July 11, 2017 – Bigg’s Killer Whales
July 11, 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. Off the north end of San Juan Island, we encountered a group of Bigg’s killer whales (marine mammal hunters). The group identified were the T101’s. It consists of a female matriarch (T101) with her three adult sons (T102, T101A, and T101B). They were transiting slowly north with the group split into groups of two. We also had an opportunity to view some Pacific harbour seals hauled out on some small islets off of Darcy Island. A beautiful morning on the water.
We departed the dock on the MV Pacific Explorer and transited east in the Strait of Juan de Fuca towards Sidney Channel following reports that another couple of groups of Bigg’s killer whale (marine mammal hunters) were observed transiting slowly north in the Strait. We encountered the groups slightly south of Pender Island in Boundary Passage. It still took some time to determine the surfacing patterns of these Bigg’s killer whales with the groups breaking apart and coming together frequently over our encounter period. One group was tentatively identified as the T46’s but the surfacing patterns and lighting made it difficult to distinguish the other groups on the water.