All Aboard Sailing

Another humpback whale passing Friday Harbor

October 31, 2017 – Today we got word of a humpback whale just north of our harbor. So, we jumped in the skiff to get a quick look. We believe this humpback whale was BCY0160 ‘Heather’. She passed by Friday harbor two days before with ‘Crater’.

Humpback whale tail of BCY0160 ‘Heather'

Humpback whale tail of BCY0160 ‘Heather’

Humpback whale BCY0160 ‘Heather'

Humpback whale BCY0160 ‘Heather’

Humpback whale BCY0160 ‘Heather'

Humpback whale BCY0160 ‘Heather’

Humpback whale tail of BCY0160 ‘Heather'

Humpback whale tail of BCY0160 ‘Heather’

Evening light on Turn Island

Evening light on Turn Island

Sunset over Friday Harbor

Sunset over Friday Harbor


Sailing with transient orcas T2C’s and 2 humpback whales

October 29, 2017 – It was a fall day on the water where those bursts of sunshine felt so good. There were not as many sea lions on Whale Rocks as normal. Some were rafted up in groups acting social and others were spread all over presumably fishing. A large group was gathered behind Goose Island in the shallows.  South of Long Island we arrived on scene to see the transient killer whale family known as the T2C’s enjoying their lunch as the gulls circled looking for scraps. This is a special orca family for many reasons. T2C2 is a 12 yr old male orca who has scoliosis. He is fully dependent on his family to hunt and share the meals with him. They must have patience to wait for him to keep up as he constantly lags behind due to his disability. After their meal the whales socialized and played in a tactile group which was fun to see. Sailing in some strong gusty winds clenched our decision to reef the main sail to make things more manageable. Tacking back in forth in Griffin Bay with orcas, and to our surprise David found two humpbacks in the distance heading our way. We obtained some off angle photos but believe the humpbacks to be BCXukKeta2015#2 “Nike” and BCX1057 “Divot”. This is the 3rd day in a row that a pair of humpbacks has gone down San Juan Channel passing Friday Harbor!

Sailing downwind

Sailing downwind wing on wing

Steller sea lions on Whale Rocks

Steller sea lions on Whale Rocks

Steller sea lion

Steller sea lion

Transient orca T2C2

Transient orca T2C2

Transient orca breaching

Transient orca breaching

Transient orca breaching

Transient orca breaching

T2C's heading toward Cattle Pass

T2C’s heading toward Cattle Pass

T2C1 with Mt Baker

T2C1 with Mt Baker

Orca "rainblow"

Orca “rainblow”

T2C2 with mom T2C and newest calf T2C4

T2C2 with mom T2C and newest sibling T2C4 (born early 2017)

T2C2 with older brother T2C1

T2C2 with older brother T2C1

T2C1 exhale

Transient orca T2C1 exhale

T2C2

T2C born 1989

T2C born 1989

Orca tail

Orca tail

Humpback whale BCXukKeta2015#2 “Nike"

Humpback whale BCXukKeta2015#2 “Nike”

Humpback whale BCXukKeta2015#2 “Nike"

Humpback whale BCXukKeta2015#2 “Nike”

Humpback whale BCX1057 "Divot"

Humpback whale BCX1057 “Divot”

Humpback whale BCX1057 “Divot”

Humpback whale BCX1057 “Divot”

T2C's heading up San Juan Channel in the sunset

T2C’s heading up San Juan Channel in the sunset

Sailing back at sunset

Sailing back at sunset


Another pair of humpbacks passing Friday Harbor

October 28, 2017 – Today felt like a repeat of yesterday. We finished up with some boat maintenance and popped out of the harbor to find two humpbacks traveling down the San Juan Island shoreline. It was stunning – backlit blows are so beautiful. The humpback whales were BCXukKeta2014#1 ‘Crater’ and BCY0160 ‘Heather’.

