Lauren Fritz, Naturalist, San Juan Safaris, M/V Sea Lion, 1:30 pm Tour

 We could not have asked for better weather or sea conditions today. It was perfect for viewing our humpback whale friends out in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Heather and Divot, two of our regulars in the area, were seen happily spouting about. It never gets old staring at the massive tail flukes dramatically rise up out of the water as they take a dive. So many wonderful photo opportunities!

So how did we know we were looking at Heather and Divot? Their tail flukes! It’s basically a humpback whale’s fingerprint; each is unique to an individual whale. Heather is know for two big patches of white on her flukes, whereas Divot has a little notch on one side of his fluke. We look for these differences when we sight humpbacks to help us ID them. 

Harbor seals, harbor porpoises, and eagles graced us throughout our journey as well. The seals are nearing their pupping season – some of these females look like they’re ready to pop! My favorite time of year out here is when I can look at whales and baby seals, all in the same day. Almost there!

Heather and Divot are pictured above, taking a dramatic breath before dipping back down into the Salish Sea. What an amazing sight. 

Some nice tail shots – and the hump in the back seen before these whales take a dive, which earned them their nickname. 

Lauren Fritz, Whale Watch Naturalist, San Juan Safaris