June 30, 2019

Bigg's Killer Whales in the Strait of Georgia!

Erin | M/V Kestrel | Sunday, June 30, 2019 | 11:00 AM

Today was an awesome day on M/V Kestrel. We began the trip heading north out of Friday Harbor, as there were some reports of orcas in that direction. It was gorgeous out on the water. The sun was shining and the water was calm. We got to stop at White Rock, which is right by Flattop Island. There were about twenty seals hauled out on the rocks, and there were at least five bald eagles resting on the rocks as well! Some of the seals were swimming around the rocks, and some were also coming onto the rocks from the water. Many of them were just relaxing and warming up on the rocks. The bald eagles were all adults, with white heads and white tail feathers. After getting some great looks, we headed toward Saturna Island in pursuit of some good reports. 

We went through a really neat pass and ended up in the Strait of Georgia. Soon after getting into the strait, we caught sight of a male orca. Its tall dorsal fin towered above the surface of the water. It was travelling with another whale, that turned out to be one of its family members. For a while, we kept seeing the first two whales we came across. About halfway through our encounter with them, they were joined by two other whales, one of which was a calf! The whales proceeded to travel east, and the calf was porpoising a little! The whales were identified as the T65B's and T65A2. That means that T65A2, who is a 15 year old male, was travelling with his aunts and his cousins. It was awesome to be able to see a couple of generations of whales together. After watching them for a while, we headed back toward Friday Harbor. It was a spectacular day on the water! 

Naturalist Erin