June 23- T’s on a Maiden Voyage

© Five Star Whale Watching/Andrew Lees. Image — A transient orca seen displaying a magnificent breach in the San Juan Islands tonight.

Transient Orcas and Sitka Deer 

We had an incredible evening tonight with acrobatic orcas and even exotic deer! This was an exciting trip because of the animals and also because we travelled on our new vessel, The Salish Shadow, for her maiden voyage.

We headed far northeast into the San Juan Islands and fortunately found the T137’s, a group of orcas. These whales belong to the transient (Bigg’s) ecotype of mammal-eating orcas. They were active and in hunting-mode, likely searching for a harbour porpoise or harbour seal; a favourite meal. They were a treat to watch; we saw tail flukes, multiple whales surfacing and an impressive breach!

We started to make our way home, but not without stopping at the interesting Spieden Island. The island is home to exotic, introduced species – Mouflon sheep, Fallow deer and Sitka deer (which we spotted)! This island was used as a big-game hunting preserve in the 1970’s.

We had such a fantastic time on this maiden voyage seeing the lively orcas and some of Spieden Island’s unique inhabitants.

To view more images from today’s trip, click on the link below:

June 23 Eve- Evening with the T137’s!


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