BCY0160 'Heather'

Humpback whale BCY0160 ‘Heather’

Humpback whale BCXukKeta2014#1 ‘Crater'

Humpback whale BCXukKeta2014#1 ‘Crater’

Backlit humpback whale tail

Backlit humpback whale tail

Humpback whales BCXukKeta2014#1 ‘Crater' and BCY0160 ‘Heather'

Humpback whales BCXukKeta2014#1 ‘Crater’ and BCY0160 ‘Heather’

Humpback whale BCY0160 'Heather'

Humpback whale BCY0160 ‘Heather’

Humpback whale BCY0160 'Heather'

Tail flukes of humpback whale BCY0160 ‘Heather’

Humpback whale BCXukKeta2014#1 ‘Crater' with Mt Baker

Humpback whale BCXukKeta2014#1 ‘Crater’ with Mt Baker

Diving humpback whale

Diving humpback whale

Humpback whale BCXukKeta2014#1 ‘Crater'

Humpback whale BCXukKeta2014#1 ‘Crater’

Humpback whale BCY0160 'Heather' with "rainblow"

Humpback whale BCY0160 ‘Heather’ with “rainblow”

Humpback whale BCXukKeta2014#1 ‘Crater'

Tail flukes of humpback whale BCXukKeta2014#1 ‘Crater’

A hike at Turn Island  State Park

A hike at Turn Island State Park

Light through the trees

Light through the trees

Autumn colors

Autumn is here

Fallen leaves

Fallen leaves


We found 2 humpback whales passing Friday Harbor

October 27, 2017 – As our season is slowing down it’s time to get started with maintenance on ‘Peniel’. Barbara did the brightwork while David prepped for painting the cockpit. After our hard days work, we thought it would be fun to take the skiff out and spend some time on the water. Not even 5 minutes of sitting outside of the harbor, David sees 2 humpback whales! No boats were with them. Barbara was able to ID them as MMX0006 and BCX1193 ‘Zig Zag’. The pair travelled past Friday Harbor, over to Turn Rock, into Griffin Bay, and out through Cattle Pass in the sunset. As we were watching the whales on their last surfacing, up pops what looks like a sea otter. We included one grainy photo in the post. A few days later a sea otter was seen near Lopez in the kelp just south of where we saw it. This is a rare sighting for us and cool to see even if just for a moment.

Humpback whale passing Friday Harbor

Humpback whale BCX1193 passing Friday Harbor

Humpback whale BCX1193 'Zig Zag'

Humpback whale BCX1193 ‘Zig Zag’

Humpback whale MMX0006

Humpback whale MMX0006

Humpback whale with Lopez behind

Humpback whale with Lopez behind

Pair of humpback whales with Mt Baker

Pair of humpback whales with Mt Baker

Humpback deep dive with Mt Baker

Humpback deep dive with Mt Baker

MMX0006

MMX0006

BCX1193 'Zig Zag'

BCX1193 ‘Zig Zag’

Humpback whales BCX1193 with MMX0006

Humpback whales BCX1193 with MMX0006

Humpback whales BCX1193 with MMX0006

Humpback whales BCX1193 and MMX0006 heading towards Griffin Bay

Humpback whales BCX1193 and MMX0006 heading towards Griffin Bay

Humpback whales BCX1193 and MMX0006 heading towards Griffin Bay

Humpback whales BCX1193 and MMX0006 in the sunset

Humpback whales BCX1193 and MMX0006 in the sunset

Humpback whale tail in the sunset

Humpback whale tail in the sunset

MMX0006 in the sunset

MMX0006 in the sunset

We believe this is a sea otter

We believe this is a sea otter

Humpback whales heading off into the sunset

Humpback whales heading off into the sunset

Cattle Point Lighthouse after sunset

Cattle Point Lighthouse after sunset

Boat ride back

Boat ride back


A visit with Biggs/Transient killer whales – T123’s

October 1, 2017 – Good winds for sailing around the San Juan Islands. Up Presidents Channel with the harbor porpoise checking out the Orcas Island coast before crossing over to Waldron Island to sail under gorgeous Pt Disney. Many cormorants and harbor seals on White Rock. New Channel never disappoints – especially since we watched a bald eagle steal a huge fish from a harbor seal! Our timing was perfect to see this event play out. We were excited to hear news of transient orcas around the corner headed our way. It was the T123’s who entered Spieden Channel and traveled over to Flattop Island and onto Pt Disney. A sunset and several smiles warmed the boat on our way back to the harbor.

