Piper | Saturday, August 31, 2019 | M/V Sea Hawk | 4:00 PM
Today’s evening tour left Roche Harbor with reports Southern Resident killer whales off the west side of San Juan Island, so off Captain Erick and I went with an awesome group of guests! We left through Mosquito Pass and moved into the Haro Strait, the waters of which were incredibly calm today, glassy even!
We motored down to False Bay on the southern half of the island where we spotted our first orcas of the evening! The Southern Residents which were around were members of J Pod and we spotted the J11s splashing around! J27 Blackberry’s fin was standing tall next to his little sister and new mom J31 Tsuchi and his little brother J39 Mako. We spent a little while watching these awesome orcas before dropping the hydrophone and getting to listen to them as well! We listened to them whistle and echolocate, hopefully finding some tasty Chinook salmon to eat!
The J11s were eventually joined by other J Pod matrilines as they moved up the coast of the island. We tried to peel away from the group so we could pick up speed, but before we knew it the orcas had followed our vessel and popped up nearby so we slowed, stopped, and switched off the engine to watch them gracefully pass by undisturbed. It was incredibly gorgeous!
Once they were out of the range again, we were finally, sadly, able to leave and enjoyed an absolutely stunning sunset on our way back to Roche Harbor! When we arrived, it was just in time to enjoy Colors from the boat! What an amazing trip!