July 18, 2020

Bigg's Killer Whales Swim Among Jellyfish

Bigg's Killer Whales near Long Island

Olivia | M/V Sea Lion | July 18th, 2020 | 13:30

It was the most picture-perfect day on the water we have had yet. Immensely sunny, WARM, Mount Baker and Mount Rainier flawlessly in view, the Olympic Mountains defined on the horizon, and calm seas.  We traveled south gazing at Harbor Seals hauled out on Turn Island and watching Harbor Porpoise swim outside of Griffin Bay. Upon reaching the southern side of Lopez Island between Colville and Long Island, we caught out first glances at some Transient Orca hugging the shoreline in search of food. This family group was that of the T37A’s, around six individuals.

This group was spunky as they hunted! We saw them swimming from shoreline to shoreline, and back again into the middle of the water; their spouts sending ‘rainblows’ through the afternoon sun. Not only were we receiving terrific views of these black and white dolphins, we also saw around a dozen spy hops! These were all right near the shoreline, indicating they were using their eyes to look around.

Side note! We saw heaps of Fried Egg Jellyfish and even some smaller Lions Mane Jellyfish swimming around throughout our entire trip but specifically in this area with the Bigg’s Killer Whales. The Fried Egg Jellyfish, or Egg Yolk Jellyfish, can be easily identified by the yellow coloration at the center of its body resembling an egg yolk. How neat is that!?

Traveling with these whales back towards Long Island, we veered off in search of other wildlife. We saw a large Bald Eagle perched up at the top of a tree, a massive Bald Eagles’ nest, and a Harbor Seal with her newly born TINY pup!! This trip made our jobs look way too easy, but we are forever grateful to share these experiences and the wonders of the Salish Sea with all our guests.