July 4, 2021

Playful Bigg's Killer Whales Celebrate in the San Juan Islands

Playful Bigg's Killer Whales

Olivia | M/V Kestrel | July 4th, 2021 | 14:00

We left the dock as quickly as possible today knowing that the Bigg’s Killer Whales we saw at the very end of our first trip were aiming for Canada. With Covid-19 restrictions still in place, this means we would be unable to view once they crossed that border. We aimed straight for Battleship Island, finding 13 orcas playing around together in U.S. waters. These families included the T034’s, T037’s, and T065A’s. 


These mammal-eating Killer Whales were all intermingled with one another showing lots of surface action including breaches, lobtails, half breaches, spy hops, chin slaps, backslides, and more. It  was stunning! It’s not very often that we experience such incredible behavior, despite what most people think. Captain Brian and I, who are out on these waters nearly every day, were gushing at the wild behaviors we were witnessing. Our passengers were a part of a very intimate experience while also abiding by all legislation surrounding their safety. 


Eventually peeling away, we went and counted over 13 Bald Eagles composed of both adults and juveniles ( lucky 13, eh?), as well as heaps of Harbor Seals hauled out on the shoreline. We even saw Sika Deer, Fallow Deer, and Mouflon Sheep on the northside of Spieden Island! We returned to the dock with full hearts and stimulated souls from an experience that, in my opinion, was far better than the upcoming fireworks.