June 18, 2022

Bigg’s Killer Whale “Stanley” and Family off Orcas Island

Lauren | M/V Osprey | 6.18.2022 | 12:30 PM

It was my first day back to work after a week-long vacation and I had whales on my mind. I truly miss them when I’m gone, and I felt especially eager to show our guests all the San Juans has to offer. As M/V Osprey left the dock, we got word that Bigg’s killer whale family the T123s were in the area. The T123s are “frequent flyers,” or should I say swimmers, here in the Salish Sea. They are one of the families I’ve seen the most thus far this season.

We turned right out of Friday Harbor and took an inter-island cruise between Shaw and Lopez Island. We then headed towards the last known report of these killer whales, which was near Doe Bay on Orcas Island. Once on scene we got some incredible looks at mom Sidney, and her offspring Stanley, Lucky and Darcy. After spending a large portion of our trip with these whales, Captain Michael hilariously tried to pull away many, many times but just couldn’t seem get enough. After the fourth warning that this would be our “last look,” we finally pulled away to try and see what other wildlife we could find.

As we headed south down Rosario Strait, towards Obstruction Island, we stopped to view some Steller’s Sea Lions hanging out on a large yellow buoy. Our last stop before heading back was to the Peapod Islands to see a large group of harbor seals sun-bathing.

What a fantastic welcome back!