June 30, 2022

Biggs Killer Whales Traveling Through Haro Strait

June 30th, 2022

Abby Dahl

2pm M/V Kestrel

Captain Michael and I loaded up our passengers and scooted left out of Friday Harbor, Northbound through San Juan Channel. We almost immediately turned around to head south, as a group of Biggs killer whales were heading northeast towards the west side of San Juan Island. It’s a precarious thing, where the harbor is located on the island and creating a path to whales on the other side. Do we go north? South? Animals are always unpredictable. Add in the fact that killer whales are not only top predators, but arguably the smartest animals on our planet and you have a conundrum. They could change their direction at any time, and planning a path to get to them in enough time for the tour can be a challenge.

So we decided to change things up and head south after all. We stopped at Whale Rocks to see our Steller sea lions and harbor seals basking in the rays of the sun, happy the rainy period was no longer upon us.

We turned right out of Cattle Pass, and headed northwest into Haro Strait. After some time of traveling towards Discovery Island in British Columbia, Canada, we saw dorsal fins; much sooner than we expected! A guest pointed them out, not a commonality, so they should be very proud. Whale watching takes a lot of patience and can be a treasure hunt at times, but the first time you spot a whale is an energizing experience.

We saw:

  • T049A “Nan” (1986, Female, mother of all listed below)
    • T049A1 “Noah” (2001, male)
    • T049A2 “Jude” (2007, male)
    • T049A3 “Nat” (2011, male)
    • T049A4 “Neptune” (2014, male)
    • T049A5 “Nebula” (2017, female)

The largest male, “Noah,” was trailing a couple miles behind his family, so we took a look at the family unit for a while before seeing some great looks of Noah. They were traveling quickly, an average of seven knots, beelining it towards Lime Kiln on the west side of San Juan Island.

After some great looks and time spent with this beautiful family, we made our way home, happy to have journeyed out to see these amazing creatures.

Filed by:

Reservations/ Marine Naturalist

Abby

Kestrel

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