-T137 family of orcas
-T124C joins the party
We headed north along the east side of Guemes Island and spotted a couple of bald eagles perched in the trees. We continued north and spotted six bald eagles on Viti Rocks. We had heard a rumor of animals to the north, so we went in that direction. Sharp-eyed Captain Carl found us whales right in our backyard! We were in luck! We had found some Bigg’s killer whales! They were members of the T137 family (T137, T137A, T137B and T137D). We watched as they trekked on their southbound path. All of a sudden another whale joined the party! Out of nowhere! It was T124C! We think he was headed north along the western shoreline of Sinclair Island, rounded the northern end and caught up with the T137s! We had been on scene for over 45 minutes before T124C showed up! As they approached Vendovi Island, we began to watch them engage in some active hunting behaviors! There was an unfortunate little harbor seal they had pushed up along the shoreline! We saw quick movements, spy hops, tail lobs! It was incredible! Eventually, they finished the hunt and we decided to go check out some other things. We swung over to the Cone Islands where we found a couple of bald eagles and their nest. At that point, the orcas had turned toward us and were swimming in the waters off the Cone Islands. We spent so much time with the animals, we had to head back toward home port.
-T137s and T124C orcas
On our evening trip, we headed down Guemes Channel and found some harbor porpoise swimming in the waters of the channel. We took a turn to the north up Rosario Strait toward Orcas Island. Purely coincidence that we found the orcas we had on the morning trip alongside the Orcas Island shoreline! The animals T124C and the T137s (T137, T137A, T137B and T137D) were fighting the tide the entire time we were with them. They barely moved in the almost three hours we spent with them! The two males, T137A and T124C hung out together the entire time, while T137 (mom) traveled with her two youngest children (T137B and T137D). A couple of times, they even turned toward the boat, allowing us to hear their exhalations! We were in and around Peapod Rocks, so we took a turn toward them and found some harbor seals hauled out. We caught back up with the orcas and watched as they continued swimming against the tide in the beautiful evening light. We eventually had to depart and we slowed down through the Cone islands and found a couple of mature bald eagles and their nest. We cruised home along the east side of Guemes Island where we passed a pelagic cormorant nesting site. Another wonderful evening on the water!