July 11, 2021

Transient Orcas Around Deception Pass!

Jordan | M/V Kestrel | 07/11/2021 10:00pm

What an incredible trip today.

The day was perfectly sunny as Captain Eric and I hopped on the boat and headed between Shaw and Lopez Island. We wound around the Islands and through Lopez pass as we came out into the open waters of the Rosario Strait. The distant fog bank hid the coastline and made the seas look never-ending.

As we entered the fog, we found ourselves along the coastline of Fidalgo Island and suddenly there were orcas! A large group of transient orcas were casually perusing the coastline looking for prey. There seemed to be multiple groups swimming together. A few times they stopped and circled an area to chase after seals and splash around. The youngsters kept throwing their tails in the air almost like doing cartwheels! One even played in the bullkelp as he flung it around on his tail! Then an orca popped her whole head out of the water to look around! We call that spy-hopping! She was probably looking for seals but maybe she was looking at us too!

Then, they led us through Deception Pass. This absolutely gorgeous area brought us out of the fog bank and into clear waters next to shear rocky coastline and a massive bridge through a narrow channel.

On the other side we watched them as they enjoyed the waters and continued to hunt. At one point it looked like one of the whales had a chunk of meat in its mouth! So cool.

We were able to identify one of the pods as the T37As who were led by a young matriarch born in 1994.

Eventually, it was time to go back so we quietly left the scene.

We enjoyed the beautiful islands as we headed back, very happy with our whale adventure.