Whale Tales and Mating Puffins

By Captain Ken Rea

This morning we spent some time trying to see Minke Whales and a Humpback Whale, both were not being particularly cooperative, but we did see more of them than what my lens captured.

We also got to see some Tufted Puffins including a mating ritual and two who were mating, a first for me. Such beautiful birds. The Stellar Sea Lions are starting to come back, miss them when they are gone.

For the afternoon tour, I knew there was a chance that the Southern Resident Killer Whales would make their way down from Canada and sure enough they did. I was planning on returning to the Humpback but as I was leaving the harbor, I received word that the Resident Orca had dropped back down into USA waters, so I headed up to them.

The first whale we happened upon was J26 Mike. He is such a beauty and his big tall sail of a dorsal fin. Next, we moved on the see J31 Tsuchi and her calf J56 Tofino and one other with them. Then on to see a group of six and another of four and sometime with J38 Cookie, witnessing him pouncing on a salmon. I put the hydrophone down and we heard a few vocals but mostly echolocation clicks searching for salmon.

There was almost zero wind with the pod, and I was sweating like crazy in the hot sun. A very beautiful day on the water.

Ken Rea, owner and operator of the Spirit of Orca, is also the tour guide, photographer and naturalist on his Whale Watching and Wildlife Tours in the Salish Sea, San Juan Island, Washington.

Photos by Ken Rea

To learn more about Captain Ken, visit https://spiritoforca.com


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