May 21, 2014

Killer Whales Save the Day!

After leaving our Friday Harbor location today and traveling the waters of the Salish Sea for the majority of our tour, captain Mike and I decided to head in the direction of San Juan Island. Guests aboard the M/V Sea Lion saw harbor porpoise, steller sea lions, harbor seals, and a wide variety of sea birds. Still, we had yet to find any orcas. That was until we received a call over the radio while we were passing the southwest side of Waldron Island. The radio call notified us of a killer whale traveling in the waters between Barns and Clark Island. I was ecstatic! This is always my favorite part of the trip: when I can tell guests, who don’t think they’ll be able to see killer whales, that they will indeed be able to experience them.

Spirits were high as we extended our trip to see the killer whale. The report was of one transient orca; but soon, one turned into three and three turned into seven whales! We ended up seeing the T100's, T101A, and T102 (both very large, impressive males with towering dorsal fins). These whales were also part of a larger group sighted about a month ago in between Portland and Salt Spring Island in Canada. They had been away from the waters of the Salish Sea for just sixteen days, and were already back again! It was very interesting to see that that group of transients were still traveling together. It’s safe to say, the killer whales saved the day!

Heather, Naturalist, M/V Sea Lion

San Juan Safaris