September 4, 2021

Seas of Glass and Bigg’s Killer Whales

Bigg's Killer Whale

Maxx K. | M/V Sea Lion | 09/04/2021 | 1:30pm

    Today was another grey day. It felt like 7:00pm all afternoon as the sun never seemed to be able to creep out from behind the clouds. Yet still, the seas were flat calm, glassy. These are perfect whale spotting conditions and myself and our boatful of guests were hyped to get out there and see what we could find. 

    There was only one whale report this morning: a family called the T100s that were currently foraging just south of Hein bank and were beginning to make their way north towards San Juan Island. 

    Sea lion raced southbound towards the reports and eventually arrived on scene where four whales swiftly raced through the Juan De Fuca. These were the T100s: 

T100 - “Hutchins” - F - ~1979 

T100C - “Laurel” - M - 2002

T100D - “Tharaya” - F - 2009

T100E - “Estrella” - 2014

    Hutchins is an incredible mother. She has had six children in her lifetime. Two of them have passed away unfortunately but have been survived by four other siblings, one of which (T100B) has gone on to have children of her own! T100 is a grandmother! 

    As they approached Hein bank, I have to assume that they were exploring the bull kelp beds that were now only 40 feet beneath us. Perhaps they searched for an unaware and unlucky harbor seal. Maybe they were simply enjoying the new stimulation! Who knows!

    These whales were so much fun to watch. They moved pretty consistently at our starboard before making a hard turn behind us. Captain Eric cut the engine as the family surfaced directly behind us, one after the other. They moved with such precise coordination, rising and falling between one another with perfect synchronization. Watching them makes me wonder, what are they thinking about? What are they communicating to one another? What are they saying? 

    I’m never going to know these answers but that’s also why I’m forever intrigued by whales. We watched them for thirty minutes before turning back towards home. Thank you Captain Pete and Eric for an awesome day, we had a blast!