It’s been a while since the last time we had to travel far north out of Friday Harbor, but this afternoon that’s just what we did to spot some killer whales. The ride up was beautiful! The water was like glass, the sun was shining, and the breeze was warmer than it has been all season. Plus, harbor porpoise were in no shortage as the surfaced in every direction from our boat as we motored north of East Point.

We saw our first, large Orca dorsal fin slice through the water at 48º52.88’N 122º56.61’W. It was L-87 “Onyx.” We thought he might be alone, but there were two females, J-2 “Granny” swimming along with J-8 “Spieden” not too far behind him. Everyone was super excited not only to see the 101 year old matriarch of the southern resident killer whales, but also to see the difference between the tall, triangular dorsal fin of the adult male killer whale compared to the smaller, lunate shaped dorsal fins of the females. And while all this was going on, Mt. Baker was the backdrop, giving the opportunity for amazing pictures.

~Kristen, Naturalist, San Juan Safaris