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June 8, 2017 – Bigg’s Killer Whales

12 months ago

Today was one of those days that makes us so excited to share our Salish Sea with visitors from around the world. We got to spend time with not one, not two, but three different groups of Bigg’s (mammal-eating) killer whales! These Bigg’s whales have been seen frequently in the area over the last few months as we have an abundance of small marine mammals like seals, sea lions and porpoises for them to feast on.

This morning was a unique encounter as we brought the boat over to Morseby Island to see the T101 and T124As socializing together. Often we will not see a large amount of surface activity between these whales who are trying to keep a low profile while hunting, but this was the exception to the rule! We witnessed tail lobing, breaches and lots of whales all grouping up together. Orcas are very tactile animals, just like us! They like to be close and touching each other.

Early this afternoon we headed out to San Juan Island to catch up with the T65As. We were lucky to have whales porpoising out of the water and surfing some of the wind-driven waves. These 5 orca continued to zig zag under the water listening for something to have for dinner when we headed back to the harbour.

Tonight the sky opened up into a beautiful west coast sunset and we headed to San Juan Channel with our evening cruise ship guests. We joined up with one of our favorite transient groups of whales, the T2Cs. This group includes T2C and her 3 offspring. T2C2 is a young male born in 2005 with scoliosis. His nickname is Tumbo and the extreme curvature of his spine gives his dorsal fin a funny shape! The smallest member of the group, T2C3 born in 2011, gave us quite the show with little breaches as he played into the sunset. On the way home we were treated to a great big double rainbow all the way across the sky! These type of nights on the water will be memories for years to come.


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