June 13, 2018
Monday was an exciting day for kayakers on the west side of San Juan island. The Discovery Sea Kayak full day kayaking tour saw an endless array of wildlife all amidst the gorgeous backdrop of the Olympic mountains and the Haro Strait. Even before launching from San Juan County Park, the group saw members of the Southern Resident Killer Whale pods. From the perfect vantage point of the bluff on the north end of Smallpox Bay, they were able to watch members of J, K, and L pod swim by. There was lots of splashing and surfacing with plenty of tail lobbing and pectoral fin slapping. Once the Orcas had passed by, making their way north towards Henry Island, the kayakers were able to take off and head south towards Dead Man’s Bay for lunch. Along the way, they witnessed several bald eagle chicks working on flapping their wings in their treetop nests, a couple harbor seals bobbing in kelp beds, and several varieties of seabirds.A lunch break at the beach provided everyone with a good rest and opportunity to stretch their legs with a short hike towards the Lime Kiln Lighthouse. At one of the Park overlooks they were greeted by three harbor porpoises playing in the current and some black oystercatchers wading along the tide pools. Back in the kayaks after lunch, the group caught the flood tide north, drifting back past the lighthouse, historic lime kilns, and basalt cliffs. Rafted up and facing the shoreline, they were able to see the harbor porpoises pass by again. With a loud snort and splash, a sea lion expertly swam south against the current and surfaced several times on its way down the coast. The kayakers were able to see two more sea lions before landing back at Smallpox Bay and making their way back to Friday Harbor. All in all another great day kayaking the San Juan Islands!
Photo Credits: Bald Eagles: http://www.media.mnn.com
Harbor Porpoise: Danielle Dion, http://www.porpoise.org
Black Oystercatchers: Jukka Jantunen, http://www.nationalaudubonsociety.org