Jordan | M/V Sea Hawk | 08/24/19 | 2:00pm
Today was unbelievable!
Captain Erick and I boated out of Roche Harbor and west towards Henry Island. It only took a few minutes before we started seeing whale watching boats along the coastline. We found orca whales!
We were able to identify the pod as the T36As! This pod consists of a young mother, T36A (born in 1990), and her 3 young children, T36A1, T36A2, T36A3. They travelled closely to shore looking for food and battling choppy waves as they burst dramatically through the water with every breath!
It was quite the sight to see. They definitely seemed incredibly powerful as they swam through the water and hunted for their prey.
They led us back towards Roche Harbor area! Here, we decided it was time to break away to see other wildlife, but as we turned around and headed towards Henry, we spotted more whales! We found another pod!
No other whale watching boats were around us as we observed the pod identified as the T99s! One of the whales had a few subtle notches missing out of his dorsal fin which we were able to compare to the photo identification catalogue. Each dorsal fin is really unique, so that is how we keep track of individuals and their pods instead of tagging them!
Eventually, we broke off and headed to Speiden Island where we found exotic sheep wandering the island! We watched mouflon sheep and fallow deer grazing the grassy hills.
We even spotted some harbor seals perched on the edge of the shoreline, battling the encroaching waters.
While everyone was enthralled with the sheep, Captain Erick pointed out that the T36As were back on the other side of the boat! wow!
Then we headed further towards the east where we found yet another group of orcas! In fact, it was two pods of orca whales travelling together: the T34s and the T37s! Unbelievable! Together, they made a huge group of orcas all swimming very closely together! It was so much fun watching them surface together. It literally felt like we were watching the National Geographic channel.
Then, we found some more harbor seals as we started to head back when, boom! More Whalesss!! It was the T99s again but no whale watching boats were with them at all. So, it was just us and the whales and a picturesque scene as the whales passed closely by shore with their blows illuminated in the sunlight.
I’ve literally never experienced so many orcas on one single trip in my entire life!! Someone definitely had some lucky whale socks on today!
We all felt so lucky to have experienced such a magical whale watching day.
Eventually, we headed back into Roche Harbor, grinning ear to ear.