July 30, 2021

Bigg's Killer Whales Seen by Admiralty Inlet!

Laura | M/V Kestrel | 7/30/2021 | 2:00PM

Today was an outstanding day out on the water!  We headed southbound through San Juan Channel after receiving a land-based report of orcas being spotted all the way near Port Townsend!  Our Captain Brian made the announcement that it would be a long bumpy journey south, but the best chance of finding orcas!  All passengers were onboard and game for the adventure, so we headed out for an hour and a half in 2-3 foot seas on our zodiac.  What a fun ride!!  As we were moving as fast as possible to our report, we were also talking with other vessels that were closer to their vicinity and found them milling by Admiralty Inlet.  We started altering our course a little east bound, also moving with the waves for a more pleasant boat ride.  We passed a few harbor seals and harbor porpoises along the way!  Finally, we started seeing boats along the horizon and blows!  These orcas were in a cluster, with one a couple hundred yards to the side of his family.  I was so excited to announce that these killer whales were identified as the T65As!  T65A was born in 1986 and already has 5 offsping!  The male, T65A2, or Ooxjaa, was hunting away from the rest of the group and we were able to see that it was a harbor seal!  The birds started swarming overhead, and we saw a wave of blood in the water!  How awesome!

The rest of the T65As consist of a male from 2007, a female from 2011, a male from 2014, and a female from 2018.  The calf was super cute and right next to mom’s side during our trip.  We also had a few close passes by this family which was breathtaking!!  These are one of my favorite families to see out on the water, and they certainly are charismatic!  After a few more looks, we all felt like we had the perfect amount of time with these whales as they started to alter course and pick up their pace.  We had a beautiful ride back to Friday Harbor and had a great day out on the water together!