May 6, 2022

Three Families of Bigg's Killer Whales and Surprise Humpback Whales!

Bigg's Killer Whales in the Salish Sea

Olivia | M/V Sea Lion | May 6th, 2022 | 12:30pm

Leaving the dock at the start of a trip is not only normal for the shoulder season, but for peak season as well. With no whales tagged in these waters, everything is found on visual sight. Today we left the dock and decided to take a chance heading north while other vessels in the Pacific Whale Watch Association were searching down south. This worked in our favor because about 20 minutes into our trip, another vessel spotted not one, but 11 Bigg’s Killer Whales not far from where we were. Off we went passing heaps of Harbor Porpoise along the way!

North of Skipjack Island in Boundary Pass, we spotted many black dorsal fins and small spouts abstracted against the green and blue background. Comprising of the T037’s, T034’s, and T075B’s, the eldest matriarch was born at or before 1969, while the youngest calf was born just last year in 2021. We love seeing multiple family groups socialize with one another, reminding us that their family values aren’t too dissimilar from our own.

Just as the mammal eating killer whales started to head further away towards the Strait of Georgia, we noticed larger blows against the shoreline of Saturna Island. It was none other than a mom and calf Humpback Whale! Being my first Humpback Whale family duo of the season- in addition to being so unexpected- I was [extra] over the moon with all our passengers.

Heading home we were able to watch Harbor Seals laying around in their usual banana pose and Bald Eagles soaring above them. Today felt like our peak season was waking up with the diversity coming together within the Salish Sea; a perfect reminder of the larger interconnectedness of what makes these waters so special.