A beautiful day in the San Juans

A beautiful day in the San Juans

Sailing along Waldron Island shoreline

Sailing along Waldron Island shoreline

Pt Disney, Waldron Island

Pt Disney, Waldron Island

Pt Disney, Waldron Island

Pt Disney, Waldron Island

Pt Disney, Waldron Island

Pt Disney, Waldron Island

Cormorants, White Rock

Cormorants, White Rock

Harbor seals, White Rock

Harbor seals, White Rock

Sailing towards New Channel

Sailing towards New Channel

Cactus Island reflections

Cactus Island reflections

Bull Kelp

Bull Kelp

Harbor seals on Spieden Island

Harbor seals on Spieden Island

Mouflon Rams, Spieden Island

Mouflon Rams, Spieden Island

Bald eagle stealing fish from harbor seal

Bald eagle stealing fish from harbor seal

Bald eagle stealing fish from harbor seal

Bald eagle standing on shore with the fish he stole from the harbor seal as he/she watches

T123 with son T123A in Spieden Channel

T123 with son T123A in Spieden Channel

T123A

T123A

T123A exhaling

T123A exhaling

T123A on his way towards Presidents Channel

T123A on his way towards Presidents Channel

Moon over the San Juans

Moon over the San Juans

 


A break in the clouds brightened the day

September 30, 2017 – Our trip began with a harbor seal eating a humungous salmon that looked as big as he was. Gulls wanted some of it, too. South down San Juan Channel along the Lopez coastline with a pit stops to see the various birds and harbor seals sunning on the rocks. Sea lions moaned and groaned at Whale Rocks as the sky began to let down some drizzle. We circumnavigated San Juan Island spotting a distant minke whale surface a couple times. We also saw what looked to be an elephant seal offshore of Lime Kiln Point Lighthouse. It felt like the rain wasn’t going to let up with all the sudden sprinkles… but the sun came out in the end. Our favorite part of the day was entering New Channel. Gorgeous light, several bald eagles, drifting in the peace and quiet as we ate our supper. We returned to port to see a beautiful sunset.

Harbor seal lifting a large salmon out of the water

Harbor seal lifting a large salmon out of the water

Harbor seals hauled out

Harbor seals hauled out near Deadman Island

Steller sea lions on Whale Rocks

Steller sea lions on Whale Rocks

Cormorants on Whale Rocks

Cormorants on Whale Rocks

Clouds building

Clouds building

Harbor seals on Henry Island

Harbor seals on Henry Island

Harbor seals on Battleship Island

Harbor seals on Battleship Island

Bald eagle under nest on Battleship Island

Bald eagle under nest on Battleship Island

Bald eagle, New Channel

Bald eagle, New Channel

Bald eagle in cedar tree

Bald eagle in cedar tree

Glassy seas, gorgeous light

Glassy seas, gorgeous light

Smiles in the sunshine

Smiles in the sunshine

Harlequin ducks

Harlequin ducks

Harbor seals, Cactus Islands

Harbor seals, Cactus Islands

Sailing back to Friday Harbor

Sailing back to Friday Harbor

Clouds over Yellow Island

Clouds over Yellow Island

Sunset in the San Juans

Last sunset in September

National Geographic cruise ship in Friday Harbor

National Geographic cruise ship in Friday Harbor


Double birthday celebration sail

September 25, 2017 – Gray, cloudy days can be beautiful in the Pacific Northwest especially when you’re out on the water. Excellent lighting for photography where the colors of nature just pop. So many harbor seals hauled out on Flattop and Skipjack Islands – both National wildlife refuges. Cross the border into Canada to explore the Saturna Island shoreline beginning at Monarch Head, a dramatic cliff with honeycomb sandstone holes embedded within. Bald eagles, great blue herons, black oyster catchers. Java Rocks with its own busy eco-system. Dinner in New Channel drifting in peace and tranquility followed by chocolate birthday cake!

