July 9, 2019

Curious Killer Whales in the Strait of Juan de Fuca

Bigg's Killer Whales on Sunset Tour

Olivia | July 9th, 2019 | M/V Sea Lion | 5:30pm

For our rainy sunset tour, Captain Gabe immediately started heading south past the Cattle Point Lighthouse down into the Strait of Juan de Fuca where we had far away whale sightings from earlier in the day. While he was determined to show our passengers whales, I started handing out rain slickers and heaps of blankets for our hour and 15-minute trek south. While on route, we spotted Harbor Seals and Harbor Porpoises swimming about which made the open water exciting.

Nearing our whale sighting, we came across a Humpback Whale! Gabe and I agreed that we would only stop a few minutes, since we had Killer Whales a little further south that were potentially moving out of our range. In timely fashion, this Humpback tail fluked on a long dive and we were around just long enough to catch that epic photo! Carrying on, we came across the Bigg’s Killer Whales we were striving to see. This consisted of the T34’s, T37, and T37B’s, about 7 individuals including two young calves born in 2017.

Keeping a distance exceeding 200 meters away, our Captain turned off the engine and came out to watch in amazement with us when all of a sudden, they started swimming right towards us. So much so, that they came right next to our boat, swam right underneath, and continued behind us. Curious, wild Orcas always seem to equally surprise and amaze us. What a phenomenal experience that we would not have been able to be a part of without the determination of finding our passengers whales. Because of this, our travelers, along with myself, gave Captain Gabe a giant thank you cheer for the experience of a lifetime. I strive to be a knowledgeable and enthusiastic naturalist to excite, educate, and spread awareness to people from around the world, but I believe these Captains are often the real MVP’s that make it all happen. Come join us on a sunset tour and see how much we love our team, the wildlife, and our Salish Sea!