July 10, 2019

A [Killer] Whale Adventure in the Salish Sea!

Bigg's Killer Whales near San Juan Island

Olivia | July 10th, 2019 | M/V Kestrel | 11:00am

We had the most adventurous ‘Adventure Tour’ yet this season! Gearing up for the trip, Captain Brian decided to take a risk and head towards our only Killer Whale reports down in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, almost bordering Haro Strait. On our way south near Cattle Point, we stopped at Whale Rocks to view Harbor Porpoises (which we saw right at the dock) and many sea birds such as Cormorants. Here’s where the adventure truly began! It was almost a pirate feel exploring into the thick fog that encompassed our waters. We were only able to see a few meters around our boat and popping in and out of small pockets of clarity. Slowly, we saw other Whale Watching Vessels quieting emerge from the dense cloud as a few other brave souls were on the lookout.

Just as we were debating whether this was worth it to continue searching within our lack of visibility, we saw the black dorsal fins of several Bigg’s Killer Whales! We searched hard and it was worth it! Amidst the fog, a few larger Orcas started porpoising in our direction on a hunt for Harbor Porpoises in the surprisingly glassy seas! They all launched at the smaller cetaceans and continued to have a feeding frenzy, teaching their young calves how to hunt as well. Now before you think we are completely brutal in the excitement we got from watching this lunch time event, all the animals in our environment thrive from this predator-prey balance; it is what holds the entire ecosystem together. Big shout out to the woman on board who captured an action shot of a giant tail fluke flipping a porpoise in the air. To express our thrill one last time, this trip was National Geographic worthy. We circled back north through the Haro Strait, wrapping around San Juan Island to Friday Harbor. Second big shout out of the post to Captain Brian for giving us the adventure of a lifetime!