July 8, 2019

Dual Whale Day Continues; Humpback and Killer Whales in Boundary Pass

Humpback Whales in Boundary Pass Bigg's Killer Whales in Boundary Pass

Olivia | July 8th, 2019 | M/V Kestrel | 3:00pm

Perk of being on the 3:00pm tour, is that our 11:00am has already scoped out the area to know where our potential whale sightings are. Captain Pete and I were confident on seeing both Humpback Whales and Killer Whales up in Boundary Pass, so we started off by heading north through the San Juan Channel to find them! We ended up near the same family group as this morning, the T65A’s, and watched as they milled around and provided us with beautiful playfulness and a wobbly dorsal fin from that teenage male. We spent a fair amount of time with this family group, as it was a first time for many passengers on the boat to see Orcas. Pete and I are both out on the water most days out of the week, and seeing these large dolphins never ceases to take our breath away. As we were thinking of carrying on, we got a nice look at a black and white tail fluke flipping in the air, almost waving goodbye. It was then that our Captain, in true dad fashion, whipped out the line “That’s the tail end of our show, folks!”

We headed west along Saturna to check out Java rocks where we were able to see Harbor Seals and two bald eagles perched up! Although these large birds of prey hunt and fish in our waters, they are primarily scavengers and will even steal prey from others. To our surprise on the way back, we stumbled upon two Humpback Whales, Heather and Raptor! As a company, we keep a distance of 100 meters to not only respect this wildlife and give them space, but also to abide by federal laws surrounding these marine mammals. We were about 200 meters away as they dove, and after six minutes, anxiously awaited to see where they popped back up. Captain Pete, unsure of where this may be, turned off the engine so we could listen for that exhale when suddenly, we got mugged! This is an expression for when they pop up very close to the vessel all on their own. Now, like I said, we actively keep our distance, but the beauty of wildlife, is that they’re wild and unpredictable! With about two breathes near us, they fluked nice and high up at our bow. I can say with confidence this will be a day for all of us to remember!