Last weekend, Rick and I went up to the San Juan islands again. We love it up there. This time we took Jake and his girlfriend Kelsey and went on a whale watching trip through Orcas Island Eclipse Charters. We've been on their charter trip before and it is a wonderful experience. Captain Dan and his crew are so experienced and knowledgeable that we recommend them to anyone interested in whale watching. One of the nice features about their tour is that they are located right next to the ferry terminal on Orcas Island so you don't even need to drive your car onto the ferry (we catch the ferry from Anacortes to Orcas Island).
Orcas Island is such a charming, secluded, beautifully natural island. There are several B&Bs and hotels to stay on the island. Some are close to the ferry terminal but others are further away on the island, like historic Rosario Resort.
The day started off a little cloudy on the island, but it soon burned off.
The best time to see orca whales in our area is from mid-May to mid-October, but the summer months is what we typically think of around here for prime orca whale watching. On the day we went, our Captain and crew said it was one of the best whale watching days they've had. We saw tons of whales that day, literally and figuratively!
Let's just get right to the whale watching, shall we?
Talk to the tail!
Ferry riders got a treat with this big guy who swam alongside the ferry for awhile.
This fellow has a notch in his dorsal fin. Does anyone know who he is? He belongs to J, K, or L pod. He's not a transient. Many of these orcas are actually known by their pod and have names. Amazing that we can track them so well.
Double Eagle Shot
This eagle had swooped down into the water while the whales were feeding on something and came up with a morsel in its talons, can you see that? I hope he doesn't drop it in that sailboat.
This one's waving at us! I can't even describe the feeling of seeing these beautiful majestic creatures in their own habitat.
The sounds of whales are amazing too. You could hear them splashing in and out of the water and the slapping of their fins and tails. Also, our boat had an underwater microphone of some sort that the Captain could turn on and we could actually hear the whale chatter and squeaks really well. Amazing.
Whoa, imagine being in that little sailboat and having an orca whale come flying out of the water towards you!
Here's another fellow diving out of the water (breaching). He's on his right side in this shot. His dorsal fin, which is the one that normally points up out of the water, is on the left side and his two pectoral fins (arms, haha) are on the right.
There is so much wildlife to be spotted around here, like these seals and seagulls soaking up the sun on these rocks:
If you ever get a chance to experience our beautiful Washington state, I highly recommend a trip to the San Juan islands, especially during the summer. It is natural, peaceful, and simply beautiful. It renews your spirit and makes you happy to be alive, especially when you share a day like this with the people you love. :)