Posted by: onboardtourswhales | April 15, 2011

Transient Killer Whales in the Salish Sea!!

April 15, 2011

We saw at least 6 Orcas by Lopez Island, coming up San Juan Channel with the flooding tide, starting at about 12:20pm. They were in 2 groups appearing to be feeding as many gulls were with them for leftovers. It looked like 2 families, 2 adult females with their offspring. Able to indentify T-049B with her 5 year old calf T049B1, and it looked like she had a new calf- we could see the yellow tint of the little calf’s’ white eye patches and chin!

They all joined up and swam toward Shaw Island, stopping, lunging and circling as if hunting, then spy hopping at Thatcher Pass, as if deciding which channel to take. They continued up San Juan Channel, crossing over toward San Juan Island and began to hunt again with circling, direction changes, and tails hanging above the water.

We went to see Yellow Island and Stellar Sea Lions on Spieden Island and as we headed back to Friday Harbor, going between Orcas and Jones Island at about 3pm, there the Killer Whales were again!, families hunting and traveling. We also saw Harbor Seals on the rocks, Bald Eagles, Rhinoceros Auklets, Murres, and Cormorants. A delightful trip!

Just click on the photos for a full view of  them.


  1. awesome photos, what a great day this was! did you see jeanne hyde’s theory about it being a stellar sea lion kill? that would have been interesting to see from the beginning!

  2. Thanks Heather! I did crop the photos, as I ususally do. If they were feeding on a big one ton Stellar, maybe that’s why those 2 groups took their time swimming up by Lopez…

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