I went whale watching again today, but this time from Bellingham, Washington. This puts you in the midst of the San Juan Islands. It was a great trip and I was fortunate to see another pod of Orcas.
We saw transient Orcas. There are transient Orcas and resident Orcas in Puget Sound. The naturalist told us that the transient Orcas, many of which eat seals, live to about 40. The resident Orcas have been documented to live to 100 and they eat salmon. Unfortunately, the salmon stocks are so depleted that the resident Orcas are struggling. But, the transient Orca numbers are increasing because the seal population is also increasing.
Apparently, sometimes you get to see the transient Orcas actively feeding. Our Orcas were traveling a regular route where they are often successful in getting a seal. When they do, they drown it and then split it up between the pod. We saw a pod of about 4-5 whales that included a juvenile.
I also saw some seals. They are just beginning to have their young.
I saw lots of seabirds including these Oystercatchers.
And, there were great views of Mount Baker and the San Juan Islands.