July 2, 2021

Great Trip with Brother Transient Orcas Near Lopez!

Jordan | M/V Sea Lion | 07/02/2021 2:00pm

We got so lucky today!

 Captain Pete and I headed out of Friday Harbor and found whales in only a few minutes! This is an incredibly rare occurrence, so we were feeling really excited.

As we slowly approached the scene, we identified the whales as the two brothers: T77C and T77D also known as Neftali and Alcyon! We found then near Lopez Island and they led as all along the coastline down the San Juan Channel. They were cruising along, looking pretty relaxed when all of a sudden, they stopped. Circling one area, they seemed to suddenly become excited and energetic as they dove up and down. One of them even spy hopped, looking around at the surface as his whole head came out of the water! They were most likely chasing a seal. And based on their movements, it seemed like they were taking turns eating their prey.

Eventually they calmed down and headed around the southern point of Lopez Island and we emerged out into open waters.

Enjoying the Olympic Peninsula in the distance, we meandered amongst smaller islands of the coastline. We enjoyed looking for a huge bald eagles’ nest high up in the tree tops! It’s so impressive how large they can build their nests.

Then we found a rock island covered with Steller sea lions! These large pinnipeds were so fun to watch as they barked at each other and jumped in and out of the water. We mentally compared them to the harbor seals we saw at the very beginning of the trip and realized that they are so different! The sea lions are much bigger and louder and more aggressive than their cousins.

We also passed by Goose Island that was covered in hundreds of birds. Cormorants sat high in their nests on the rocks as gulls flocked into the air. Quite beautiful.

Finally we headed back into the harbor.

Great trip!