September 24, 2017

Southern Resident Orcas in the Southern Gulf Islands

9/24/2017 – M/V Sea Lion—Noon

On this sunny Sunday afternoon the M/V Sea Lion departed Friday Harbor and headed north, exploring the east coast of San Juan Island. Continuing on, we ventured through Boundary Pass and into Canadian waters, but no passports were needed for our visit today! Motoring into the Trincomali Channel we passed by a number of the Southern Gulf Islands and there’s no better a backdrop for the exciting sighting of Southern Resident Killer Whales for which we were instore!

Arriving on scene with about 30 members of the J and L pods, the guests aboard the Sea Lion were treated with amazing displays of hunting and socializing behavior. The orcas rolled and tail-slapped, throwing their appendages every which way. We even saw four or five spy hops—my personal favorite! Spy hopping is when a whale swims up vertically to the surface and thrusts its head into the air, giving itself a great vantage point to check out what’s going on at the surface, then the whale will sink gracefully underwater again.

After soaking in our fill of the SRKWs we turned around and headed back in the direction of the United States, and of our Friday Harbor home; what a beautiful day to be in the Salish Sea!