August 13, 2020

Bigg's Killer Whales Escort M/V Sea Lion Back to Friday Harbor at Sunset

Bigg's Killer Whales Travel to Friday Harbor

Laura | M/V Sea Lion | 8/14/2020 | 5:30pm

This evening’s 5:30 whale watch was filled with more than two hours of pure orca bliss!  Captain Erick drove M/V Sea Lion north out of Friday Harbor and into Presidents Channel.  It did not take us long for our first orca sighting of the trip to appear in thin air.  There were exhales right off West Beach on Orcas Island!  These exhalations belonged to the T137s and T36As, two families of Bigg’s killer whales!  We watched these orcas surfacing right along the rocks next to the beach as they searched the area for an upcoming meal.  We had beautiful looks as this group came up for breaths of air in unison against a gorgeous island backdrop.  They were traveling right along the edge of the shoreline, but then changed tactics and started taking longer dives with some spreading out in the channel.  After all passengers felt content and fulfilled to have had such a wonderful orca encounter, we continued towards Flattop Island in search of other exciting wildlife! 

Once we arrived near Flattop, we found some adorable harbor seals hauled out around the rocks and small beach areas.  There were even some pups curled up nice and close to the group of larger adults.  Bald eagles soared overhead around the island, completing the ecosystem.  Once we left the area and headed south down San Juan Channel, we heard on the radio that the orcas we were originally watching were moving towards us!  We reunited once again and had a personal orca escort by this generous family!  We slowly made our way down San Juan Channel with orcas right along our sides the entire time.  Passengers had a great journey home watching the sunset and looking out into the channel for dorsal fins and exhalations.  We turned our engine off at one point and had a beautiful look at a pair as they moved around our boat.  A simply breathtaking experience that we will all cherish for years to come.  This evening was filled with all kinds of special moments, including a beautiful proposal by a lovely young couple!  We wish you two all the best, with many upcoming wonderful memories to enjoy together!