July 3, 2019
Bigg's Killer Whales Socializing!
Laura C. / 7/3/2019 / M/V Kestrel / 11:00am
Today was a fantastic day on M/V Kestrel! We were lucky enough to have Bigg’s killer whales seen right around San Juan Island! As we made our way south we were all so excited to see T65A2 with the T65Bs! This 15-year old male whale has been traveling with his aunt and cousins for the past few days. The T65As were near other whale-watching vessels further north but close enough for T65A2 to join back in with his close family if he wanted to. This large male will stay with his mom and siblings throughout his whole life but these whales are still very social with their other relatives.
T65A2 looked massive compared to his new cousin, just under one-year old and averaging around 10 feet in length. As we were all watching this family we were so excited to witness a spyhop! It is so cool to see the whole head of a whale emerge from the surface and scope out the scene. I joke that we make a good people-watching tour for the whales! Just as we let our guard down enjoying these whales at the surface the calf did a back breach! This is an awesome acrobatic behavior to see with a calf who was clearly enjoying the day!
We spent a perfect amount of time with these whales to understand their social relations with one another and observe their intricate interactions. The T65B family seemed to be milling around the area for quite a while and socializing as their main priority. It was a beautiful day for the family to enjoy each other’s company close to the shoreline of nearby islands. Kayakers joined in on the fun and were thrilled to also be in the vicinity of Bigg’s killer whales today! They all found a nice spot on the water by the vessels to enjoy the action!