The pod had been spotted near Lime Kiln (very typical place to see them), which is on the west side of San Juan Island. We were, of course, at Friday Harbor, pretty much diametrically opposed to them. The caller hadn’t said which way the orcas were headed, so we decided to go around to the north and try to intercept them. If we had gone around the south side of the island and they were headed north, we figured we may never catch them in our slow boat.
The first good sign was as we approached the lighthouse and saw three high-speed whale watching tour boats zip to the same location and stop. It took us an hour+ to cover that same distance, but as we got closer, we started to see the dorsal fins breaking the water through the binoculars.
Pretty soon we were amongst them. We cut our engines and floated. One orca came from our port side, straight at the boat and dove underneath us to surface on the opposite side ~ playing? Who knows, but it was magnificent. We saw three orcas breaching, several spy-hopping, and many slapping their flukes on the water.
We’ve got the kiddos with us now and are at anchor for the weekend nearer to Seattle. Tomorrow ends the vacation; it’s been lovely.