September 12, 2020

Action Packed Killer Whale and Wildlife Day

Killer Whales Near Waldron Island

Olivia | M/V Sea Lion | September 12th, 2020 | 13:00

Our excursion today started off with no whale reports in the Salish Sea. This is a very normal way to start the day as we all leave the dock, divide along the waters, and check on what is occurring in the world’s most productive waters. Captain Erick and I decided to head north and scan all the areas where their prey hangs out, which in turn, are whale hot spots. We immediately saw Harbor Porpoise swimming throughout San Juan Channel, starting off the trip on a positive note. Shortly after entering President’s Channel, we received word of some Bigg’s Killer Whales south of Sucia Island and trending towards us. This was exception news since we were engulfed in a dense smoke/ fog combo with all the wildfires burning in Washington, Oregon, and California.

It was about halfway between Patos and Waldron Islands that we locked eyes on the T065B’s. This mother traveling with her 9-year-old son and her 2-year-old calf have been feeding around our waters for a few days now, exciting us with the duration of days we have been able to view them on our trips. Not only were we lucky enough to see Transient Orca milling and traveling around, we were then surprised to see them chirp up and start feeding! This enlisted many lunges, spy hops, and even a few breaches!

Limiting our time, we split off and headed south and cut across to both Flattop and Spieden Islands, enabling us to see Mouflon Sheep, Sika Deer, Bald Eagles, and Harbor Seals. We even passed several Marbled Murrelets, Cormorants, and Gulls! I would say this was a wildlife and action-packed kind of day, despite the goofy weather the fall fires brought us.