Another beautiful, sunny, warm day around the San Juan Islands! And even better, killer whales were in no shortage. We left Friday Harbor heading south with word that there were whales along the west side of San Juan Island. But that wasn’t all we saw along the way to the whales; there were harbor seals soaking up some of the glorious sun as well as two large bald eagles perched high in the tree tops.

The whales came next, just off False Bay (48º 27.462’ N 123º 03.376’ W). We first saw a huge male who looked to be alone, but after a few more minutes we realized that there were whales scattered everywhere. The male was later identified as J-27 or “Blackberry” and another male around was identified as J-34 or “Doublestuf.” Then we saw a group of four females swimming close together. They surfaced almost in unison, allowing us to hear their powerful exhalations before diving back under. Finally, before having to head back we watched as the whales moved close to each other closer to the shore. They started to become playful: cartwheeling, lob tailing, and swimming upside down, allowing us to see their beautiful white undersides.

~Kristen, Naturalist, San Juan Safaris