June 7, 2016

105 Year Old Whale Spotted Vacationing at Point Roberts

Sometimes we forget that when going on a whale watch we are observing wild animals, in their natural habitat, performing their natural behaviors. This is what makes whale watches so exciting and unique, but it is also an added challenge. Every day our trips are dictated by the movement and whereabouts of wild animals, and seeing how orcas can travel up to 100 miles a day, each morning we start out with a blank slate and a large sea of potential.

Today’s trip brought us as far north as I’ve traveled all season. We had no confirmed sightings when we left the dock, but very fortuitously, Captain Mike made the executive decision to head north out of Friday Harbor. Just as we were passing Waldron Island we received reports of killer whales just off of Point Roberts. We kept cruising north and before long we were on scene. We watched a group of resident killer whales perusing the area in a spread-out formation and tail-slapping every few minutes before eventually meeting up and traveling together. After getting some good views of their dorsal fins and saddle patches we were able to identify the group as the K-14s traveling alongside Granny (J-2). Granny turned 105 this year, making her the oldest known killer whale, and quite the celebrity as far as whales go. We were beyond thrilled to identify her out on the water today!

In addition to observing beautiful resident killer whales, we saw adorable harbor seals hauled out on a few rocky islands and some beautiful adult bald eagles. Overall, the voyage north proved very successful and the views of orcas against the Canadian Cascades we got were breathtaking. We docked feeling beyond grateful to observe killer whales in the wild!