San Juan Islands, WA 2011

| 26 images

San Juan Islands is located a few hours north of Seattle and hour long ferry ride off the coast of WA. I began my day trying to get my tired ass out of bed at 4:30am to catch the ferry over to the island. In the end I was glad I did. Met some nice people, saw a beautiful sunrise and caught some great wildlife. The one that made the early start all worth while was a Red Fox I spotted in American Camp on the south end of the island. He clearly had no fear of people since he walked right to me, so close I couldn’t even focus on him. I found him again a little later and got great shot of him pouncing on a field mouse. Absolutely worth the getting out of bed so early.

If you’ll be spending the day there I highly recommend taking your car over. The auto fee for the Washington State Ferry from Anacortes over to Friday Harbour will cost you $40 but is well worth it and once you’ve driven around the island you’ll understand why. For such a small island they have seemingly endless amount of land covered with beautiful farms, rolling hills and small lakes. Drive every road you can find, there’s so much to see packed into this little jewel. There’s plenty of wildlife although it does take some patients to find them. Eagles, hawks, whales, dolphins, seals, sea lions and even a camel. OK, the camel was someone farm animal. But come on, it a camel on a island in the northwest.

I did a whale watch tour with Western Prince which was good. I only say good because mother nature was not cooperating that day with the whales but that’s the only reason why. The folks there, Kris, our tour guide (sorry I forgot his name) and Capt. Ivan were all great. They were helpful, friendly and amazingly informative about everything around the island. We did get to see Stellar Sea Lions, Harbor Seals, Bald Eagles and had Dall’s Porpoises bow riding. The boat ride alone was a treat. It’s such a magnificent area with surprises around every turn. Even without the whales I would still do this again.

Wrapped up the day with a second drive around the island and came across at least a half a dozen Bald Eagles being harassed by a countless number of ravens. Finally I headed back to town grabbed a bite and caught the ferry back to the main land. Only one thing I would change about the trip, I’d go about month later for a better chance to catch the whales. But since my employer had sent me out there for a conference I can’t complain too much about the timing.

Hope you enjoy the images.

PS: If you’re wondering what the eagles are carrying in their talons, it’s hot dogs. Does it get any more All American then that? Maybe if they were wearing baseball caps but that’s it.