Last Day San Juan Islands

by chris cunningham

Special guest Mom The Blogger…

Woke up to a few clouds which finally cleared to bright sunny skies! Had breakfast, chatted and decided we would take one last drive to “the other side” to look for — what else? WHALES! Stopped by Lime Kiln and Phil spotted them heading south!!! The whale boats hadn’t even found them yet! WOW-we really weren’t expecting to see them! They were just cruising south quite rapidly…no time to play! We saw ( Capt. Phil sez) 4 females seem to be the first ones, 1 male and a juvenile, for sure, figure there were about 20 but counting black fins can be challenging! Chris was snapping pics and we kept scouring the water for their next surface. One of the males did a spy-hop —–way out of the water! Was fun to watch them and try to figure out where they would surface next. Just pulled up a rock and watched the spectacular picture before us…they are amazing animals. Besides seeing the whales, the water was soooo blue and the skies so clear we could see the buildings on Vancouver Island….much clearer than yesterday when we “made the loop” in the boat.

Once the “parade of whales” had passed, we too, like they, headed south to South Beach to see if we could catch them down there. It is a low lying rocky beach strewn with logs of various sizes and rocks of all shapes sizes but each one rolled smooth as if they had all come out of a rock tumbler… actually guess they had as they rolled through the water. Chris headed south, Phil north and I started sifting through the rocks to find some specimens to take home…..all of us spanning the waters for the —–big black fins! The elusive whales were gone again…no where to be found. We all enjoyed the quiet time on that serene peaceful beach. Finally decided we were all hungry and would head for the boat after one last glimpse of Cattle Pass. We could tell from the beach it had some white caps and was a bit “gnarly” compared to the time we went through it yesterday…..drove over closer and it was moving quickly-the opposite direction we had passed through it yesterday. Chris snapped some more pics and headed for “The Brewery” for lunch.

Pacific Northwest 2005

Chris’ plane was to leave at 6:35, so needed to get back so he could catch his flight. Had a chance to chat some more about the incredible animals we have observed. Checked out his pics and he got a full shot of one that is cruising just the top of the water….quite striking! Gathered up Chris’ things and headed for the plane dock. His plane arrived about 6:10. Six adults and 2 dogs got off the plane..the dogs were only on leashes so had view seats on their journey!!!! One other passenger boarded, Chris got on and they left at 6:20 – 15 minutes before the scheduled departure….no wonder we missed his landing!!! …when they get their passengers they leave-time or not!! Guess with a maximum of 8 passengers one can do that!. Since we missed his landing, we we prepared for his departure. Watching one of the other planes take off about an hour earlier, looked like he would be leaving right over us for some really good pics! The plane motored away from the dock out into the San Juan Channel and took off out there without winging back our way so missed his take off as well! Did get some pics of the plane motoring away. Was sure great to have him with us this past week!!!!!! Had a wonderful time! He survived all nights sleeping “on the kitchen table”…..he will probably have a really good nights sleep tonight on a “real mattress”. He will be in Seattle for 3 nights then home Monday morning. The concert tomorrow night is at a place called Gorge Amphitheater overlooking the Columbia River.. Pics look beautiful.

Well, is cold and windy tonight….will see what tomorrow brings……….


And thus concludes Mom The Blogger’s contribution to this weeks posts.