July 23, 2021

Feeding Frenzy Fun with Bigg's Orcas Near Orcas Island!!

Jordan | M/V Osprey | 07/23/2021 12:30pm

What a fantastic day!

Captain Gabe, Naturalist Alexandria, Olivia and I jumped on Osprey and headed out towards adventure.

We were incredibly lucky as we rounded the corner and found whales immediately outside of Friday Harbor! Everyone got so excited as these six beautiful orca whales cruised down the San Juan Channel. As we admired their wild grace, they led us through Upright Channel above Lopez Island. We watched as they searched the shoreline for prey.

 As transient/Bigg’s killer whales, they search for marine mammals like harbor seals and porpoises to eat. Looking in hidden crevices beneath the surface, the powerful matriarch, Artemis, led the family towards Orcas Island when all of a sudden they took a sudden turn towards the boat. The huge male, Ooxjaa, lept through the air straight towards us. We shut off the engines and watched in shock and awe as the whole pod of Orcas began to feed right next to the boat! We could even see some blood and chunks of meat in the water!

 It was extraordinary to see the up-close detail of the Orcas dorsal fins and saddle patches as beads of seawater dripped off their backs. Even the baby popped up and down as they excitedly fed on the seal.

Eventually we slowly boated away and let them continue on their journey. On the way home, we stopped by a group of seals blissfully lounging on the shore, oblivious to the carnage that we just witnessed a few miles away.

We also saw a bald eagle! He perched on a channel marking surveying the water for fish or leftovers.

Today was so amazing. The crew felt so happy to have met so many lovely guests and be bystanders to something so raw, wild, and special.