August 9, 2021

Multiple families of Bigg’s Killer Whales traveling around San Juan Islands!

Bigg's Killer Whales in Lopez Sound

Haleigh | M/V Kestrel | August 09, 2021 | 10:00am


There are few days that begin like today. We left the harbor, excited and ready to search for wildlife around the islands. Being one of the first boats out on the water, we were in search mode. However, not long after we departed a report came in for some killer whales around our waters. We rerouted to follow along with that note. Sure enough, we found our first big wildlife of the day!


There were 4 Bigg’s Killer Whales traveling tightly along the shoreline of Shaw Island. This family, the T99’s, swam spread out all along the shore. We watched as they even cut across the channel despite the boat traffic of private vessels. After watching this family of 4 move towards the west side of Orcas Island, we departed to follow another report of Bigg’s Killer Whales.


This report led us to the T37A’s. They were first seen in the middle of Lopez Sound. They moved towards Frost Island, coming in towards the sandy beach that occasionally connects Lopez island and Frost. Eventually they rounded the southern tip of Frost island, moving up and along its eastern edge. Surfacing frequently, we all got really good looks at this family before departing again. 


Before reentering Friday Harbor, we look on at the harbor seals hauled along the shoreline near Turn Island! They always look so cute staring back with puppy-dog eyes in their classic banana boat-shaped pose. Having such good luck with wildlife is something to celebrate and embrace, and everyone on the boat was able to soak up this incredible experience!