As I had hoped, the whales did come in on Tuesday night, though it was after dark by the time they reached the shores of San Juan Island. They went north during the night, and made their way back south towards the westside of San Juan yesterday afternoon. They passed the lighthouse heading south, but I wasn't there to see them, being busy watching Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals (here's hoping Vancouver finds a way to right the ship, in a hurry!). After the disappointing hockey game, we decided to go to the westside and see the sunset and see what we might see. When we arrived in the parking lot at Lime Kiln Lighthouse, I said, "I think we're going to see something awesome." I turned out to be right!
There were no whales in sight when we arrived so I settled in north of the lighthouse out of the wind to watch the sunset. Several harbor porpoise were surfacing close to shore, and we were focused on watching those when all of a sudden, Kawooof! An orca surfaced right off the kelp in front of the lighthouse! Here's a one minute video clip showing some of what followed:
I love seeing the whales - and I love seeing them even more at sunset, when they're close, when it's unexpected, and when it's quiet. Last night's whale encounter was all of those things. It was a special moment, one of those whale encounters that really rejuvenates the spirit.
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