June 25, 2018

Spieden Island Transient Orcas!

Guests aboard M/V Kestrel were treated to a fantastic day on the water yesterday, as Transient Orca pods T49A’s and T65A’s all hung out swimming around the south park of Spieden Island.  We saw lot’s of tail lobs from these oras, and even some breaches by some of the smaller kiddo orcas! 

We started out the trip suiting up in our very fashionable exposure suits, and heading down to board M/V Kestrel.  After Captain Gabe talked to us about safety and Kestrel we boarded and began out adventure.  We headed down to Whale Rocks were we got some incredibly entertaining looks at our Harbor Seals (AKA “Rock Sausages”) and our Steller Sea Lions (AKA “Rock Kielbasas”).  Our Stellers were feeling incredibly feisty today, and we got to witness quite a few squabbles over who’s rock was whom, and who go the sunniest property of the group.  There were even some Stellers rafting in the water in front of us! 

After hanging out with these Pinnipeds for a while longer, we headed up San Juan Channel towards Spieden Island.  Upon arrival we were greeted by a nice breach in the distance, and as we got closer the surface action only increased!  These Transients must have been happy to have just had a nice lunch because they were incredibly playful!  As mentioned above, we saw tail lobs, cartwheels, breaches, and tons of action at the surface of the water which made for a very exciting whale watch! 

After spending a nice amount of time with these Transient Orcas, we hugged the coastline of Spieden and searched for an Eagle! We saw one on the tree line closest to us and watched him for a bit.  We then continued working our way East on the Southern side of Spieden Isalnd and were treated to some Fallow and Sitka deer hanging around, grazing and searching the cliffs for water from the springs.

Finally it was time to head home to Friday Harbor.  We couldn’t have asked for a better day- we’d seen an incredible mix of wildlife and those Transient Orcas were the perfect icing on the cake!

Until Next Time,

Naturalist Alexandria