minke, orcas, and porpoises, oh my

In what was surely my last long-distance excursion of the year, Minette and I boated the 100 mile round-trip to San Juan Island. She saw her first harbor porpoises immediately, so we got that merit badge out of the way. Between Smith and Whidbey Islands, she spotted our first Minke whale (~25'), which proved maddeningly hard to photograph—it dove for four minutes at a time in 150' deep water, and, well, I certainly didn't spot a pattern. We headed up to Lopez to look for the solitary gray whale there but didn't find it, and the resident orcas weren't where we'd hoped they'd be west of SJI, so we headed due south for Hein Bank. Voila. A pod of residents. All in all, a fabulously successful day.

No terribly exciting whale photos, but the harbor seals accommodated me nicely.



Minke dorsal fin