July 19, 2020

Bigg's Killer Whales Swim the Narrow Channel

Breaching Orca near Lummi Island

Olivia | M/V Sea Lion | July 19th, 2020 | 14:00 

This Adventure Trip on M/V Kestrel was so fun with Captain Brian and our guests! At the dock we had a few guests that were extra excited to be going out with us today which always makes it more exciting right away. We set out on our sunny venture by heading inner island towards Lummi Island. Upon arrival we spotted the same family group of Transient Orca that we saw yesterday, the T37A’s. At first sight, we saw TWO full body breaches about 500 yards off our port side! This was such a great way to see Killer Whales for the very first time ever for a few of our passengers.  

This group of five was split up off our 10 o’clock and 12 o’clock. They are considered to be Near Coastal Specialists, a term coined by Robyn Baird, to indicate that they typically hang out in these inner, narrow waterways in search of Harbor Seals. We have some families that stick to the major waterways, and NCS’s that make the inner channels their territory of choice within the San Juan Islands.

We enjoyed conscious moments with the engine turned off listening and watching them swim away, while seeing them again as we traveled down the northern side of Lummi Island. At this point they met up and joined together, syncing up as they surfaced for air swimming towards the shoreline once again. This was a true Pacific Northwest afternoon admiring Mount Baker standing tall behind the pines and the Bigg’s Killer Whales swimming in the sea below.