August 17th, 2014
There’s nothing quite like transient orca whales in hunting mode, and today we are lucky to watch the T-37’s as they circle an island that is a harbor seal haul out. Small seal heads bob in the water close to shore, one or two seals are up on the beach, but there’s a lot of action from this orca whale family, swimming back and forth close to shore.
After a complete circle of two islands out in the middle of Haro Strait, they move out to more open water. How many seals are left behind?
Before we move on a tufted puffin lands right beside the boat! Beautiful guy…and what a flashy dresser!
Now on our way back to Friday Harbor we slow down to check out this gathering of birds. Something is definitely happening below the surface….but what?
We get our answer with the surfacing of a minke whale! And it surfaces several times, giving everyone a good look. These usually solitary whales are often a challenge to spot…but not today!
Another beautiful bird appears while we watch the minke whale, a rhinocerous auklet. This is a “cousin” of the tufted puffin. Lovely birds on grey water…I suppose winter is out there somewhere, moving toward us.
In the afternoon we find J pod whales moving up the westside of San Juan Island…they are fishing for salmon…right along with the commercial fish boats…and recreational fishermen as well. The big boat only pulls in about 10 fish. Enough for everyone? We hope so.
Another wonderful day on the water…but today, for the first time, something about the temperature, the light…the water…hinted at the summer’s passing….here we go…on to a new season.