June 26, 2019

Bigg's Killer Whales Take Over the San Juan Islands

Killer Whales in the San Juan Islands

Olivia | June 26, 2019 | M/V Sea Lion | 1:30pm

What a spectacular day on the water! We started off the trip heading north through the San Juan Channel and rounding the northern end of San Juan Island through Spieden Channel. Prior to this, we had already started to see Harbor Porpoises swimming around which was a fun start to the trip. These Harbor Porpoises are a common cetacean found in our waters. Since they are so shy, we tend to view them as we carry on at speed.

We continued to travel northwest where our whale sightings were reported between Stuart and Moresby Island. It was incredibly exciting for us as we approached them, because there was not one, but three different family groups traveling in the same area! This included the T36A’s, T65B’s, and our oddball, lone male T77A. This male was born in 1996 and is just starting to approach sexual maturity, therefore his tall, wide dorsal fin towered over the rest. We watched as they casually milled around cruising at only 3kts. As Laura chatted with the stern, I hung out with a bunch of our passengers at the bow and I just have to say how impressed I was with all of their questions and comments. It makes our educational chats so much more fun and personal hearing everyone’s thoughts, jokes, and where their interests lay.

On our way back towards Friday Harbor, we stumbled upon some Harbor Seals. As usual, everyone got a kick out of how much they really are “rock sausages” as they snooze on the shoreline. We should be seeing an increase in their population as they give birth, and an increase in the appearances of the Bigg’s Killer Whales- it’s all about balance in this biodiverse ecosystem! We even spotted several Bald Eagles soaring above in the sky! Captain Pete, Co-Naturalist Laura, and I really appreciated this fun, large group to start off our day! To learn more about the conservation in the Salish Sea and about one of the most productive waters in the world, come join us on our next Classic Whale Watching Tour!