July 4, 2017 – Bigg’s Killer Whales
July 4, 2017
We departed the dock on the MV Pacific Explorer and proceeded east in the Strait of Juan de Fuca in search of cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) towards Haro Strait and the San Juan Island groups. Off of the north side of Spiden Island, we encountered a group of Bigg’s killer whales (marine mammal hunters). The T49A’s consist of a female matriarch (T49A) and her three offspring (T49A1, T49A3, and T49A4). During this encounter, we observed the key prey item, Pacific harbour seals, of the Bigg’s killer whales hauled out on small islets and foraging around the water. A glorious morning on the waters of the Salish Sea.
We departed the dock on the MV Pacific Explorer and transited east in the Strait of Juan de Fuca following reports that the Bigg’s killer whale (marine mammal hunters) group that was observed in the morning was traveling slowly northbound in Haro Strait. We encountered the group off of Henry Island close to Turn Point. The T49A’s appeared to be resting with slow syncronized dives. Guests with keen eyes witnessed several harbour porpoises (a prey item for the Bigg’s killer whales) slowly surfacing in the waters around Turn Point. Additionally, we observed several mature bald eagles and on route back to the harbour, stopped near the chain islets to observe some Pacific harbour seals hauled out. A fabulous afternoon to be on the waters of the Salish Sea.