May 29, 2022

Memorial Day Weekend Orcas and Humpbacks in Canada!!

Jordan | M/V Kestrel | 05/29/2022 2:00pm

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! Today was such a special day out in the Salish Sea.

Captain Eric and I greeted out guests and headed out of Friday Harbor towards the north. We cruised past Orcas Island and Waldron Island then across into Canadian waters.

As we saw the city of Vancouver in the distance, we spotted the Orca whales! Swimming speedily through the deep green waters, 9 Transient (Bigg’s) orca whales seemed to be headed towards Saturna Island. We figured out that we were watching two pods: the T123s and the T75Bs. Within the group was a massive male (T123A) with a distinctive notch towards the top of his dorsal fin. We also spotted a couple youngsters too! Together as a large group they mingled and swam through the choppy water constantly on the lookout for any possible prey. We enjoyed their presence as we bobbed along and admired their beauty.

Eventually we slowly departed the area took look for other things. We spotted some harbor seals on the rocks! There were loads of them covering the rocks and a few swimming in the water. Luckily for them, the orcas didn’t come over to feast.

Then, we found humpback whales! In fact, she is my personal favorite humpback whale: Big Mama! With a new calf! She’s been identified by her unique patterns on her tail as she migrates between the San Juans and down to Hawaii for the mating/calving season. Then, they both started breaching! They flung their entire bodies out of the water over and over again! Big Mama even started tail slapping and tail lobbing. It was quite the sight to behold.  

Finally, we needed to go home so we booked it back through the gorgeous islands and back home.

What a wonderful trip. Thanks everyone for coming!