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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Photo by Drew Harvell

Sea Stars Going Extinct?

Around these parts, the orcas and seals get a lot of attention, but they aren’t the only species of fascinating and beautiful wildlife that can be found here. Far from it, in fact. Whale-watching may be the first thing that comes to your mind when you think […]

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How Would an Oil Spill Affect the San Juans?

Some environmentally conscious folks have launched a project to find out. The Raincoast Conservation Foundation and the Georgia Straight Alliance have undertaken a research project to find out what would happen if an oil tanker began leaking into the Salish Sea, which is the collective name for […]

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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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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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Island Marble butterfly, once thought to be extinct

See Something Rare and Beautiful on Your Next Trip!

When it comes to wildlife and the San Juans, the first thing that generally comes to mind is the orca. Orcas are unique to this part of the country, and this area is the only one in the United States that has its own population of resident […]

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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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Juvenile bald eagle, photo by Heather Callin

Wolf Hollow Helps Keep Our Wildlife Wild!

As residents of San Juan Island, we hear plenty about the multitude of wildlife conservation efforts that are a huge part of life here – from shore-based whale-watching, to the annual Christmas Bird Count, to keeping a safe distance from our 4,000+ harbor seals. But there are […]

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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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Whale Museum Looks for Votes to Name L-119

Cast Your Vote to Name L-119, the New Orca Calf! Each year The Whale Museum gives names to calves of the Southern Resident Community who have survived a full winter. This year, it’s time to name L-119 (female), first seen in May of 2012 and the offspring […]

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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 […]

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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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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 […]

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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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More Than Just Whale Babies in these Waters

Our local orcas are so magnificent, it’s hard not to place all our attention on them.  But there’s more to these waters than orcas.  Whale watch captain Jim Maya regularly gets lovely photos of all kinds of wild life, as seen in this shot of a sea […]

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