August 4, 2019

Olympic Peninsula Sunset and SO Many Orca Whales!!

Jordan | M/V Sea Lion | 08/4/19 | 5:30pm

Today was a magical day out on the water! Captain Erick, Naturalist Olivia and I headed out of Friday Harbor and went south through the San Juan Channel. We boated past Cattle Point Lighthouse and took some gorgeous pictures. Then we headed out into open seas and towards the Olympic Peninsula.

We sped across this large expanse of nothingness, enjoying the still water as we watched birds pass by and porpoises sneakingly swim past.

Eventually we found the orca whales! It was unbelievable! We found three pods all swimming together! The T137s, T46s, and the T46Bs! Such a large group of transient killer whales! We watched them travel slowly together, occasionally swimming really close together, splashing each other and rolling around. They were being so cute together! It was amazing; we saw three huge males in this group! All of them were in their late teens and have only recently “sprouted” the massive 6-foot-tall dorsal fins that we admired.  

We even saw a couple tiny whales in this big group as well. The youngsters showed us their tails a couple times as they playfully swam near their mothers as the large group headed southeast.

Then, suddenly, the huge group of orcas turned and headed towards our boat. Erick shut down our engine, and the whole boat held their breath as the orcas came closer and closer. We could hear every powerful breath as each whale swam by. You could see the wobble of their dorsal fins as they towered above the water and the setting sun made their blubbery backs sparkle. Everyone was so excited as they swam towards our bow, then disappeared.

Eventually, we headed back towards the harbor. Along the way, we enjoyed a completely gorgeous sunset. It literally looked like a painting.

What a fantastic day!

P.S. Congrats to the newlyweds! I swear…whales love, love!