Sucia Island, San Juan Islands

Oct 11, 2017 - National Geographic Quest

We arrived at Sucia Island early this morning.  The radar showed dark green rain squalls over every direction. But, the sun was shining. We geared up to hit the beach for walks along the fossil beds and kayaking in the bays. Around mid-morning the wind picked up and the rain came down. Just as soon as it started, and the rain had passed, leaving a wall of angry clouds to the east and sun of the San Juans. Thank you, Rain Shadow! The hikers that braved the momentary tempest were rewarded with otters and harlequin ducks. Luckily, we had a warm, dry ship and a wonderful lunch to return to.

As we cruised south toward Seattle on our final night, the birders were rewarded with grebes, loons, alcids and even a parasitic jaeger hard at work trying to steal meals. It was a beautifully calm, peaceful night in the Salish Sea. It was an end to an amazing trip aboard National Geographic Quest.

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About the Author

Jessica Farrer


Jessica is a research associate with SR3, SeaLife Response, Rehabilitation and Research ( in Seattle, WA. She is currently working on several projects that monitor the health of the critically endangered southern resident killer whale population in the Salish Sea and humpback, minke and killer whales around the Antarctic Peninsula. Her main research interests are the predator prey dynamics of the Southern Ocean and she will be starting a PhD in fall 2020 to investigate the effects of climate change and fishing pressure on the diet of killer whales and Weddell seals in both the Antarctic Peninsula and the Ross Sea.

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