November 24, 2018

Orcas Spotted in Haro Strait | 11/24/2018 | M/V Sea Lion | 12:00pm

Bigg's killer whale | Photo: Jeanne Hyde

[Sarah | 11/24/2018 | M/V Sea Lion | 12:00pm]

We had a lovely tour on Saturday, which, like many of our November tours, left us in awe of how fast sightings can change. Captain Brian, Naturalist Ryder, and I gathered our guests up and left Friday Harbor. To start the tour, we decided to head north through San Juan Channel towards the Canadian Gulf Islands. We stopped around Flattop Island to see if we could find any wildlife like harbor seals and bald eagles, before continuing north.

When we are out on the water we are in communication with any other whale watch boats out on the search for wildlife. We are all obligated to share our sighting information with one another, so we are able to spread out to cover as much water as a group on the search for wildlife. On Saturday, that network paid off. As we headed north we got a call from another boat, they had a group of orcas to the south west of our location. It was an easy choice for Captain Brian… he whipped the boat around and headed in that direction.

As we headed south we experienced the true power of the tidal fluctuations in the San Juan Islands, with some impressive wave action. M/V Sea Lion handled the rolling water with no problem as we continued south. As we travelled on another whale watch boat just ahead of us called Captain Brian on the radio. They had found a second group of orcas who were less than a mile in front of us! We were treated to an incredible encounter with two families of Bigg’s killer whales known as the T035s and the T038s. These two families are some of our rarer families to visit the inland waters of Washington state, so it was treat to spend some time with them.

It was great to have such an enthusiastic group of guests out on the water with us and to be able to share some amazing animals with them. We can’t wait for next season… is it February yet?!

Filed by:

Captain, Lead Naturalist & Vessel Coordinator

Sarah M.

Sea Lion


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