Written by Traci
on Jul 05, 2016

Western Explorer: July 4, 2016

Western Explorer: July 4, 2016

We left the dock knowing there were several groups of Killer whales spotted! What a terrific way to start the day! Each day is a new day and these animals can travel up to 100 miles away. So one day they could be here, and the next they are completely out of the area. It’s never a guarantee to see wildlife, especially Killer whales, but we all do our hardest each and every day to find as much wildlife as possible. People come from all over the world to get a glimpse of the amazing orcas and today was quite a treat. We got to see 3 different groups of Killer whales! We started out with a part of J Pod up north near Turn Point Lighthouse on Stuart Island. J Pod was porpoising super fast to the point where they suddenly stopped and looked like they were foraging. We are hopeful that they are finding enough Chinook salmon around, but the lack of resident sightings points to the fact that there simply are not enough salmon to keep them in our inland waters.  Next up, we cruised south and over to Canada to hang out with a group of Bigg’s (transient) Killer whales! It was T36As, T75Bs and T51 who had just made a kill as we arrived. We got to see lots of social behavior before they started travelling again. On our way home, we got word that the T123’s were near Friday Harbor, so we got to spend a little time with this group too. Just a fantastic day on the water watching whales in the San Juan Islands!


Jpod with the Center for Whale Research in the background.


T36As, T75Bs and T51


Backward surfacing!


Bigg’s celebrating after a kill


Meeting T51 for the first time! He’s a regular to SE Alaska






T123A chin up!






Written by Traci
on Jul 05, 2016

Western Explorer: July 4, 2016

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