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Sea Quest Kayak Tours and Whale Watching Trips
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Sea kayaking tours, whale watching, biologist guides, small groups, quality equipment
Sea kayaking tours, whale watching, biologist guides, small groups, quality equipment

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An emaciated 4 year-old calf known as Scarlet J-50 is in dire health and not expected to live much longer. NOAA has decided to try feeding her live chinook salmon fortified with vitamins and medications. The fish will be released from a boat in close proximity to Scarlet. This has never been attempted before and no one is sure that it will be enough to ensure her survival even if she does accept the fish. Scarlet was part of the "baby boom" of salmon orcas that occurred between 2014-2016. Only five of the eleven calves from the "baby boom" remain alive. https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/noaa-plans-outside-the-box-response-to-save-j-pod-orca-who-may-have-just-days-to-live/
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This is such sad news for J pod. According to Ken Balcomb from the Center for Whale Research, J 35—also known as Tahlequah— delivered a calf on July 24, 2018. Unfortunately, that calf lived for less than an hour and she carried her calf for over a day grieving. Although it is not uncommon for marine mammals, the death of this young killer whale is hard news for the southern resident orcas. The number of Southern Resident Killer Whales still remains at 75.
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We've had a lovely week of whale sightings and perfect weather in the San Juan Islands. Since our last post there have been only two days when salmon orca were absent, and counting today we've had a streak of seven days. Since our last post we've also been treated to a couple of humpback whales sightings, a minke whale encounter, and a rendezvous with some Bigg's killer whales! https://www.sea-quest-kayak.com/kayaking-san-juan-islands/washington-whale-watching-seattle/
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The migratory run of chinook continues today as pods of salmon orca have stayed glued to the shore of San Juan Island since yesterday. Our 2-day and 3-day tours are both enjoying their 2nd encounters with them right now. We just picked up our day trip guests in Friday Harbor and they are en route to the beach where a pod of whales is currently hunting. And the kayaking weather is perfect! https://www.sea-quest-kayak.com/kayaking-san-juan-islands/washington-whale-watching-seattle/
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We had a wonderful day yesterday kayaking with the salmon orcas of J & K-pods. Three of our day tours had fantastic encounters and were able to watch them chase salmon quite close to shore. Timing is everything in life, and sadly, our morning and sunset trips missed all the whale action. We are eagerly heading out right now with hot reports of these same two pods on our kayak route today! https://www.sea-quest-kayak.com/kayaking-san-juan-islands/
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The ups and downs of orca whale-watching... Yesterday we couldn't find any whales on our tours. Right after we concluded all trips, a pod appeared at the south end of San Juan Island! This morning started with no whale info so nearly all of our tours took the west & north routes. Naturally, a pod of killer whales appears a couple of hours later on the east route! Fortunately, we have a 2-day tour in that area. They are hoping to intercept them at a large seal haulout where Bigg's killer whales frequently hunt. https://www.sea-quest-kayak.com/kayaking-san-juan-islands/2-day-san-juan-kayaking-tours/
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We have both species of orcas on our kayak route again today. A small pod of Bigg's kiler whales came by Lime Kiln Lighthouse, then quickly turned back south. They were on a collision course with a much larger pod of salmon orcas traveling south. Bigg's killer whales typically cede the right-of-way to the salmon orcas. Its a windy day and we aren't able to paddle very far due to the conditions, but fortunately, the whales have come to us! https://www.sea-quest-kayak.com/kayaking-san-juan-islands/half-day-san-juans-kayak-tours/
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The salmon orcas of J- & L-pods are back after a brief absence. They headed back out towards the Pacific Ocean but quickly reversed and came right back to San Juan Island! We have been kayaking with them all afternoon today. They are once again focused on pursuing salmon on our west side kayaking route after visiting our south route in the morning. Weather is excellent and we still have room on our weekend tours! https://www.sea-quest-kayak.com/kayaking-san-juan-islands/3-day-san-juan-kayaking-trips/
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We have 2 pods of salmon orcas hunting on our kayak route today. Our afternoon kayak tours made it to the launch beach just in time to watch them chase salmon past the point. They have been identified as J-pod and part of L-pod. The latter family is the largest and often travels in sub-pods for days at a time. This is our first sighting of salmon orcas in the islands since April. All other orca sightings between were of Bigg's killer whales, the newly-recognized species that hunts marine mammals. https://www.sea-quest-kayak.com/kayaking-san-juan-islands/1-day-san-juan-kayaking-trips/
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Our afternoon tour was surprised by a group of Bigg's killer whales traveling so fast that guide Aidan did not have time enough to clear their path. Six killer whales sped right between the kayaks as they followed the path of a humpback whale that swam past a few minutes earlier. The scene was similar to last Sunday with both whale species hugging the shoreline and providing up close looks. Due to the curvature of the steep shoreline in that area, we sometimes have no warning of approaching whales! https://www.sea-quest-kayak.com/kayaking-san-juan-islands/1-day-san-juan-kayaking-trips/
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