Posted by: onboardtourswhales | October 1, 2011

Orcas by Land

September 30, 2011 Friday

Autumn has arrived, we’ve had a gale come through, yet the whales are still here looking for salmon! They had been in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, so I checked the tides and saw a strong 8.6 flooding tide, peaking around 6:30pm. I thought if they were going to stay in the Salish Sea, they would take advantage of the last of the currents to head up Haro Strait. I drove (by car) to the San Juan Island Westside Land Preserve at about 5:45pm, no Orcas, so I headed south to see if they were still milling about. Pulling over at False Bay, I spotted a trailing group of whales heading northwest! So I went back to the Hannah Heights area at 6:30pm, delighted to see the Killer Whales all spread in small groups, out in Haro Strait traveling northwest. After awhile I noticed a female with 2 youngsters stopped, just logging-resting at the surface. Then the whales up north turned and swam back, rejoining the other groups. I wonder if that female was a matriarch deciding they were going back south, enjoying the slack water, utilizing the ebbing tide?! The sun had set, light fading, 7:30pm now, yet I stayed until I couldn’t hear their strong breaths anymore. They were going out of sight and sound, time for me to go home too!

Canada Geese flying into False Bay

Orca lunging in Haro Strait

Orcas in Haro Strait

Orcas in the fading light

Orcas at sunset

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