Tag Archives: killer whales

End Of Season Report – Lots Of Whales & Sunshine All Summer Long!

What an amazing season this was – the weather was close to perfect with lots of warm sunshine, but this was topped by the number of whale sightings. With the season over we saw whales on just over 95% of our cruises, and there was a great variety of whales to be seen as well. In addition to the three resident pods of Orca whales (J, K and L pods), we saw lots of transient Orcas, Minke whales, Humpback whales (especially in May and September), Gray whales and towards the end of the season we even saw a Fin whale a few times.

This season also saw the resident group grow by 5 – 4 of these babies just received names (Scarlet, Nova, Sonic and Windsong) and a fifth (L-122) was just born a few weeks ago and will be given a name soon.

Thanks to everyone who joined us on a tour this season – we’re already at work getting ready for next summer!

Whales & Wildlife Report: So Many Whale Sightings!

It has been an amazing summer filled with great weather and lots and lots of whale sightings. The majority of the time we’ve been seeing the three resident pods of Orca whales (J, K and L pods), with occasional transient Orca and Humpback whale sightings. Add absolutely amazing weather, with lots of sunshine and warm temperatures, and it’s been one of the best seasons in recent years. It’s not over yet though – we still have over a month of tours left. More information can be found at: http://www.whales.com/Cruises/San-Juan-Adventure-Full-Day-Cruise.aspx

Whales & Wildlife Report: June 19-21 Beautiful Days In The San Juans

We have really enjoyed all of the sunshine we’ve received this spring – it’s been absolutely gorgeous just about every day we’ve been out this season. It’s now summer, and this weather is set to continue for the next 7-10 days or so. We’ve seen lots of wildlife on recent tours – Minke whales have been plentiful, and yesterday we saw a group of Orca whales on the west side of San Juan Island. Saturday was the best though – transient Orcas (T-69’s) on the outbound trip to Friday Harbor, and a different group of transient Orcas (T-65’s) on the way back to Bellingham. If you want to join us on a whale watch this summer, more information can be found here: http://www.whales.com/Cruises/San-Juan-Adventure-Full-Day-Cruise.aspx

Lots Of Whales – Orcas And Humpbacks

As we move from weekend whale watching tours to daily tours, we’re encourages by all of the great whale sightings we’ve had so far this season, as well as the amazing weather forecast over the next 7-10 days or so. Although there was some light rain today, it’s supposed to warm up into the weekend, with temps in the lower 80s. Now’s a great time to head out to the San Juan Islands on our whale watching tour and beat the summer crowds, while enjoying some great summertime warmth out on the water.

Here are a few photos from some of our recent tours – the first four of which came from from one of our passengers (First four photos below courtesy of Webb Photos).

Incredible Whale Sightings in May!

The Victoria Star has been out on our deluxe whale watching tour of the San Juan Islands on Saturdays and Sundays in May and has encountered a all sorts of whales throughout the islands! Last weekend we had a great show with a humpback whale off of Saturna Island and also found J-Pod off of False Bay on San Juan Island. Our resident Orca had one of their newborn calves with them and its mother was proudly pushing it up out of the water to show it off to our passengers! Sunday’s cruise was capped off with an extremely rare sighting of transient Orca whales inside Bellingham Bay. As the ship was returning to our Fairhaven dock, we were greeted by a group huge male killer whales looking for dinner! Captain Don “San Juan” Wight described them as “Just massive!”. We will continue to be running our deluxe whale tour featuring our Northwest salmon lunch and 2-hour port call in Friday Harbor on the weekends in May and everyday beginning June 1st. Come enjoy a day in the San Juan Islands with us!

Whales & Wildlife Report: September 7, 2014 – Sunshine & Whales

While the kids are back to school and many people have wrapped up their summer vacationing, we’re still running tours daily through September 21st. The sunshine and whale sightings, which have been plentiful throughout the summer, continued this weekend. We had sightings of resident and transient Orca whales, as well as Minke whales, all weekend long. Their location has varied each day – one day we saw them north near Patos Island, then today we watched another group south of San Juan and Lopez Islands.

Whale & Wildlife Report – July 25-27th – Orca and Minke Whales

It’s been absolutely amazing out in the San Juans the past few days, lots of sunshine and temperatures in the 70’s. Orca whales were a bit elusive the last couple of days, but we were fortunate to find Minke Whales. Our luck changed today though – we found Orca whales up to the northwest of Roche Harbor. There is lots of sun in the forecast all week long – hope to have you out there with us!

Bird Watching Cruise Report – July 5th, 2014

Our third bird cruise of the season was to go and see the Tufted Puffins on Smith Island. Smith Island is a 15 acre rocky island that is slowly eroding away because it is in the middle of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. In the winter, the winds and waves can come in from the open Pacific Ocean. A 100 years ago, Smith Island was 100 acres. It is used by the US Coast Guard, with various equipment and navigational aids. It used to have a lighthouse, but that long ago fell off its bluff and into the ocean. No one lives on the island anymore. Smith Island has the only nesting colony left in the San Juan Islands for the elusive Tufted Puffin. Occasional sightings are known of this bird there in the summer, so we set out to see if they might be there. To our surprise we had seven puffins that we sighted. On the island were numerous eagles and nesting pair up in a tower. There were also harbor seals with their pups, one of which was nursing. There were numerous Rhinoceros Auklets in the area in their full breeding plumage. On the way home we heard that our resident J pod Orcas were in the area (killer whales). So we had an great time watching them slowly swim in a resting mode.

Special thanks to Jim Bachman, who took all of the great photos above.

Our next bird cruise will be on Saturday August 2nd.

Our species list follows:


Canadian Goose

Harlequin Ducks

Surf Scoter

Western Grebe

Double Crested Cormorant

Pelagic Cormorant

Great Blue Heron

Turkey Vulture

Bald Eagle

Black Oystercatcher

Heerman’s Gull

California Gull

Glaucous Winged Gull

Common Murre

Pigeon Guillemot

Marbled Murrelet

Rhinoceros Auklet

Tufted Puffin

Rock Pigeon

Belted Kingfisher

American/Northwest Crow


Violet Green Swallow