Orcas and minkes on both trips!


9:00 departure

We left the dock with lots of sunshine and flat calm waters ahead. We caught a quick look at the turkey vulture chick perched just outside of its nest on Cap Sante. We cruised through Guemes Channel and took a turn south down Rosario Strait. We rounded the corner into the Strait of Juan de Fuca and it wasn’t long before we had our first whales in sight! There were orcas up ahead and they were incredibly spread out. The whales we were able to identify were: J2 (Granny), K14 (Lea), K26 (Lobo), J14 (Samish), J37 (Hy’Shqa), J40 (Suttles), J45 (Se’Yi-chn) and J49 (Ti’lem Enges). K26 breached once for us, but it was amazing! Huge breach! We saw a series of tail lobs, cartwheels and spy hops! Then they all grouped up, giving us some amazing looks at all those dorsal fins popping up together! K14 turned and headed for us! Then she popped up right in line with Mt. Baker. Eventually they all kind of broke up into small ground and we decided to head off in search of other animals. We found four minke whales actively feeding around the south side of a Salmon Bank! They were popping up everywhere! It was crazy! The birds were all moving around as the bait dispersed and regrouped! The action died down a little bit and we headed toward the south end of Lopez Island. We saw some harbor seal pups hauled out enjoying the sun on Castle Rock and Colville Island. We found a mature bald eagle perched majestically on Castle Rock. We cruised on home, enjoying the sunshine!

3:30 departure

Our evening trip took us down Guemes Channel, through Rosario Strait and out toward Canada. Our sharp-eyed passengers found us two minkes swimming side by side at the south side of Salmon Bank! It was pretty incredible to see these two animals surface simultaneously. They were heading toward San Juan Island. They were headed in the wrong direction for us to get to where we wanted to be. We continued toward Canada and along the shoreline of San Juan Island, we found orcas! They were headed away from us, but as soon as they met the current line, they turned and started bucking the tide! We were hanging out with members of K pod: K13 (Skagit), K20 (Spock), K38 (Comet), K26 (Scoter), K27 (Deadhead), K44 (Ripple) and K34 (Cali). We had numerous breaches by multiple whales! It was amazing! We turned and headed south with the whales. K20 and K38 headed right to our boat! Incredible! We could hear them exhale! There were so many salmon breaching! They were all over the place! We spent a lot of time with them before we had to head off toward home. But, not before L87 (Oynx) decided he wanted to give us a little swim by! Awesome! Then, we turned toward home and did a little slow down through the south end of Lopez Island and Castle Rock. We spotted a few harbor seals hauled out and a couple of them in the water. There was even a bald eagle perched in a tree on Lopez Island. We continued on home and enjoyed a beautiful sunset!

Photos to come!

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