Orca Whales in Rosario Strait
7/15/2010: We didn't have to go far to find whales today. Within thirty minutes of leaving the dock we spotted some orcas swimming southward in Rosario Strait. It was J-pod, and by the time we met up with them they were south of Bird Rocks. They were very surface active from the get go. As we arrived we saw one spyhop after another from adults as well as calves. Soon we also started seeing several breaches and cartwheels too. We ended up seeing more spyhops today than I've seen on any trip this year. As we approached Colville Island we peeled off for a few minutes to look at some harbor seals on the rocks there, and an immature bald eagle that was nearby. Next we joined back up with J-pod. J19, Shachi, and J41, Eclipse gave us some good views as they swam by along with J1 Ruffles. As the orcas approached Swirl Rock, J27 Blackberry, and another orca did three breaches in a row. It almost looked like a competition for them. Another orca cartwheeled four times. Next we cruised over to take a look at a few bald eagles near a nest at the south end of Lopez. As we watched the adult near the nest two immature bald eagles busted out of the trees chasing each other around. On our way back toward the dock we stopped one more time to look at J-pod and we also had some great bald eagle viewing along the shoreline of Burrows Island. We saw an adult bald eagle swoop down attempting to catch a fish, but he missed. What a great day! Naturalist Bart Rulon.