August 22, 2019

Two Transient Pods Near Pender!

Jordan | M/V Sea Lion | 08/22/19 | 5:30pm

Today had a great start as Captain Sarah and I headed out of the harbor with only 8 people on the boat! There was definitely a nice amount of space for everyone to spread out and enjoy the evening!

We heard reports from up north of some whales! So, we booked it up north. We boated along the north shores of Speiden and Stuart Islands. We crossed Boundary Pass into Canadian waters and up towards the northern coast of North Pender Island. Then, we spotted the first blows!

Whales! Orca whales! Sea pandas! We saw 7 whales swimming together with their blows illuminated against the backdrop of the island. They swam really close to shore looking for potential prey! As marine mammal hunters, these transient (Bigg’s) orca whales searched for harbor seals, harbor porpoises, Steller sea lions and any other marine mammal they might stumble upon.

It was amazing to watch them swimming around. It turned out we were watching two pods: T34s and T37s! Each pod had a baby whale born in 2017 which has brought the pods together. It was so cute to watch the baby whales swimming so close to their mothers, endearingly rubbing up against them.

Eventually we headed back to our island.

Along the way, we spotted harbor porpoises, a couple seals in the water, and someone even spotted a Steller sea lion!

Then, we passed along the southern shore of Speiden Island and found bald eagles, mouflon sheep and sika deer along the shoreline! So much wildlife all hanging out together, wow!

One of the bald eagles was actually walking around the hillside next to the sheep! Then he took to the skies and literally flew into the sunset! Magical.

Finally, we made it to Friday Harbor and everyone seemed really content with a great whale watch!