August 23, 2017
Transient Orcas (T065A's) Travel South Through Rosario Strait
[Naturalist Erick, M/V Sea Lion, 8/20/17, 1:30PM]
On Sunday, Captain Mike, Rachel, and I started on another super exciting wildlife and whale tour. We headed east towards some reports of Transient Orcas (the ones that eat marine mammals) and soon spotted them swimming south around Matia Island. It was the T065A’s! This is a pretty spectacular family of Transient Orcas, and one of my favorites. I have seen them hunt so many different prey in so many different ways. They are an incredibly dynamic family and it is always exciting to see them. It is a pod of five orcas, the matriarch was born in 1986 and she has four offspring, the oldest of which is her adolescent son, T065A2.
We watched this group for a while as they lazily travelled south through Rosario Strait. They might have been searching for food, but if they were they were taking their time with it. They were making the classic zig-zag pattern the transients make when they’re travelling and also searching for unsuspecting seals. We watched them zig and zag a couple more times and then moved on to check out some different wildlife.
We scooted in between Clarke and Barnes Islands, which are extremely beautiful islands and have the best beach in the San Juan Islands. We passed by the beach and stopped by some large sandstone islets covered in Harbor Seals, Turnstones, and Oystercatchers. We watched these silly creatures for a while then headed back through Peavine Pass. Our route today took us all the way around Orcas Island which is not a circumnavigation that we usually get to do! Whale folks, it was another san juanderful day on the water out here in the Salish Sea.
Until next time,