Sunshine and zodiac tours watching transient Orcas - what a perfect start to this Sunday!
September 30, 2011
The weatherman predicted that our guests who have a rainy day on the water today, but not surprisingly, he was wrong! We sailed out of the Harbour with the sun breaking through the cloud layer and the water was ideal for traveling and whale watching. We made our way east, aiming for the shores of San Juan Island. Once we got there, we could see blows from resident orcas in all directions. The whales appeared to be very spread out, looking for and chasing salmon individually. Orcas do display many different tactics for hunting, but today was solo fishing day. We were able to identify K-21, a mature male in K-pod commonly called Cappuccino. We also saw several females with their shorter, curved dorsal fins, and young whales who appear much smaller than their adult family members. After watching the whales head north, they changed direction and started heading back south. We found our first group of whales of the day, who we soon identified as the J-16 matriline. Orcas are a female dominated society, each family led by the head female. J-16 or Slick, is a mother of four, all her children traveling with her. We were treated to the sights of Mike (J-26), Keet (J-33), Alki (J-36), and Echo (J-42). You can learn more about this family and even adopt a whale of your own at www.whale-museum.org. On our way home, we stopped by Chatham Island and Chain Islands to see the Harbour Seals relaxing on the rocks. Harbour Seals will spend over 40% of their day lying out on the rocks to conserve precious energy that they would otherwise burn in the frigid waters. Everyone onboard enjoyed their afternoon with the whales, many excited about their next wildlife adventure!