June 4, 2021

Seven Bigg's Killer Whales Near Point Roberts!

Abby | Kestrel | 6/4/2021

We had a long journey northward through the Strait of Georgia, right next to the Canadian border. The sky was cloudy and orca vibes fluttered among the sparkling blue-green waters of the Salish Sea. When we arrived at the last known location of some unidentified Bigg’s killer whales, we saw three blows on our port side. One on the starboard. Holy orcamole (like guacamole, get it?), one at our 12 o’clock! We were smack dab in the middle of an orca soup. They surrounded us as they zig-zagged their way through the now sediment-brown waters running down from the Fraser river.

After some time viewing these behemoths, we came to find out that we were in the midst of multiple families:

  • Harbeson T087 (Male, 1962) – Has a rectangular notch in his mighty dorsal fin!
  • Hutchins T100 (Female, 1979) and Offspring:
    • Laurel T100C (Male, 2002)
    • Tharaya T100E (Female, 2009)
    • Estrella T100F (Gender Unknown, 2014)
  • Lagoon T101B (Female, 1997) and Offspring:
    • T101B1 (Gender Unknown, 2010)

We had some amazing guests today with heaps of questions; so many phenomenal conversations about the Salish Sea ecosystem, the major changes we are seeing, and the conservation of our different orca ecotypes. I’m an orca nerd, so having so many people so full of life and passion is a real treat. I definitely cried a little today as we saw these family groups. Emotions on the water can be overpowering at times, and I was so honored to have shared that experience with 16 perfectly wonderful strangers.