Harbor seals on Flattop Island

Harbor seals on Flattop Island

Gorgeous Flattop Island

Zoomed in photo of Flattop Island

Harbor seals on White Rock

Harbor seals on White Rock

Harbor seals on Skipjack Island

Harbor seals on Skipjack Island

Monarch Head, Saturna Island

Monarch Head, Saturna Island

Black Oyster Catchers

Black Oyster Catchers

Harbor seals hauled out

Harbor seals hauled out along the interesting Saturna shoreline

Harbor seals hauled out on Java Rocks

Harbor seals hauled out on Java Rocks

Harbor seals hauled out on Java Rocks

Harbor seals hauled out on Java Rocks

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Bald eagle in Madrone tree

Bald eagle in Madrone tree

Harbor porpoise

Harbor porpoise

Glassy seas - a gray day but sun working to shine through

Glassy seas – a gray day but sun working to shine through

Forest reflections in New Channel

Forest reflections in New Channel

Group of harbor seals swimming together

Group of harbor seals swimming together

Steller sea lion near Green Pt

Steller sea lion near Green Pt

Steller sea lions near Green Pt

Steller sea lions near Green Pt

Surprise Birthday Cake

Surprise Birthday Cake


A sail with a pair of humpbacks

September 24, 2017 – Another day, another adventure! There were harbor seals hauled out at Low Island and several steller sea lions swimming near Green Pt. Some of the “exotic” animals on Spieden Island stood grazing. Excitement filled the air as we saw distant blows of a pair of humpbacks in Haro Strait. We joined travels with BCY0160 ‘Heather’ and BCX0158 ‘Kappa’ all the way to Pender Bluffs. We took the Johns Pass shortcut to enjoy the splendor that surrounds this gorgeous channel. While we were drifting in New Channel up pops a minke whale! What a cool surprise! Winds picked up during our journey home making the heeling quite exciting. That’s what sailing is all about.

Capt David raising the main sail

Capt David raising the main sail

WA State Ferry coming through Wasp Passage

WA State Ferry coming through Wasp Passage

Harbor seals on Sentinel Rock

Harbor seals on Sentinel Rock – Huge container ship in the distance

Harbor seals balancing on rocks

Harbor seals balancing on rocks

Bald eagle nest

Bald eagle nest

Pair of humpbacks swimming up Haro Strait

Pair of humpbacks swimming up Haro Strait as a noisy tanker heads the other direction

Humpback whale BCX0158 'Kappa'

Humpback whale BCX0158 ‘Kappa’

Humpback whale going on a deep dive

Humpback whale going on a deep dive

BCY0160 'Heather' tail slapping

BCY0160 ‘Heather’ tail slapping

Pair of humpback whales, BCY0160 and BCX0158

Pair of humpback whales, BCY0160 and BCX0158

Lovers Leap and Turn Point Lighthouse

Lovers Leap and Turn Point Lighthouse

Bald eagle nest

Bald eagle nest

BCY0160 'Heather' tail slapping

BCY0160 ‘Heather’ tail slapping on her way towards Pender Bluffs

Johns Pass

Johns Pass – a short cut from Boundary Pass to New Channel

Great blue heron standing on kelp

Great blue heron standing on kelp

Sailing in New Channel

Sailing in New Channel

Minke whale, New Channel

Minke whale who popped up as we were about to have supper in New Channel

Minke whale, New Channel

Minke whale, New Channel

Harbor seals in the gorgeous evening light on Cactus Island

Harbor seals in the gorgeous evening light on Cactus Island


A special day with Southern Resident Orcas from J & L Pods

September 23, 2017 – We ventured south out of Cattle Pass to meet Southern Resident killer whales from J and L pods. The orcas came down Rosario Strait and around Lopez Island to forage on the west side of San Juan Island. It was whale soup – whales everywhere you looked. Glassy seas and a mackerel sky. Drift sailing in paradise listening to whales breathing in all directions in the distance. We witnessed several orcas chasing fish, and we hope they caught some big ones.

