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 Juan Island. Several whale-watching operators trailed them as […]

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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 Seattle receive! The “banana belt,” as our area […]

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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 you. We hope it inspires you to book […]

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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 Brancheau in February 2010. What it has turned […]

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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 popular, and most of them are related to […]

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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 of other amazing wildlife! Captain Jim Maya of […]

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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 resolutions you want to try and keep this […]

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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. What was unusual about October 16 was the […]

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Southern Residents to Remain on Endangered Species List

Komo News, Seattle, reports this great news on our Southern Resident orcas: SEATTLE (AP) – Killer whales that spend their summers in Puget Sound are a distinct population group and will remain protected under the Endangered Species Act, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Friday. NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service spent a year reviewing […]

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Southern Resident Orcas eat only salmon; humans needs to support sustainable practices to ensure adequate food for these magnificent creatures.

Where are the Whales?

This report came in from Orca Network, July 30, 2013: “It’s been over a week since the last sightings report, mainly because it’s been since July 20 that anyone has reported seeing any Resident orcas, and Biggs/Transient orcas have also only rarely been seen for the past ten days or so. It’s unheard of for […]

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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 skin condition, Springer was so lonely she was […]

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Photo by Jim Maya

What Time Do the Whales Come By?

“What time do the whales come by?” It’s a question we hear almost daily in the summer months. Yes, at first it seems rather ludicrous; obviously the whales don’t check in with us on their schedule. But we know what people really mean when they ask this question. They want to know if there is […]

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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. He recently wrote to Orca Network asking if […]

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Legacy Charters Ling Kings Compressed

Fish the San Juans Package

Sport Fishing is available year-round in the islands, and the knowledgeable captains at Legacy Charter know just when and where to drop the line. We’ll send you off with a tasty Snack Pack to munch on while waiting for the fish to bite. Have the captain filet your catch and use our house grills to cook […]

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J Pod Returns

Islanders and whale watch fans were all abuzz last Sunday with the return of our favorite, J-pod. Orca Network reports they were shuffling and frolicking while foraging along the west side of San Juan Island. Fortunate kayakers and land-based whale watchers had the thrill of their lives with the pod member’s antics – splashing around, […]

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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 hours judging from the fresh fetal folds, before […]

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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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Tucker House, Restaurants, Whale Watching – All Great

Well, we are back in Santa Fe and not quite as wet as Friday Harbor. We really enjoyed our stay at Tucker House. We were commenting this evening that we wouldn’t change a thing. The restaurants were great, our room was super and Captain Jim did a great job. His other group didn’t show, so […]

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275 C Street Friday Harbor WA 98250 | 360.378.2783 or 800.965.0123 © Tucker House Inn | Photography: Michael Bertrand Photographer & Others
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