September 23, 2021

A Meditative Biggs Killer Whale Encounter

Abby | M/V Kestrel | 2pm | 9/23/2021

Captain Eric and I zoomed out of the harbor, a new sighting report coming from the north, close to Waldron Island. We popped over to Flattop Island on our way to view the lazy harbor seals who were sprawled out on the rocky shoreline, thermoregulating their plump bodies. Birds dotted the trees and the wake around this small island, giving us a good glimpse (and smell) of the base of the food chain. 

Once we got on scene with the whales, we got into a viewing sequence, spreading everyone out on one side of the boat for a front row view. 

Those that are indicated in bold are the whales we saw, for a total of four individuals. Notice how Elsie (T065A5) was travelling with his aunt and cousins! The T065B’s tend to spend a lot of time in SE Alaska and come down to the Salish Sea in the fall, so it’s no wonder this juvenile wanted to spend some time with his auntie… maybe they just haven’t seen each other in a while and the cousins wanted a play date. 

  • Artemis T065A (1986, Female)
    • Ooxjaa T065A2 (2004, Male)
    • Amira T065A3 (2007, Gender Unknown)
    • Ellifrit T065A4 (2011, Female)
    • Elsie T065A5 (2014, Male)
    • Callisto T065A6 (2018, Female)
  • Chunk T065B (1993, Female)
    • Birdsall T065B1 (2011, Male)
    • Calf Not Yet Named T065B2 (2019, Unknown Gender)

We sat and watched these four zig and zag around the rocky shorelines for quite some time. It was a magical experience to cut the engine, drift in the waves, and listen to Chunk and these youngsters breathe. The water was mirror-like and soothing as we covered topics like salmon restoration and conservation in the Salish Sea. This was a day to remember.