September 8, 2020

Bigg's Killer Whale Family Hangs at Hein Bank

Bigg's Killer Whales near San Juan Island

Olivia | M/V Sea Lion | September 8th, 2020 | 13:00

Leaving the dock today, we did not let the smoke tear down our spirits as we headed south through San Juan Channel. Reaching Cattle Pass, we heard rumors of Bigg’s Killer Whales southwest of Hein Bank and decided to aim there with our best chances of showing our guests something black and white in the water. Our entire way there we were spotting Harbor Seals and Harbor Porpoise swimming between the shallow Salmon and Hein Banks.

It was not long when we caught a glimpse of three black dorsal fins slowly milling west. This was the same family group, the T065B’s, that we saw swimming north into Canada past Stuart Island the day before. We watched as they played in the Kelp Bed and slowly inched their way closer to Canada.

Eventually we had to head back towards the Island and made one more stop at Whale Rocks to see Steller’s Sea Lions brawling in the water and snoozing on the shoreline. It is a great time of year to be out on the water with our summer wildlife still hanging out in combination with the wildlife that come here for the winter months.  No matter the weather, there is always flora and fauna to see in the San Juan Islands.