Another amazing day out here in the San Juan Islands; we had beautiful blue skies, sunshine, flat calm waters, and Minke Whales!
We motored south along the east side of San Juan Island and saw over 50 Harbor Seals hauled out on Turn Island while a mature Bald Eagle perched in a nearby tree. We then continued south where we saw at least 10 harbor porpoise foraging. As we rounded Cattle Point, at the southern end of San Juan Island, we found three Minke Whales near Hein Bank (48°21.66N, 123°03.34W).
The whales appeared to be busy foraging in these highly productive waters. At times the whales could be seen from both sides of the boat providing awesome photo and viewing opportunities. We were all smiles spending time with these normally shy and elusive whales.
On our way back north we saw a California Sea Lion taking a siesta on a channel buoy. Then we stopped at Whale Rocks where we found a large, male Steller Sea Lion climbing out of the water onto shore. We were all mesmerized by his agility, using all four of his flippers to move about and walk on land. He provided us with a few poses before leaping back into the water producing a cannon-ball size splash. A stop at Long Island provided us with an opportunity to see an active Bald Eagles nest while a mature bald eagle soared in the skies above. What a great day out here on the water!
Amy, Naturalist, San Juan Safaris Whale Watching and Wildlife Tours