July 16, 2019

Playful Killer Whales near Clark Island

Bigg's Killer Whales near Clark Island

Olivia | July 16th, 2019 | M/V Sea Lion | 1:30pm

Today was a gorgeous day out on the water! We had multiple sightings reported for whales in our area, and Captain Gabe decided to go with our best option of heading south just a wee bit before passing between Shaw and Lopez Islands. Between these islands we saw three Bald Eagles and a Bald Eagle Nest! These large birds of prey are considered to be monogamous by returning to the same nest with the same mate year after year. They continuously add to these nests, so much so that they can be over 6 feet deep and 2,000 pounds!

From there, we traveled through Obstruction Pass and north around the east side of Orcas Island to Barnes and Clark Islands. It was just south of Clark Island that we saw our group of Bigg’s Killer Whales! We had multiple family groups traveling together- T124, T124A’s and T86A1- totaling up to about 8 individuals. This mammal eating ecotype of Killer Whales were very playful showing up many breaches, lobtailing, and a few spy hops. Hearing these large mammals breathe air, watching them play with their young, and socialize on our sunny days, never gets old for Captain Gabe, Co-Naturalist Alexandria, and myself; we were equally as giddy as our passengers!

After viewing the world’s largest dolphin at about 200 meters for half an hour, we carried on to see what other wildlife was around. On our route home, we stumbled across many Harbor Seals who were lounging about and playing in the water. These tiny Pinnipeds are a big hit, especially when there was a pup hanging out in our harbor earlier today! Come hang out with Alexandria, Gabe and myself as we talk, laugh, and educate you on all the wildlife our Salish Sea has to offer- and hear really bad dad puns.