|Lime Kiln Lighthouse|
San Juan Island, WA. Undated.
Photographer unknown. Courtesy of the USCG.
Whale often swim along the point by the lighthouse within 20-ft of the shore and play in the kelp beds. Rich described one type of play in which 'whales will drag a piece of kelp down under the water and let it go so that it shoots out of the water like a missile.'
Another interesting form of behavior that scientists have observed nine times since 1976 is the 'the greeting ceremony.' Whenever a pod or extended family of whales has been away from another pod for some time, when they meet again the two pods line up at the surface facing each other. After about 20 seconds they all dive and swim into each other, rolling around and rubbing against one another. This is called intermingling, and it continues for from 30 minutes to an hour and a half.
Although the lighthouse itself will not be open to the public, the surrounding area will be open soon as a park. Whales regularly pass by here within a mile from shore and this area will no doubt increase in popularity as a spot for whale watching.
Author unknown. San Juan Islands Almanac. Volume 11. Friday Harbor, WA. Longhouse Printcrafters. 1984.