[8/31/17 M/V Sea Hawk and Kittiwake 4pm Charter]

We welcomed a wedding party charter onboard the Sea Hawk and Kittiwake today in a buddy-boat style whale watch around the Salish Sea. Our two vessels departed Roche Harbor with high spirits and perfect weather, and a positive whale report to boot! We aimed south towards Cattle Pass in the hopes of intercepting a group of five transient killer whales reported to be heading our way not long ago.

When we reached the T60 family group they had just made a kill, marked by circling gulls overhead and lots of splashing and surface activity. Not even seconds later this family of orcas started booking it west, right towards South Beach on San Juan Island. We watched in shock as they drew nearer and nearer to the shoreline, until they were a mere few yards from the even more startled onlookers on land.

We watched as the family broke off into two groups, each appearing to be hunting down their own dinner for the evening. They stalked up and down the shoreline, their quick surface maneuverings punctuated by tail slaps in an effort to communicate between the two groups. Even as we left them they had already moved into a small cove just west of South Beach to continue their hunting extravaganza.

We docked at Roche Harbor right at sunset and were greeted by the daily display of Colors at the marina. Congratulations to the bride and groom, and a big thanks to the entire party for joining us out on the water for a wonderful whale watch!

Naturalists Sarah C. and Sarah M.

M/V Kittiwake and M/V Sea Hawk