Jordan | September 2, 2018 | M/V Sea Hawk | 3:00 trip

Today was a gorgeous day out on the water as the sun dazzled our guests on this fine holiday weekend. Captain Sarah and I were eager to get out of harbor in search of our whales! Luckily, we heard reports of whales coming from the west side of San Juan Island, and, although it’d be quite a long journey, we knew it’d be worth it.

So, we set out of Roche Harbor and headed south along the west side of the island within the Haro Strait. We passed by the beautiful Lime Kiln lighthouse along the way, waving at the people we spotted on the shoreline. Across the waterway to the south, we could spot the Olympic Peninsula mountains behind the thin layer of fog. In the northeast, we could just make out the tip of Mount Baker peeping over the islands.  

Eventually we reached the southwest side of San Juan Island where we found the Southern Resident orca whales! J pod was stretched really far apart so we were able to see whales every which way that we looked! And the whales were actively hunting for their salmon prey as well! So, we got great looks at some thrashing, jumps, tail slaps and fast swimming.

We even dropped the hydrophone in the water and were able to hear the echolocation of some of the whales as they clicked away at each other and at their fish prey. It was really cool to see these animals in their natural habitat.

Just as we were about to leave, the whales decided they wanted to come with us! They all headed towards our boat and prevented us from moving as they got really close to our boat. We were able to get up close looks at J35 (Tahlequah), J47 (Notch), J26 (Big Mike) and a bunch of other whales!

Eventually we headed back into Roche Harbor, very content with the day’s findings! What a wonderful whale weekend.