August 23, 2019

A White Whale for a White Wedding

Bigg's Killer Whales in San Juan Channel
Orcas on August 23, 2019
T46B1's on August 23, 2019
Orcas in San Juan Channel
Orcas August 23, 2019

Olivia | August 23rd, 2019 | M/V Sea Lion | 6:15pm Private Charter

This evening was absolutely gorgeous for hosting a private charter on our M/V Sea Lion. With 45 people in attendance this evening for a wedding the following day, we set up all the catered food and drinks ready to set sail into the sunset. Luckily, we had a small family group just outside the harbor- the T46B1 Bigg’s Killer Whale family group! This comprised of three whales, one of which was the small calf with Leucism. Leucism is when there is partial pigment loss around the entire body, making a light gray color. Despite this young orca being primarily light gray, he is often referred to as the white whale within our Salish Sea and a definitely a favorite. This is often common in birds, but very rare in marine mammals making this an extra special treat for our special set of guests!

They were a spunky group, venturing to check us out, spy hopping, and silhouetted against the tall pines along the San Juan Island shoreline. We were able to view them all the way to Rueben Tarte before drifting away, watching their spouts reflect the golden evening sun. Captain Erick drove us around Flattop to find Harbor Seals and Bald Eagles- both of which were a guest request!

On our circle back down the channel, we stumbled upon some Marbled Murrelets and Harbor Porpoises swimming about! Co-Naturalist Erin, Captain Erick and I had such a fun time with this group, and the whales made our job look easy. This definitely will be a trip to remember for not only ourselves, but the wonderful bride and groom as well.