It was all about the killer whales today as we left Friday Harbor heading south, but we did see a large group of harbor seals hauled out on a rocky island on the way. After rounding Cattle Point heading around the west side of the island, we spotted two members of J-pod just outside False Bay. It was an adult female and a smaller whale that looked like a calf.

The whales were traveling south but stopped moving and started to dive and surface in one spot. We turned off the boat to watch and see what they were up to. Then, we saw the white underside of the calf’s head followed by a squeaky sound. The whale was vocalizing above water! That is something I’ve never experienced before! The whole boat was silent and focused until the female, who we identified as J-16 or “Slick”, changed direction and surprised us by surfacing near our boat’s stern. The smaller calf followed, both sticking around for quite some time. It was amazing! After they swam away we circumnavigated San Juan Island before heading back to the harbor. Definitely one of my best days!

~Kristen, Naturalist, San Juan Safaris