July 17, 2017

A Salish Sea Sunset - Made Complete with Transient Orcas Sightings

Lauren Fritz, 07/16/17, M/V Sea Lion, 5:30 pm Tour

What an incredible evening trip! Sunset is one of the most scenic times to be out on the water - and today, the water was pure glass. The San Juan Islands have this magic about them that createst the most beautiful pastel colors at sunset and dusk, and watching orcas swim through these periwinkle waters is a memory our guests on board will most likely never forget!

This evening, we encountered a few different orca pods. The T46's were one of the largest; this is definitely one big family! T46 has several offspring and grand offspring; she's an absolute joy to see out on the water. The T36B's, a smaller family, were also out and about. These family pods seemed to be relaxing and taking it easy as they cruised the waters around Matia and Sucia Island. We caught glimpses of several of the adult males in the families, and as always were blown away by the sheer size and grace of these animals. 

Several of the guests on board had never seen orcas in the wild, and they agreed it was humbling to see how social and interactive they are with each other. Orcas rely on their family members for many aspects of their survival, including hunting, resting, and travel. They work together, support each other, assist each other whenever there might be an illness, injury, or even a newborn calf that's taking up just a little too much of Mom's energy. There have been numerous observations and studies that suggest that orcas are as emotionally developed as we are, and on a very similar intelligence level. Keeping all of this in mind, it's hard not to be mesmerized when these animals are in your vicinity.

Naturalist Rachel and I will be posting some of our favorite photos from the trip shortly. This was truly one of the most amazing whale watches I've been on in a while - great to have an amazing encounter with so many different Transients! Would you like to hang out with us on the water and see some amazing wildlife? Cruise on over to the San Juan Safaris homepage to book a tour or speak with a reservations agent now!

Lauren Fritz, Naturalist, San Juan Safaris