September 8, 2019

Solo Orca and Humpback Whale in the Salish Sea

Solo Bigg's Killer Whale near Stuart Island

Olivia | September 8th, 2019 | M/V Sea Lion | 12:00pm

What a fun day Captain Sarah and I had with all our passengers on M/V Sea Lion! We started off the trip by heading north where we immediately began seeing Harbor Porpoises rounding San Juan Island through Spieden Channel. After taking a quick stop at Spieden Island to see Bald Eagles, Harbor Seals, and heaps of Mouflon Sheep, we continued towards Stuart Island where we ran into our solo Bigg’s Killer Whale, T49A3! This goofy youngster born in 2011 was traveling by himself, an odd sight at a young age especially when the Transient Orca males typically travel with their mothers their entire life. We watched as he milled along the shoreline, the spray of every breath silhouetted by the pines of the Pacific Northwest. He eventually found his way to Turn Point Lighthouse, the most northwest lighthouse in the United States where we waved goodbye and traveled east through Boundary Pass.

Captain Sarah brought us over towards Patos Island where we were able to see another whale! This time, it was a solo Humpback Whale named Bond, a very fitting name for MMX0007. This large baleen has only 0-30% white coloration underneath his tail fluke and was munching along the edge of the Canadian border feeding constantly on krill and plankton. Very shortly, this Humpback Whale will start making the long migration back to the warmer winter waters of the Hawaiian Islands.

Working with Captain Sarah is always a pleasure with her great instincts and bubbly, passionate personality. Even spending most of her time in the wheelhouse it radiates through the entire boat. I brought out lots of models and whale catalogs to educate our passengers on the incredible marine life within the Salish Sea and was amazed by the ability to see both a baleen and toothed whale today. Peak season is still lingering, and we would love to share the magic of these waters with you!