Today we had yet another spectacular day in the San Juan Islands with some Transient killer whales. This spring, especially in the last couple of weeks, we have seen a plethora of these marine-mammal-eating orcas around the island. A lot of their presence has to do with the harbor seal population in the area, as the transient whales around here specialize in hunting these small pinnipeds. Currently our harbor seal population between south sound and the Salish Sea sits at right around 30,000-40,000 individuals, which is great for out Transients because there is just so much food around here for them.
Today we encountered another large group of these large orcas, including the T065A, T099, T036A, and T011 families accompanied by the two males T093 and T097. These whales were ACTIVE today! We got to witness several of the “flashy-splashy” behaviors that are on everyone’s whale watching bucket lists. Our day was definitely highlighted by the male known as T011A “Rainy” breaching all the way out of the water. (This is superbly impressive given that this male is probably 32 feet long and close to 14,000 pounds!)
The weather today turned out to be perfect, blue skies and beautiful cloudscapes. It was the kind of day that makes me thankful to call the San Juan Islands home!
Lead Naturalist Sarah, M/V Sea Lion, San Juan Safaris