June 27, 2019

Adventure Tour with Killer Whales

Bigg's Killer Whales in the San Juan Islands

Olivia | June 27, 2019 | M/V Kestrel | 11:00am

Our morning trip out on M/V Kestrel definitely started off as an adventure as we were getting everyone suited up in the rain. Despite the June showers, we wore smiling faces as we set out to find the whales we received word about. We traveled north through the San Juan Channel and made a pit stop at Flattop Island to look at some Harbor Seals who were napping on the coastline. Things heated up fast as we then saw a bunch of Pigeon Guillemots and their bright red feet, as well as three Bald Eagles! This was a little hot spot and we took our time chatting about all of this and observing the chart on the direction we were going to go- we love keeping folks in the loop!

We decided to head north towards Boundary Pass around Waldron Island and aim for Lummi Island. We found the T65A’s, a family group we saw the previous evening, except they were missing their 15-year-old male! We were one of the first vessels to find him adventuring on his own way off to our port side. These Bigg’s Killer Whale males will stay with their mother’s their entire life and never venture too far away. Later on, we watched him join back up with his family overlapping with our joy of that small calf swimming around.

As they moved closer to Orcas Island with the sun was peeking out and the clouds rising to show more of Mount Constitution, we were able to see him split off from his family- being a typical, rebellious teen. Captain Gabe and I mutually agreed to keep observing the male, and we are so glad we did! He put on quite a show and that was an epic experience for our passengers as it was their first time ever seeing Killer Whales.

Once we left, we decided to switch up our route and head south, cutting through Obstruction Pass and checking out more of our 172 named islands here in the San Juan’s. This was an incredibly satisfying trip that I can say with confidence will be one for everyone to remember. Seeing those smiling faces come off the boat after providing that connection between humans and the marine life is something we strive for. To be apart of these breathtaking experiences and learn more from our many knowledgeable Captains and Naturalists, don’t hesitate to join us on our Adventure Tours!