May 31, 2019

Splashy Bigg's Killer Whales Near Henry Island!

Erin | M/V Sea Lion | Friday, May 31, 2019 | 12:00 PM

Today was a day packed full of amazing wildlife viewing! It was a sunny, beautiful day out on the water. We began our day heading north out of Friday Harbor, getting some gorgeous views of Spieden Island. We ended up on the western side of Stuart Island, watching a juvenile humpback whale. It was taking very short dives and only spending a few moments at the surface. It showed its beautiful fluke to us as we left. We also got an excellent view of Turn Point Lighthouse. On the north side of Henry Island, we came across some Bigg’s, or transient, killer whales!

When we first spotted them, they were porpoising at the surface, and travelling very quickly. Then they began to slap their tails on the surface of the water and breach!! It was excellent to see them being so playful and active. We got to see the underside of their flukes a few times, and there was a calf in the pod who was very active as well. Some of the members of the pod were believed to be members of the T65Bs and the T75Bs.  It was an enchanting encounter with the pod.

After seeing the orcas, we travelled back toward Friday Harbor, stopping by the south side of Spieden Island on the way. We saw 4 different bald eagles: three in the treetops and one resting on the rocks near the water. We also saw a few fallow deer by the trees! There were harbor seals resting on the beach along the south side of Spieden Island. On the most southern tip of Spieden Island, there were a few Steller’s sea lions rolling around in the water near some kelp. We saw such a wide variety of wildlife today, and it was a truly enjoyable trip. Have a good weekend, readers!

Naturalist Erin