August 29, 2019

Killer Whales Love San Juan Island

Orcas Near San Juan Island

Olivia | August 29th, 2019 | M/V Sea Lion | 1:30pm

Today was such a breezy day on the water, both literally and figuratively. We started off by [barely] traveling south to find Bigg’s Killer Whales near Pear Point. From there, they turned north and were able to view them all the way back to Friday Harbor. As soon as we found them, we also saw Harbor Porpoises that were frantically fleeing the other way, including a full leap out of the water which is rare for porpoises.  This specific family was a group of 4 individuals, the T137’s! This comprised of a matriarch born in 1984 and her three kiddos, including a 17 year old male.

Being right out of the harbor, a lucky coincidence which is not that common, we were able to view them for a while before splitting off in search of other wildlife. We headed to Spieden Island, seeing Harbor Porpoise all along the way, and were able to talk all about the crazy history of the former Safari Island. As we boated along the skinny island, we saw a Bald Eagle soaring above, heaps of Harbor Seals snoozing and awkwardly scooting about, tons of Mouflon Sheep and a few spunky Fallow Deer.

Drifting back south we, again, saw tons of Harbor Porpoise swimming and even a trio of 3 Harbor Seals floating as well! As we were diving into in depth discussions on salmon restoration and the mind-boggling intelligence of Orcas… we stumbled upon that same family group just north of Friday Harbor milling and socializing with one another. Like I said, this breezy of a trip isn’t very common, but we are not complaining! Even if the island visitors are starting to slack, we are still in peak season for our transient orcas!