April 16, 2018

Active Orcas in Active Pass!

April 16, 2018 | M/V Sea Lion | 12:00 PM

Today was a very stereotypical Pacific Northwest day, with a lot of cloud-cover producing a lot of rain, but the islands were dotted so beautifully with those wispy low-lying clouds just touching the evergreens, the type of scene that made me fall in love with this area. Captain Mike, myself, and a small group of great people left Friday Harbor and made our way north through San Juan Channel. We got a great look at a large group of harbor porpoises as we pulled up to Green Point on Spieden Island where we watched a few different rafts of Steller’s sea lions floating about at the foot of a large haul-out on the tip of the land. Along the southern face of Spieden Island we also saw a few Mouflon sheep and bald eagles braving the rain!

We continued across Boundary Pass and into Canada, going through Plumper Sound before making our way around the corner into Active Pass where we were all-of-a-sudden on scene with a large group of Bigg’s orcas that, based on the huge amount of bird activity, had just made a kill! The orcas led us out of Active Pass into the Strait of Georgia where they split, with some of the orcas heading out into the strait and others swimming down the length of Mayne Island. We followed this group, the T65As, and we got an absolutely amazing view of the whole family, including T65A’s brand-new babe!

With our guests snuggled up in the heated cabin, we circumnavigated Mayne Island and the M/V Sea Lion made its way back into Plumper Sound and down into US waters on its trip home! On the way back we chatted all about Bigg’s (transient) orcas and how photo-identification is an incredibly useful tool for research and conservation. Just another day at the office! :)