August 22, 2019

Bigg's Killer Whales Search for Seals outside Sidney!

Piper | Thursday, August 22, 2019 | M/V Sea Lion | 1:30 PM

Just one day after the misty rains that shrouded the islands moved in, they moved right back out and the sunshine ruled this afternoon for our Classic tour. Captain Sarah, naturalist Jordan, and I took an awesome group of guests out into the Salish Sea. We headed northwest towards the Canadian port city of Sidney on Vancouver Island, where just offshore a family of orcas was exploring the depths.

On our way there we spotted a ton of harbor porpoises, popping up all over along our route. The tiny porpoises are the second smallest cetacean (dolphin, porpoise, or whale) in the world and they are very fast and can be hard to spot, but once you do, they’re very cute!

When we arrived on scene with the orcas, we saw a family of mom T34 (about 50 years old) and her two kiddos T34A and T34B (12 and 2, respectively) swimming along the shores of Piers Island, looking for some yummy seals to eat! They even swam past an outcropping of rocks on the northeast side of the island that was scattered with seals. When the orcas came up for a breath right next to the seals one of them near the top of the rocks thought maybe it was just a little too close for comfort and scrambled up even higher—a very smart seal indeed!

The orcas continued across Satellite Channel toward Salt Spring Island and as they reached those shores we pulled away and motored back in the direction of Friday Harbor, chatting along the way! Another awesome day on the water!