Naturalist Lauren, Captain Gabe, and I left the dock this afternoon with some of the warmest weather we’ve had in days. Because of the fog, we avoided the south and west sides of the island. We needed to get to Discovery Island because there was a humpback whale reported there, and we would have perfect visibility getting there if we went around the north side of the island.

Although the breeze was brisk, guests were in good spirits along the way. We spotted many porpoises and of course enjoyed cruising past Speiden and having a crystal clear sky over Mount Baker.

When we arrived on scene, I was thrilled to see that we actually had two humpback whales! Double the awe! Usually these guys surface to breath 3-5 times before taking a fluke-up, deeper, dive. But these guys must have fluked-up after every other breath, and a few times with every single breath. Although I know that staying under for a long time is totally natural for them, I love when they surface frequently. This species is capable of remaining under water for 45 minutes, and when males are singing on their breeding ground they will remain underwater for their entire 30-minute song. These two were only taking 1-2 minute dives, sometimes even just seconds between fluke-ups! Hopefully, guests got a lot of the classic whale tail photos.

On the way in, we stopped at Whale Rocks and enjoyed some sleepy Stellar sea lions, as well as quite a few that swam past the boat!

A lovely trip to come back to after my weekend.


Naturalist Alex

M/V Sea Lion

San Juan Safaris