Because there had been a report of Minke Whales (plural, not singular usually out solo), Captain Craig made up his mind that we were going to see whales no matter how far we had to go. On the way south down the east side of San Juan Island we did make a brief stop to look at 2 mature bald eagles. One was in its nest.

A bit further south of San Juan Island on a rock outcropping there were 6 or more big Stellar Sea Lions having a nap. We stopped to look at them then took off towards Iceberg Point. We traveled at about 16 knots for at least another ½ hour. It was so clear today guests were photographing Mt. Baker, the Olympic Mountains and the Cascade Mts.

We met up with 2 other boats already out in the area looking for the whales. Minkes do not spend much time at the surface at all – so one must keep their eyes moving over the water alert to the small dorsal fin. We stayed in the area about ½ an hour to watch them surface 3 times. We were Lat.48.21.9 – Long.122.56.72

The Captain received word that Transient Orca Whales were around, but we would need to boat at least an additional 30 minutes to get there. Off we went again. We arrived on scene at Lat. 48.12.57 – Long. 123.15.29. At first we did not see anything, then after 10 minutes – whale breath and dorsal fins. We counted 6 Transient Killer Whales. We believe that T-113 was amongst them. There was not a pattern to their movement and they did not appear to be hunting.

This tour was unusual in many regards. Minke Whales, seen infrequently. Transient Orca Whales in the same tour. A tour that took 4.5 hours to complete (usually 3 hours). And picture perfect weather. It was nothing short of magnificent.

You should have been there,

Naturalist Colleen
San Juan Safaris Whale Watch & Wildlife Tour