August 4, 2020

Bigg's Killer Whales Feeding near Barnes and Clark

Transient Orca near Barnes and Clark

Olivia | M/V Sea Lion | August 4th, 2020 | 13:00

Captain Sarah and I were jazzed that we were able to tell our passengers we were leaving the dock with reports of Transient Orca in our waters. We immediately aimed for the previously known location of these whales in hopes to give our guests the best possible chance of seeing them as we could. This led us to north Rosario Strait, passing a Bald Eagle perched in the pines, just northeast of Orcas Island near Barnes and Clark Islands.

We had the T018’s traveling around, a family group comprising of two elder females [T018 ~1955 and T019~ 1965] as well as two large males [T019B~ 1995 and T019C~ 2001]. This family is one of our favorites to see with a wide dorsal fin that leads to the side. This family is known as a Near Coastal Specialization where they feed heavily on Harbor Seals and hug the coastlines of our inner islands.

We saw lobtails, spy hops, and even a cartwheel! It was so humbling to see Bigg’s Killer Whales feeding, playing, and traveling in our waters. After turning south to head back inner island, we passed Harbor Porpoise milling around as well as Harbor Seals hauled out thermoregulating in the sunshine. We could not be more grateful for this opportunity and sharing it with our guests.