June 25, 2019

Fun with the T101's near Moresby Island

Erin | M/V Sea Lion | Tuesday, June 25, 2019 | 1:30 PM

What a lovely afternoon in the Salish Sea! We began our trip heading north out of Friday Harbor. The sun was shining and we were ready to see some amazing wildlife. We headed toward some reports of orcas near Stuart Island. When we got to Stuart Island, we saw the beautiful lighthouse at Turn Point. Turn Point is the most northwestern point in the contiguous United States. We continued on across Haro Strait, and made it to Moresby Island, where we caught sight of three orcas in the distance! 

When we got closer to the orcas, we could see that there were two males and one female orca. The males appeared to be fully grown, with large 6 foot tall dorsal fins. The whales were identified as the T101's. T101, who is the matriarch, is believed to be 46 years old, and her sons are 26 and 22! They were joined by another male orca during the encounter, but we were unable to identify him. While we watched them, they were spreading out throughout the channel, but by the end of our sighting, they came back together as a family pod. Perhaps they were spreading out in order to scan for seals in the channel, but we didn't see any evidence of them securing any prey. We then turned back toward the harbor and stopped by Spieden Channel on our way. We saw lots of harbor seals hauled out along the southern shoreline, and one of them appeared to have a pup! We also saw two bald eagles, one of which flew away, and we got to see its 6 foot wingspan! It was a day full of wildlife! 

Naturalist Erin