August 5, 2018

Afternoon Trip with Bigg’s Orcas near Victoria! | 08/05/2018 | 2:00

Jordan | August 5, 2018 | M/V Kestrel | 2:00 trip

Today was such a great day out on the water! The Kestrel headed out from Friday Harbor and traveled south down through the San Juan Channel. Then, Captain Mike and I traveled west towards the Canadian border and towards Vancouver Island. As we grew closer to the city of Victoria we found our whales!

In fact, we saw a fantastic pod of Bigg’s (transient) whales, the T18s, who were in the process of hunting a harbor seal! Within this family group were two huge males thrashing about as they chased the seal with their giant dorsal fins wobbling in the wind. One of the males, T19B, had a noticeable dorsal fin tilt towards his left side! There was also a youngster in this group about three years old, so as we witnessed the whales chasing the seal, we also saw a young whale learning how to hunt! It’s always an amazing time seeing the circle of life in action.

Eventually we headed back towards the San Juan Islands and peaked in around Long Island off of Lopez. Here we found a bald eagles nest! This huge structure towered up in on the pine trees as a bald eagle took off for the skies upon our arrival. We then followed it up towards a nearby rocky cliffside where he elegantly perched at the top.

Then we headed towards Whale Rocks where we found Steller sea lions! Most of the sea lions are still up in Alaska for their breeding season so it was a pleasant surprise to see these animals come back to our islands so soon. We watched these massive creatures bark at each other as they lumbered around the rocks. We then watched the comparably smaller harbor seals flopping around the waters edge and swimming amongst the bull kelp in the water.

Eventually we had to head back home but it was truly a lovely day full of great animal sightings!