July 5, 2019

T65As Vocalizing off Shaw!

Jordan | M/V Sea Lion | 07/05/19 | 5:30pm

Today was truly one of my favorite whale watches of the season!

It started with the sun starting to sink lower in the sky as Captain Erick and I loaded the boat with all our passengers and headed out of Friday Harbor. We boated up around the south side of Shaw Island right next to Canoe Island and almost immediately found orca whales!

We were so lucky to find the T65As right away only a few minutes from the harbor. As we arrived, this beautiful family of orcas started to hunt! They submerged themselves underwater for minutes at a time as they scanned the surroundings for any seals. Then, suddenly, we see the whales surface, circling one area and exhibiting some speedy swimming while the baby whale showed us his tail in excitement.

As the frenzy calmed down, the whales seemed to celebrate as they ate and showed us more tails and the baby even jumped out of the water! Full baby breach! Captain Erick then dropped the hydrophone into the water and we listened as the orcas made vocalizations. Mostly, we heard the baby whale whistling and chirping underwater. So cute!

We shut off our engine entirely so it was just us and the whales in total silence as we listened to their powerful breaths bursting out of the water. With the engines off, the whales approached pretty close to our boat as they continued socializing and most likely enjoying the fruits of a successful hunt.

It’s always exciting to see these powerful predators in their natural environment.

But, our trip was made even more exciting as an incredibly adorable couple got engaged!! He proposed right in front of the orcas as she finally fulfilled her lifelong dream of seeing killer whales! As a huge romantic myself, I just had to give them a shout out on this blog. CONGRATULATIONS!

Eventually, we headed south down through the San Juan Channel all the way to Cattle Point. We boated over to Long Island where we found a beautiful bald eagle perched up in a tree! Really nice silhouette against the setting sun.

Then a couple rocks away, we found one stray harbor seal struggling to maintain his position on one of the few rocks left after high tide. The rest of his mates were hidden in the water somewhere hunting for fish.

Finally, we headed back to Friday Harbor very content with an amazing day.