June 8, 2019

Bigg's Killer Whales and Surprise Humpbacks in Haro Strait!

Piper | Saturday, June 8, 2019 | M/V Sea Lion | 5:30 PM

On this evening’s sunset whale watch we headed out of the marina to go north again, with a very different destination in mind compared to our afternoon trip; the same orcas we were watching by Jones Island were now in Cordova Bay off of Victoria, BC! So we cruised up San Juan Channel and into Spieden Channel to go over the top of San Juan Island and just as we were pointing down the Haro we spotted two humpback whales which were cruising north! These two humpbacks were identified as BCY0160 “Heather” and BCY0458 “Raptor”, which are two female whales which have been traveling together in the Salish Sea for a while! We hope they stick around all summer, but they may leave us to move up towards Alaska, where most of the humpbacks passing through here end up for the summer. We watched these two breathe one after the other and synchronized for a while before peeling away to reach the Bigg’s killer whales over in Canada!

On the way over we talked about the baleen that humpback whales use for feeding and once we arrived with the orcas we got to see an awesome group, the T49As, travelling south along the coast of Vancouver Island. These orcas made a long haul today and they weren’t stopping this evening! They were surfacing for five or six breaths before taking dives of about six minutes. We got to see this family of mom and her four babies swimming along in a tight knit group for a while before we had to peel away and head back towards Friday Harbor. We rounded the southern tip of San Juan Island to get there, circumnavigating the whole island on our awesome sunset tour!