July 4, 2021

The Fourth of July Brings Bald Eagles and Bigg's Killer Whales

Bigg's Killer Whales Visit Stuart Island

Olivia | M/V Kestrel | July 4th, 2021 | 10:00am

Setting out this holiday morning, we were one of the first vessels in the Pacific Whale Watch Association to leave the dock in search of whales and other wildlife. Making sure to scan as many bodies of water around the salish sea as we could, including inner waterways, our travels first took us to New Channel where the Cactus Islands sit. We immediately stumbled upon an amazing experience I have never witnessed before. Over a dozen adult and juvenile Bald Eagles feeding on a Harbor Seal carcass. Not only have I never seen so many juveniles, but seeing THAT many adults feeding together was absolutely bananas. Maybe they knew they were the stars of the animal kingdom for today’s holiday.


Continuing our search we headed north through Boundary Pass into the Strait of Georgia where there has been some recent Humpback Whale Sightings. Even though we did not see any big blows, we did find tons of Harbor Porpoise and passed a large Harbor Seal haul out on Patos Island. As we were traveling back south in the direction of Friday Harbor, we received word of some Bigg’s Killer Whales traveling north through Haro Strait currently off Henry Island. Even if this extended our trip to the 4 hour mark, we knew it was completely worth it to see some black and white dolphins!


Just south of Stuart Island, we came across the black dorsal fins of one of our favorite mammal eating orcas- the T046’s! While it was a quick visit, we scored some incredible looks as they traveled together, rolling atop one another and aiming for Turn Point Lighthouse. Remembering that the whales who call the Salish Sea home are not tagged, that means they could be anywhere. No boundaries, no human instructions on what to do, and they just so happened to come along at a time where we were able to experience them; to remember that we share this home with many species other than our own. That intimacy is beautiful and we are always thrilled to share that with others from around the world.