Sadly, our hearts are crushed to share  some devastating news. As of Sept 19th, J52 was declared deceased by the Center for Whale Research. He was last seen on Sept 15th looking emaciated and revealing severe “peanut head”. As we watched his 18 yr old mother, J36, just one week after, our minds wondered what she may be feeling. These animals are highly emotional. Our hearts go out to her as she carries on following such a tragic loss. The rest of the J16’s were nearby foraging except for J50 who was busy playing with a piece of kelp. She revealed her teeth to us as she spy hopped holding it in her mouth. It is so important that we help our orcas – they need fish!

Harbor seals

Harbor seals

L91 Muncher with calf L122 Magic

L91 Muncher with calf L122 Magic, born 2015

Fried egg jellyfish

Fried egg jellyfish

J31 Tsuchi passing close by us as we drifting under sail

J31 Tsuchi passing close by us as we drifting under sail

Orcas foraging off Lime Kiln Pt State Park

Orcas foraging off Lime Kiln Pt State Park aka Whale Watch Park

Southern Resident Orca heading up Haro Strait

Southern Resident Orca heading up Haro Strait on the west side of San Juan Island

Orca exhale

Orca exhale

Mackerel sky

Mackerel sky

L82 Kasatka heading down island

L82 Kasatka heading down island – shortly after she began chasing a fish with her son, L116 Finn

Sailing with whales in paradise

Sailing with whales in paradise

L116 Finn chasing a fish

L116 Finn chasing a fish

J50 Scarlet showing us her teeth

J50 Scarlet showing us her teeth as she plays with a strand of bull kelp

J50 Scarlet playing with bull kelp

J50 Scarlet playing with bull kelp

J50 Scarlet

J50 Scarlet

Cattle Point Lighthouse and Mt Baker

Cattle Point Lighthouse and Mt Baker in the evening light

Cormorants in the sunset

Cormorants in the sunset

Steller sea lions resting at sunset

Steller sea lions resting at sunset

The life on Whale Rocks

The life on Whale Rocks

Sunset over San Juan Island

Sunset over San Juan Island

Coming back after a hard days work

Coming back after a hard days work


Multiple Minke Whales

September 21, 2017 – Sailed south of of Cattle Pass where the sea lions were frolicking in a big group near Whale Rocks. It was Minke whale galore on Salmon Bank! At least 3 that we can confirm. Some of the best minke whale watching we’ve ever had as they lunged through huge bait balls being sought after by many diving birds and gulls. Incredible day!

Steller sea lion

Steller sea lion watching us

Raft of Steller sea lions

Raft of Steller sea lions

Minke whale

Minke whale

Minke whale

Minke whale

Schooner Spike Africa

Schooner Spike Africa

Minke whale surfacing near the diving birds

Minke whale surfacing near the diving birds

Minke whale surfacing near the diving birds

Minke whale surfacing in the middle of a group of diving birds feeding on forage fish

Minke whale

Minke whale

Minke whale

Minke whale

Minke whale surfacing near the diving birds

Minke whale lunging in the bait ball

Minke whale surfacing near the diving birds

Minke whale surfacing near the diving birds

Minke whale on Salmon Bank

Minke whale on Salmon Bank

Friends enjoying their sail

Friends enjoying their sail as they lounge on our new bean bag chairs

Bald eagle

Bald eagle

Group of harbor seals enjoying the sunshine

Group of harbor seals hauled out enjoying the sunshine

Deer swimming from Turn Island to San Juan Island

Young deer swimming from Turn Island to San Juan Island