We had three tours this week, and they were all wonderful. We had orca whales on two, and humpback whales on the other.
Tuesday’s tour was was filled with wildlife, rain, and orcas. We came across the T123 family of orcas in President’s Channel, it was pouring down rain, and we were all soaked by the end of the tour, but it didn’t matter, a great time was had by all watching this awesome family of orcas led my matriarch “Sidney.”
The encounter of the week, was on Saturday’s tour, when we encountered a very large group of about 17 Bigg’s killer whales just northeast of Matia island. Right as we were getting on scene, one of the matriarchs initiated the hunt of a steller sea lion! We watched this intense hunt play out for over an hour and a half, as the orcas took turns trying to corral the poor sea lion, and ram it, in an effort to eventually drown it. We actually believe the hunt may have ended with the sea lion getting away, which is a testament to both the toughness of steller sea lions, and also how difficult it can be, even for orcas, to successfully take down a 2,000 lb animal.
Sunday’s tour found us out in the Strait of Juan de Fuca where we encountered two humpback whales, “Divot” and “Manta.” These two whales gave us an awesome show, repeatedly fluking. Manta’s all white fluke in particular was absolutely stunning.
We only have one tour left for our 2023 season! We are very much looking forward to some extra time with our families, and enjoying the winter time, but we are very sad that whale watch adventures are just about done for the year. If you missed us for a tour in the San Juan islands this year, we hope to see you next year for an absolute one-of-a-kind adventure!