June 23, 2017

Transient Whales Eating in Canada

T65A

(6/22/17 - Sea Lion 1:30pm Departure)

We left Friday Harbor with a great group of guests who seemed genuinely excited to learn about the wildlife that we were going to see.  We left our dock heading up San Juan Channel, through Haro Strait and into Canadian waters.  As we were traveling we got a few great looks at some harbor seals who popped their heads up near the boat.  We also saw about four bald eagles in flight over Spieden Island.  We made it into the Canadian Gulf Islands, more specifically near Salt Spring Island, and saw the T65A’s.  This family of transient whales are some of the most common in the area.  They must like our large amount of harbor seals!  We watched as the family traveled South along the shoreline of Salt Spring Island.  The whales went into a smaller pass and we met them on the other side so as not to crowd them in their movement.  Once they made it to the other side of the pass they went on a dive and then resurfaced while displaying killing behavior.  It looked like the whales were hunting, most likely a harbor seal.  We watched as the whales appear to be killing their prey for about 20 minutes until they slowed down and began slowly traveling along the shoreline again.  We then slowly made our way back towards our dock at which time myself, Sarah and Courtney enjoyed chatting and teaching our guests, with a thirst for knowledge, about the whales we had just seen and marine mammals in general.