There wasn’t a wave to be seen on the waters as M/V Sea Lion calmly departed from Friday Harbor on this beautiful day in May.  The air was warm and morals were high as we scooted over to Green Point on Spieden Island to view some Stellar’s sea lions frolicking in the water (these water bears look much more graceful in the water than they do land). We hugged the evergreen-sided slopes and found not one, not two, not three, not even four, but FIVE bald eagles in the trees above the water line. A young juvenile was spotted in addition to two probable mating pairs. There was even a pair sitting above from a young harbor seal who was casually floating in the water and eyeing down our boat.

We soon zoomed away in search of whales. Time passed with no other whale-watching vessels nearby, and then BAM! We spotted a humpback whale! Our boat cruised along and alone with the humpback, and after a long dive, we turned the vessel off and waited. Silence was broken with a giant exhale from the humpback as it rose above the water just feet from our boat! We were alone and getting mugged! Smiles and camera flashes erupted, and we happily watched as the whale glided beyond our boat in the incredibly calm waters. We watched the whale for some time before heading back to San Juan Island. We passed Spieden Island where we spotted more harbor seals, Sika deer, Stellar’s sea lions, and a bald eagle. As we slowed down entering Friday Harbor, we even had a Great Blue heron greeting us to cap off the excellent day! We couldn’t have asked for a better day on the Salish Sea.


Kelsey, Naturalist on M/V Sea Lion, Seattle Orca Whale Watching