Piper | Saturday, June 1, 2019 | M/V Sea Hawk | 12:00 PM
Happy June! Today was a bright and sunny day in the Salish Sea as we begin to really come into our summer season. We left the docks in Roche Harbor and pointed north past Spieden Island and into the narrow waters of John’s Pass which twists between Stuart Island and John’s Island. The small curvy channel opens into Boundary Pass which holds the border between the US and Canada! We motored across that border while watching harbor porpoises surface all around the boat.
We continued to East Point and Boiling Reef off Saturna Island where we saw one juvenile Steller sea lion which appears to have not received the memo that he’s supposed to go up to Alaska in the summers, but we were glad to watch him swimming around the turbulent waters. Continuing just a bit farther we came across a humpback whale named Stitch who was surfacing in the Strait of Georgia! We got to see some awesome flukes from this animal as it went down for deep dives!
We could tell right away that this humpback had a mostly black tail and some white scarring on the top of its dorsal fin, which helped with identifying it. We don’t know if Stitch is male or female, but it’s been seen swimming in the Salish Sea since as early as 2014, according to HappyWhale, a website where researchers and naturalists can collaborate, posting sightings of animals from all over the world! After we watched Stitch for a while we headed back towards Roche Harbor and on the way we spotted more harbor porpoises and even a bald eagle and a colony of harbor seals near Spieden Island! What an awesome day out in the San Juans!