[Naturalist Sarah – 09/10/2017 – M/V Sea Lion – 12:00pm & 04:30 Charter]

Summer time in the San Juan Islands usually means sunny weather, beach cookouts, and time spent out on the water. The summer also usually means that the Southern Resident Killer Whales can be found along the west side of San Juan Island. This summer has been different. Sure, we’ve had beautiful sunny weather, we’ve had many cookouts on the beach, and of course we’ve had an amazing summer on the water, but we have barely seen our Southern Resident Killer Whales. Historically usually see our three pods, J, K & L, nearly every day following the summer salmon run. This year’s summer run of Chinook salmon has been very low, prompting low sightings of our Resident ecotype.

This means that anytime we have gotten to see our resident whales this summer has been just amazing. Over the last couple of weeks members of L Pod have been periodically spotted in our waters. These fish-eating whales are most likely following the fall run of Chinook and chum salmon.

Afternoon Tour – 12:00pm

We left the harbor and headed south through San Juan Channel towards Whale Rocks. We had awesome looks at the Steller’s sea lions hauled out on the rocks, before peeling away to look for orcas.

We were lucky enough to find members of the L55 matriline spread out and fishing over Salmon Bank at the south end of San Juan Island. We had a great encounter with the social whales.

Enjoy some photos from your tour!

Steller's sea lionSouthern Resident Killer WhaleSouthern Resident Killer Whale & Kelp

Killer whale with her mouth open Orca

Sunset Charter – 04:30pm

After such a great afternoon, we were very excited to head back out on to the water for a sunset charter. Luckily the orcas hadn’t traveled very far at all. We had such an amazing encounter with the family of whales.

Enjoy some photos from your tour!

Birds spread out on the surface Southern Resident Killer Whale L55 Nugget L55 Nugget's Matriline L55's with little L123 Lazuli