August 14, 2021

Power Pod Sighting with the T18s Near Sucia!

Today was great!

I was incredibly excited when I first heard that the T18s were in the area. This powerful pod consists of 4 massive whales: Two adult males and 2 females. The pod is led by the matriach and grandmother named "Esperanza" followed by her daughter "Nootka" and her two grandchildren "Galiano" and "Spouter." This family is known for splitting into pairs consisting of one of the huge males and one of the females. And that's just what we saw today!

As the crew (Naturalist Oliva, Haleigh and Captain Gabe) and I approached the scene near Sucia Island, we found Spouter with his towering dorsal fin and one of the females circling rocks close to shore as they splashed around and chased after seals hiding among the rocks. Soon after the other two whales rounded the corner and joined the others as they hung close to the beautiful area known as Fossil Bay.

Coincidentally, a woman on board was named Sucia! Specifically after Sucia Island. So, I found it incredibly serendipitous that the whales chose to hunt along that exact island.

We watched in admiration as they worked together to search for food. Orcas food share amongst their family so they always make sure that everyone is well fed.

Then, suddenly, the entire family turned and headed straight towards the boat! We shut off the engines and watched in silent anticipation as they gracefully passed in front of our bow. Swimming towards Orcas Island, they all swam closely together and surfaced in sync with one another.

Eventually, we needed to head home so we said our goodbyes. On the way, we spotted some harbor seals and harbor porpoises who seemed unaware that their main predators were lurking just a few miles away.

What an exciting day out on the water.