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Your Next Book Club Pick!

Diane Hammond is a Keiko expert. You may know Diane Hammond as a popular writer of several successful Pacific-Northwest based books, but I was first introduced to her as Keiko the whale’s press secretary. As a naturalist and orca freak, naturally I worshipped Keiko, the world’s most […]

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K-Pod orcas seen from the shore; photo by Libby Baldwin

K-Pod Returns to the San Juans

Over the weekend, orca enthusiasts on the island were thrilled when several members of K-Pod were reported as inbound from an area to the north called Race Rocks. Sure enough, a couple of hours later they were seen making their way down the southern end of San […]

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The view from the Orcas Hotel of the ferry landing

Island Hopping – Visit Orcas Island!

Of course, there is no shortage of amazing ways to fill your days right here on San Juan Island…but the beauty of our archipelago is that each of our ferry-served islands (San Juan, Orcas, Lopez and Shaw) are all unique, and have their own unforgettable experiences to […]

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Need Something To Do on a Cloudy Day on SJI? Here’s 10!

The sun is starting to make its triumphant reappearance here in the San Juan Islands! Thanks to the “rainshadow effect,” we enjoy an average of 250 or more sunny days every year, and receive only about half of the rainfall that our friends to the south in […]

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Charmed by Whales

 Anna Maria and Dave recently enjoyed a well-deserved vacation in Hawaii, and she shared with me the story of an incredible whale encounter that they had. As we approach the start of whale-watching season here on San Juan Island, I wanted to share it with all of […]

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The Blackfish Effect and San Juan Island

One of the hottest films of 2013 wasn’t about an apocalypse, a star-crossed beautiful couple, or superheroes. It was about killer whales. Blackfish, a documentary filmed directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite, began as an investigation into the events leading to the death of veteran Sea World trainer Dawn […]

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Why Do You Travel?

We often hear a lot about the baby boomer generation, but what we’re hearing now is that they’ve got the travel bug. According to an article from NextAvenue.org, boomers spend almost $160 million every year on travel. There are several categories of travel that are becoming increasingly […]

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Photo Courtesy of Captain Jim Maya

Update on our Orcas w/ Captain Jim!

The summer of 2013 was the worst summer in a long time for orca sightings, with the J-Pod whales being sighted only 27 times in our area between April and August. But the winter has been excellent, with lots of orca appearances in addition to an abundance […]

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Photo by Libby Baldwin for San Juan Excursions

A New Year Means a New Chance to Save our Orcas!

As you reflect back on 2013, you may remember moments of both triumph and tragedy in your life. You may think about the highs and lows of the year and use those memories to reflect on what you want to change, or what kinds of New Year’s […]

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J-8, also known as Speiden, is the most recent loss in the southern resident orca community. She and three others will be honored at this year's Day of the Dead ceremony.

Beloved Orca Speiden Missing and Presumed Dead

The months of October and November are not unusual months to see orcas in the San Juan Islands. Although the peak season is May-September, our southern resident community of orcas, most notably J-Pod, tends to stick around and have been sighted every month of the year historically. […]

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J-49 keeping up with Mom. Photo courtesy of Maya's Westside Whale Watch Charters.

The Samish Indian Nation Names New Orca Calf J-49

The Whale Museum has a long history of naming orca calves of the Southern Resident Community, then entering them in the “orca Adoption Program,” which is a symbolic adoption. This year, several Whale Museum staff members had the rare opportunity to participate in a Samish Indian Nation […]

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New Orca Calf for Norther Resident Pod Member A73 Springer

New Calf for Once-Orphaned Mother A73

  There’s a new baby in Canada’s Northern Resident A pod. This calf is of even greater interest than most, because it was born to A73 Springer, who as a 2-year-old orphaned calf, made her way 400 miles south to Vashon Island. Starving and suffering from a […]

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Southern Residents Pass By Lime Kiln Lighthouse 1964 or 1965 Photo by David Jamison

Disturbing Orca Story

David Jamison was on the west side of San Juan Island in 1964 or 1965 when the Southern Residents appeared on the scene. They were cruising by Limestone Point when he shot this photo. But what David didn’t capture on camera is clearly emblazoned on his heart. […]

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Now deceased Southern Resident J2, AKA Granny, near an oil tanker

Power Past Coal Update

Public opposition against the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal/Custer Spur (GPT) at Cherry Point in Whatcom County, WA has been remarkable. It appears there are quite a few people who think that strip mining coal in the mid-west, sending it by rail across the country to Oregon and […]

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Chief oikami pipe banger on the Sea Goose - safety aspects: hammer tied to his belt, ear protection, eye protection, life-vest.  He was in view of the vessel operator.

IOSA Tries New Drill for Whale Protection

Volunteers for Islands Oil Spill Association (IOSA) have regularly been practicing maneuvers in the event of an oil spill in the San Juan Islands, but their latest endeavor targeted our beloved Southern Resident orcas as well. With the islands being so remote, it would take precious hours […]

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New Orca Calf – Just in Time For Christmas!

Exciting News! It’s been kept quiet to make sure all parties confirmed, but NOAA’s NW Fisheries Science Center and the Center for Whale Research have confirmed that on December 17, 39-year old J16 (Slick) gave birth to a new baby calf in Puget Sound, probably only a few […]

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Four Orca Calves Receive Names

After several weeks of public voting with more than 6,500 votes counted, four Southern Resident Community Orca calves have new names! The newly named babies are: Notch (J-47), Saturna (K-43), Mystic (L-115) and Finn (L-116).

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