June 30, 2020

Bigg's Killer Whales in the Outer Islands

Transient Orcas in the San Juan Islands

Olivia | M/V Sea Lion| June 30, 2020 | 13:30

Today was such an exciting day as Captain Erick and I were able to bring our guests over towards the outer islands to see Killer Whales! Along the route, we passed three Bald Eagles soaring overhead near Lopez Island and throughout Upright Channel with those six-foot wingspans.

We initially were aiming for Cypress Island where the transient orcas were milling around in Rosario Strait. The great thing about these whales is that they are free in the wild and go as they please! We ALWAYS prefer that, but also have to accept the fact that in the hour and fifteen minutes it takes us to get there, they could be even further away. This was definitely the case. However, that didn’t deter us from trying our best to still catch a glimpse of these black and white ocean giants.

On the eastern side of Guemes Island we saw the Bigg’s Killer Whales family group of T37A’s with around five whales. It consisted of a 26-year-old mother and her four children. After several views of them zig zagging throughout the water and continually making their way east, we took in our last looks of their spouts hitting the sun and started out trek back towards Friday Harbor.

Before traveling through Blakely and Orcas Islands, we were able to spot some more cetaceans; Harbor Porpoises! Their chocolate chip dorsal fins were swimming on the sides of our boats and then even back in our wake. Despite the long haul to the outer islands, we were all humbled by the opportunity to see Killer Whales!