Upon departing the boat harbor we traveled north through the San Juan Channel to the west side of Waldren Island and into Boundary Pass. As we motored through Boundary Pass towards Patos Island, Captain Mike saw some splashing in the distance. Upon further investigation it was a Steller Sea Lion feeding on a fish. The Stellar Sea Lion surfaced with the fish in its mouth then forcefully tossed its head from side to side, flinging the fish and tearing bits off the carcass. We were all mesmerized by the carnage.
We then continued motoring north towards Patos Island and found roughly 20 harbor porpoise near Alden Point. Due to the harbor porpoises’ erratic behavior, swimming fast and changing direction frequently, along with the strong tidal currents churning up the water in this area, we suspected the harbor porpoise were foraging. What an amazing view of these normally shy and elusive animals.
As we motored back down through Boundary Pass we stopped at East Point on Saturna Island to view two different groups of pinnipeds hauled out on the rocks: Harbor Seals and Steller Sea Lions. We counted over 28 Steller Sea Lions at one end of the rocky outcrop and at least 108 Harbor Seals at the other end! So COOL! What a rare treat to be able to compare the morphological and behavioral differences between these two species.
Let’s not forget the number of bald eagles we saw throughout the trip. There were mature bald eagles, immature bald eagles, flying eagles, and eagles resting on tree branches. We always love seeing these majestic birds.
Amy, Naturalist, San Juan Safaris Whale Watching and Wildlife Tours