June 20, 2021

San Juan Sunset and Bigg’s Killer Whales

Bigg’s Killer Whale

Maxx K. | M/V Osprey | 06/20/2021 | 5:30pm

    This was a spectacular evening. From the moment Osprey left Friday Harbor you could see whales. A family known as the T049A’s had worked their way up the San Juan Channel and were now aimed at Friday harbor as we exited. 

These Bigg’s Killer whales were members of the T049A family and consisted of Mom, Nan (T049A), her oldest son, Noah (T049A1), and three additional children, Nat, Neptune, and Nebula. 

The family rose to the surface for breath, one after the other as they continued moving north through the San Juan Channel. We joined them for almost thirty minutes before continuing onward towards Spieden Island. 

As the sun lowered beyond the southern slopes of the island we were delighted to find the hills filled with grazing Mouflon sheep and Fallow deer. During the hot summer afternoons I’ve found that they typically keep to the shade of the fir and hemlock trees on the north side of the island. However, as the sun begins to set, they visit the grasses on the exposed southern slope, giving us an opportunity to admire them. 

We passed with Speiden on our left while Harbor seals and a Bald eagle greeted us below Sentinel island as we continued on our starboard.

And if anyone hadn’t already had their fill of wildlife on this insane sunset journey the T049’s passed by once again! This time they rounded the southeast corner of Spieden island heading westward. We sat in silence as they slowly passed us, concluding one of the most beautiful trips I’ve experienced thus far this season.