Posted by: onboardtourswhales | May 17, 2011

San Juan Wildlife

May 16, 2011

Wildlife is part of our everyday life here in the San Juan Islands and Salish Sea. Today a Bald Eagle flew right over as we were preparing to board. Anemones, jellies, shrimp, and crabs are often visible right in the marina.

The delight of visitors seeing this ecosystem and wildlife, many for the first time, is inspiring! We headed out into the Strait of Juan de Fuca, toward the south end of Lopez Island, Many Harbor Seals and male Steller Sea Lions were hauled on Whale Rocks.

There were reports of Orcas heading south down Rosario Channel, against a strong, 10+ foot, flooding tide. J-Pod families were very spread out and many turned back north.

The whales were swimming hundreds of feet from each other, on long dives, coming up to breath. Was it energy saving to stay under the surface while they were swimming against that strong current? As fellow Naturalist Heather said; were they staying under longer to communicate about the hunt for salmon, over that long distance the pod was spread apart? We were happy to watch J-26, J-31, and J-39. (Didn’t see a calf with them, so my guess on J-31 being a new mom is withdrawn)!


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