19s and a breaching baby J51 Nova.

The second trip was just as wonderful. We started out looking at a huge bait ball that was occupying close to 60 gulls, 10 different diving birds under the water, as well as a hungry, yet agile harbor seal. We carried on our way south down the west side of San Juan Island to find a pair of humpbacks, just before getting to the rest of the whale watch fleet that were hanging out with J pod. We found ourselves wondering far too often about which direction we should be looking or pointing our camera. There were whales everywhere and by putting all of your eggs in one basket, so to speak, you could miss some super cool behavior out of a whale that you have you back to. Not a bad problem to have really, too many whales, ha. We saw spyhops, porpoising, breaching, tail slapping, rolling, and everything in between. M/V Sea Hawk ventured on from this seemingly happy group of whales with an excited group of guests, and a still-not-bored-of-orcas naturalist.

 

Naturalist Alex

M/V Sea Hawk

San Juan Outfitters