May 3, 2014

Transients in the Strait of Georgia

The M/V Sea Lion departed Friday Harbor yesterday in search of the killer whales that inhabit the Salish Sea. When we got underway Captain Mike got a report of Biggs Killer Whales, or Transients, off the Southeast side of Galiano Island. Even though that was far into the Strait of Georgia, and into the Canadian Gulf Island of British Columbia, we decided to go for it! With the bow of our boat pointed north, guests enjoyed a beautifully scenic route into Canada where we spotted about ten mature bald eagles, harbor seals, and steller sea lions.

When we arrived on seen with the Killer Whales I quickly identified them as our T065A group. This group is becoming quite common in the waters around the San Juan Islands and I am always happy to see them! The matriarch, T065A was born in 1986 and travels with her four offspring, including a new calf (T065A5) who was first seen March of this year! These whales had made a kill before we reached them, and therefore, spent much of their time socializing at the surface and being very active! Guests on board got to see breaches, cartwheels, spyhopps (my personal favorite behavior), and other amazing displays of behavior. Even though we had to go almost 50 miles round trip, it was well worth it!

Heather, Naturalist, M/V Sea Lion

San Juan Safaris