We left on our trip this morning and got a good look at the fire that was burning in the Anacortes forest lands. We watched at the helicopter dipped water out of the lake and dump it on the fire. As of right now, the fire looks like it is under control and hasn’t threatened any houses. We spotted some harbor porpoise swimming in the current lines of Guemes Channel and Rosario Strait. At Bird Rocks, we found some harbor seals hauled out. We continued south and as we were headed along the San Juan Island shoreline, we found orcas! It was members of J pod: J38 (Cookie), J34 (Doublestuf), J22 (Oreo), J17 (Princess Angeline), J31 (Tahlequah), J47 (Notch) and J44 (Moby). We hung out with them as they cruised south. We eventually had to head off in search of other things and we stopped by Whale Rocks. It was there we found several Steller sea lions hauled out, warming up. We cruised back home with lots of sunshine and flat calm waters.
-Steller sea lion
We left our marina and very quickly we found our first wildlife of the day, a Steller sea lion munching on some lunch. We couldn’t see what it was but it was cool to see him thrashing around. The wildfire looked like it was under control, with far less smoke. They were continuing to dump water on it as we passed by. We continued to Rosario Strait where we slowed down at Bird Rocks and saw several harbor seals hauled out. We continued to Colville Island where we found more harbor seals hauled out. We pushed west and it wasn’t too long before we found members of J pod orcas! We hung out with: J38 (Cookie), J34 (Doublestuf), J22 (Oreo), J17 (Princess Angeline), J31 (Tahlequah), J47 (Notch) and J44 (Moby), J28 (Polaris), J46 (Star), J53 and J54. We had a breach and a couple of big spyhops (from J31)! We watched as they swam around in the calm waters. It was truly beautiful. Eventually, we had to head back toward homeport. We stopped by Whale Rocks and saw several Steller sea lions hauled out on the rocks. We also spotted two mature bald eagles, one on Long Island and one on Swirl Rocks. Through the south end of Lopez Island we saw several marbled murrelets, a couple of harbor seals, a black-tail deer and a great blue heron. Other birds we saw today were: red neck phalaropes, common murres, pigeon guillemots, rhinoceros auklet, cormorants, a harlequin duck and several gulls.