August 9, 2019
Crew Favorite Killer Whale Traveling Solo
Olivia | August 9th, 2019 | M/V Sea Lion | 1:30pm
It was a gorgeous day on the water today as Captain Erick, Co-Naturalist Erin and I headed south with our passengers through the San Juan Channel. We caught word of a lone male Orca traveling near Victoria, B.C. and decided to make the trek southwest to see if we could view one of our favorite Bigg’s Killer Whales. On our way there, we passed heaps of Harbor Porpoises and bait balls, making it an entertaining trip through the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the southern end of Haro Strait.
As we passed Discovery Island, we finally found our lone male, T65A2. He is not typically a solo traveler, in fact these male Killer Whales stay with their mothers their entire life, but he has been one of our kids who started getting rebellious and traveling around. We have a few, what I like to call, “Angsty Teens” that start to push their limits before returning to their mother’s small matriline. With a tall, wobbly dorsal fin, this 15 year old continues to be one of our beloveds in these waters, and I was thrilled to talk about him as we received incredible views of this black and white transient.
As he continued his travels, we too started heading back towards San Juan Island. We made a pit stop at Whale Rocks to check out not only the Harbor Seals, but the Steller’s Sea Lions! I love that they’ve returned a wee bit earlier than normal because these large dinosaur-like mammals are one of the coolest Pinnipeds. Having the largest Sea Lion in the world next to the second smallest Seal in the world, provided incredible views and a fantastic example of the biodiversity our Salish Sea obtains.