July 15, 2019

Orcas and Then More Orcas!

Jordan | M/V Sea Lion | 07/15/19 | 5:30pm

Today was so amazing! It was just 12 of my guests, Captain Gabe, and me! It felt like such a nice little group. Everyone was so sweet and it was so much fun making friends with the really bright nine-year-old on board, Caileen. Exiting the harbor, we had high hopes for some good orca sightings based on reports we were receiving from other whale watching boats! They were headed towards us!

So, we took our boat and headed north through the San Juan Channel and up towards Waldron Island. We boated up past Patos Island, seeing Saturna Island in Canada off in the distance as we entered the Strait of Georgia. Here we found our orcas! It became like a scavenger hunt as these orcas scattered across a large body of water and kept popping up in random places. Eventually we recognized these orcas as the T101s! These are transient orcas aka Bigg’s killer whales aka marine mammal hunters! This pod was clearly very powerful as we spotted mom accompanied by three huge males in the group (two adult sons and her brother). These 30-foot-long whales showed off their massive bodies as they swam alongside their mother and followed her lead.

Eventually they headed away from our boat but then one of the males stayed near our boat for a minute, drawing fairly close to us before he left and joined his family. So, then we started heading back towards the harbor.

Then, suddenly, Captain Gabe got excited and shouted that he found more orcas! So unexpected! With no other whale watching boats in sight, we watched another pod of orcas gracefully swim throughout the water illuminated by the setting sun. Quite magical.

Then, we saw them eating! One orca moonwalked backwards! This is a clear indication that they are participating in prey sharing! So amazing.

Eventually, we headed all the way back to Friday Harbor, enjoying the sunset and the full moon glowing orange in the sky.

What a fantastic day!!