July 28, 2020

Bigg's Killer Whales Swim into San Juan Channel

Bigg's Killer Whales near San Juan Island

Olivia | M/V Sea Lion | July 28th, 2020 | 13:30

It was a great start to our 13:30 trip since there were Transient Orca in the San Juan Channel! These Bigg’s Killer Whales were the family groups of T137’s and T65A’s, around 11 individuals. We initially found them in Upright Channel and were able to view them as they traveled south past Turn Island. It was great seeing the Transient Orca in our waters once again, as they slipped away while the Southern Resident Killer Whales were visiting.

We spent a while watching as they milled and slowly traveled, and eventually we pulled off to head north in search of what else was in our waters. We circumnavigated Flattop Island watching Bald Eagles soar in the sky and scan the horizon. We were also able to see Harbor Seals swimming in the water and hauled out in the midday sun. These Harbor Seals aren’t as lazy as they seem, they are utilizing this time to thermoregulate as well as building up that energy and oxygen storage in preparation of diving later on.

We traveled back towards Friday Harbor in the calm channel with the sun shining up at Mount Baker. It was truly wonderful to spend time with Bigg’s Killer Whales so close to home.