June 16, 2021

Two Families of Bigg's Killer Whales Feed off False Bay

Bigg's Killer Whales off the West Side

Olivia | M/V Osprey | June 16th, 2021 | 12:30pm

Another clear day graced us with the presence of Mount Rainier beaming high atop the Puget Sound to the south. We set off with the volcano guiding our way, passing Harbor Porpoises swimming outside Upright Channel. Passing Cattle Point Lighthouse and keeping it on our starboard side, we continued around Salmon Bank aiming for False Bay off San Juan Island. 

Not only did we catch a Bald Eagle chasing after a Rhinoceros Auklet upon arrival, but we saw black dorsal fins cutting through the Pacific waters. We were able to watch two families of the Bigg’s Killer Whales traveling together, the T046B’s accompanied by T037C and T037C. This ecotype feeds on Marine Mammals (about 300-400 pounds of food every day!) 

It feels extra special seeing this family out here since T046B’s mother was successfully re-released into the wild after being captured for captivity, and now she has the highest number of descendants foraging in our waters. This huge success story brings such a fullness to our hearts every time we see them intermingling as a family. 

Peeling away into the sunshine, we made one more stop at Whale Rocks to witness Steller’s Sea Lions, Harbor Seals, and more Bald Eagles all utilizing the surplus of food off the heavily currented waters of Cattle Pass. Today was filled with so much life, it reminded us- yet again- how special the Salish Sea is.