I don’t know if I have ever seen anything more Canadian then a tiller for a sailboat that is a hockey stick… This was the sight right outside of the marina in Ganges. This aesthetic was part of another beautiful morning to enjoy our coffee and breakfast on board before pulling out of the Ganges Marina.
We crossed the American border and altered our course toward the northern tip of Stuart Island where Turn Point Lighthouse is located. As we were passing the lighthouse, orcas came up out of nowhere right next to the point! We all throttled back and turned off our engines. At first, we saw about three making their way, but then they just kept coming. At one point you could hear orcas breathing in every direction.
I believe this was J pod, a southern resident pod that travels as far north of Texada Island and south to the Seattle area. J pod has 25 individuals in it, one of which is a new calf that was just born this year. Female orcas become mature at around age 15 and have a gestation period of 15 to 18 months. We spotted the new calf (J59) among the crowd who appeared to be a healthy and strong young whale. It is a hopeful sign for this pod to have a new member as their population has been struggling.
After that amazing encounter we were all buzzing as we finished our journey to Roche Harbor. We all pulled into moorage in the marina and began to explore. Many took walks around the area: to the mausoleum, to San Juan Distillery down the road, and around the small town with a few shops and restaurants. The sun was beating down today and many of us eventually found shade to enjoy the bells from the church on the hill and the famous colors ceremony at sun set.
P.S. Missed this year’s Princess Louisa Flotilla? Not to worry, there’s always next year! Send us an email to reserve your spot on our 2023 Princess Louisa Flotilla.