June 19, 2021

Two Transient Orcas Exploring Stuart Island

Jordan Higgins | M/V Sea lion | 06/19/21 |12:30pm

It was a gorgeous sunny day out in the San Juan Islands.

We began in Roche Harbor as Captain Pete and I jumped on Sea Lion and headed out of Roche Harbor. We boated straight up towards Stuart Island and boated towards Turn Point Lighthouse.

Just around the corner, we found orcas whales! We were very close to the boarder so we could see Canada just a few miles away. The whales cruised along the northern shore of Stuart Island exploring the shoreline and probably looking for seals. There were two orcas from the T77 family and we weren’t sure why they were off on their own. T77C and T77D were born in 2006 and 2009. Perhaps, as they were both practicing different hunting strategies or looking for a bit extra to eat before returning to their family.

We were afraid they might meander over the Canadian boarder where we would not be able to follow, but instead, they continued into American waters. It was super fun to watch them swimming around the coastline and perusing the bays.

Eventually, we boated towards Spieden Island and found fun mouflon sheep and fallow deer grazing along the hillside. There were also a couple bald eagles soaring high in the sky. Then, we found these rocks covered with harbor seals! They were so cute flopping around. Exploring around the cactus islands, we enjoyed the island scenery.

Finally we headed back home, very satisfied with our wildlife adventure.