We left the dock with high hopes of finding resident killer whales based on positive reports received earlier in the morning. However, as we travelled towards the reports our dedicated whale watching guests spotted two male transient killer whales off of the coast of Spieden Island on route! Guests were able to enjoy watching these exceptionally large males with their 6ft tall dorsal fins and approximate 12000lb bodies for over half an hour. After that we decided to continue moving towards the reports of resident killer whales! Our residents have been relatively absent for the past few weeks due to our low salmon population this summer. Two anthropogenic forces cause our devastatingly low numbers. First being that of damming rivers, historically salmon used to be able to run all the way to Idaho; however, dam placement only allows salmon to make it a third of the way through Washington. Secondly, farmed salmon have diseases that are wild salmon do not, causing disease to spread easily and kill wild salmon.
However, today was guests lucky day because residents were back in our waters. Once arriving on scene, we determined we were with J-Pod and spent the next hour observing. We were lucky enough to see two breaches and a spy hop! It was truly an exciting day to not only see residents, but also to see them being playful!