September 29, 2019

Orca and Humpback spotted on Adventure Tour

male killer whale

Sarah | 09/29/2019 | M/V Kestrel | 11:00am

Captain Gabe and I set out from Friday Harbor for another day on the Salish Sea. We set out from Friday Harbor heading south towards reports of good weather and smooth water.

On our way out towards open water we decided to stop to check out some Steller’s sea lions hauled out on Whale Rocks in Cattle Pass. These massive pinnipeds are the largest sea lions in the world, males can reach lengths of 12 feet long and weigh over 2,400 pounds! We watched the huge golden-brown animals as they crawled on the rocks and flipped through the water.

After a great encounter with the sea lions we decided to point west to a report of an orca hanging out near Port Angeles on the Olympic Peninsula. One of my favorite things about M/V Kestrel is its range! In a 3-4 hour trip we can cover so much distance, that make far-away reports of wildlife attainable. As we arrived on scene with the whale, we identified him as T049C, a lone male who is locally known by the nickname “Janet” after a humpback whale researcher. We got some great looks at the big guy in some ocean swell rolling in through the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

While we were watching the orca, we got a report of a humpback whale close to Lopez Island. We decided to quickly check out the huge baleen whale on our way home! Harbor seals, harbor porpoise, and our abundant sea birds rounded out the day!