June 11, 2019

Bigg's Killer Whales on a sunny day!

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

Today was a stunning day out in the Salish Sea. We left Friday Harbor and travelled north toward some orca reports. As we got closer to Spieden Island, we got some amazing looks at a bald eagle perched in the treetops. It had its white plumage, which means it was an adult. We continued along the coast of the island and saw some Mouflon sheep! They were down by the water's edge eating algae off of the rocks. There were about twenty of them! We also saw another bald eagle perched right above where the sheep were. This was a great way to start our trip. 

We then went around the northeast side of Spieden Island toward Henry Island. This is where we saw our first pod of orcas! They were travelling stealthily at the surface, and there were 5 of them in the pod. Two of them were males. They were identified as the T075's and the T073's. After we had watched them for a while, they travelled toward a popular seal haul-out area, and began changing their behavior a little bit. Perhaps they were trying to find some lunch! We left the orcas and headed to Turn Point on Stuart Island, where there is a lighthouse and some neat geological features. 

We went a little farther north toward Saturna Island to attempt to find some other wildlife, and we saw harbor porpoises and harbor seals! When it was time to head back to the harbor, we stopped by the east side of Waldron Island, where we found another pod of orcas! They were the T124's. They were much more active at the surface, and we saw some tail slaps and spyhops! It was an incredible way to end our wonderful adventure. It's always lovely to be out on the water on such a sunny day! 

Naturalist Erin