August 29, 2021

Bigg’s Killer Whale T-Party in the Strait of Juan de Fuca

T-Party of transient killer whales

Bigg’s Killer Whale T-Party in the Strait of Juan de Fuca

Haleigh | M/V Kestrel | August 29, 2021 | 2:00 pm


Our afternoon Kestrel adventure was a real adventure through the rolling waves of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. We departed in search of a reported “T-Party,” referring to a group of multiple Bigg’s Killer Whales traveling together. Each family group includes mom, who is the head matriarch, and each of her calves. Here are the attendees of this T-Party:


T18 (Female, 1955)

T18 (Female, <1965)

T19B (Male, 1995)

T19C (Male, 2001)


T34 (Female, <1969)

T34A (Female, 2007)

T34B (2017)


T37 (Female, 1979)

T37B (Female, 1998)

T37B1 (Male, 2012)

T37B2 (2017)


T37A (Female, 1994)

T37A2 (2009)

T37A3 (2013)

T37A4 (Female, 2015)

T37A5 (2018)


T65A (Female, 1986)

T65A2 (Male, 2004)

T65A3 (2007)

T65A4 (Female, 2011)

T65A5 (Male, 2014)

T65A6 (Female, 2018)


Though this is a long list of attendees, they were spread out through the choppy waters, intermixing with one another. We saw families interacting with one another and socializing on this windy day. We witnessed them porpoising, hunting, tail slapping, and even a spy hop! It was thrilling to be in the mix of all of these whales and an experience I’m sure most of us will remember forever! 


Picture Credits: Ezra Garfield