September 20, 2022

“The Boys” are Back in Town! Bigg’s Killer Whales, Onca and Lynx, cruise up the Haro

Lauren | M/V Sea Lion | 9/20/2022 | 1:30 PM 

The boys are back… The boys are back… Bigg’s killer whales Onca and Lynx were back at it again, popping up on the westside of San Juan Island unannounced for the second time this week. Similar to our tour yesterday, we started our trip without any firm whale reports and planned to head south to scan for whales in Salmon Bank.  

Our 1:30 pm Classic Tour took a right out of Friday Harbor and headed down San Juan Channel. On our way down the channel, we witnessed a feeding frenzy! Harbor porpoise were driving small schooling fish to the surface, making easy pickings for the birds above. Our first stop was to Whale Rocks to look for some pinnipeds. Whale Rocks is known for being a prominent harbor seal and Steller’s sea lion haul out site. We spent time viewing a large group of Steller’s both hauled out and swimming in the bull kelp. We left these sea lions and headed towards Salmon Bank scanning for exhalations, dorsal fins, and disturbances on the waters surface.  

After much scanning with no joy, a shore report came in! There were two killer whales spotted near Edwards Point heading up the Haro Strait. Talk about being in the right place at the right time! We were less than a 15-minute drive from there. After T060D and a T060E surprised us yesterday, and considering they’ve been hanging out on the westside of San Juan Island, I figured they might still be in the area.  

Excited to spend two days in a row with these brothers, I was thrilled to find out it was indeed them! I spent time telling guests about their epic porpoise hunt caught on camera earlier this week. We cruised along as these whales hugged the shoreline of Landbank Westside Preserve and then Lime Kiln Lighthouse. What a beautiful backdrop to witness these animals swim by! After many surfacing’s we said goodbye to these whales and finished our circumnavigation of San Juan Island. This trip was truly serendipitous!