September 22, 2021

Bigg’s Killer Whales, T65B’s, Milling and Playing off of Sucia Island

Haleigh | M/V Sea Lion | September 22, 2021 | 1:30 pm

 

Today’s encounter with our Bigg’s Killer Whales was spectacular. After a long journey through San Juan Channel towards a chain of islands known as the outer islands, we saw the whale watching vessels in the distance! Rounding the west side of Sucia Island is where we first saw some spouts from a family of Bigg’s Killer Whales. This family seemed to be actively hunting and devouring a freshly-caught harbor seal. As they finished up their meal, we began to see the playful behavior associated with post-meal energy. These whales were lobbing their tails and rolling around in the water, exposing their bellies and pectoral fins! One passenger remarked that these whales reminded her of her dog who maybe wanted some belly scratches. The fun behavior continued with multiple spy hops and a mini breach! 

 

We sat in silence with these whales, a family of three known as the T65B’s. Along for the ride was a fourth whale identified as T65A5 (Elsie), a nephew to T65B (Chunk) and cousin to T65B1 (Birdsall) and T65B2 (Nettle). The foursome lingered around the north side of Sucia for about an hour, occasionally checking out boats and kayakers within the vicinity. We could have sat for hours and enjoyed the silence of being on the water with this playful family of Bigg’s Killer Whales. Eventually it was time to depart and journey back towards Friday Harbor. Overall, it was a wonderful day with this family of Bigg’s Killer Whales.