April 25th - T101s and 36As in the San Juans

April 25th, 2018

What a beautiful day! After what felt like weeks of rain we finally had a true spring day and ventured out on our zodiac "Cascadia" to explore. First, we had a quick visit with the local California sea lions and then rocketed down south, through the Gulf Islands, to the San Juan Islands in Washington where there was a report of transient killer whales. 

 Two family pods, the T101s and T36As, travel together in beautiful conditions on April 25th. Photo by Natalie Reichenbacher

Two family pods, the T101s and T36As, travel together in beautiful conditions on April 25th. Photo by Natalie Reichenbacher

The T101s have been seen a number of times this week and never fail to be impressive. Mother T101, nicknamed "Reef", has taught all three of her large sons how to listen, strategize, attack, and feed on marine mammals throughout the Salish Sea. 

 Two brothers heading towards Spieden Island. Photo by Natalie Reichenbacher.

Two brothers heading towards Spieden Island. Photo by Natalie Reichenbacher.

Historically people guessed that the males were the leaders of the group, the bulls who controlled a group of females with their size and power. However, scientists figured out that all of these impressive males with their majestic 6 foot tall dorsal fins are actually just big mommy's boys!

 T102 "Beardslee", the oldest brother by almost 10 years, traveling at the end of the line. Photo by Natalie Reichenbacher.

T102 "Beardslee", the oldest brother by almost 10 years, traveling at the end of the line. Photo by Natalie Reichenbacher.

While on scene we were lucky enough to watch the Center for Whale Research do non-invasive research on these orcas. For over four decades these guys have been on the water recording whale encounters and fighting for their protection! 

 Whale scientists from the Center for the Whale research in action! Photo by Natalie Reichenbacher.

Whale scientists from the Center for the Whale research in action! Photo by Natalie Reichenbacher.

 We can learn so much about these whales just by observing and taking photos.  Photo by Natalie Reichenbacher.

We can learn so much about these whales just by observing and taking photos.  Photo by Natalie Reichenbacher.

Did you know that $2 from every passenger is donated to local research organizations, including the Center for Whale Research? So if you've come out with us before, THANK YOU for helping to protect these regal animals. For more information on marine mammal research conducted in this area that our company supports, check out The Center for Whale Research (https://www.whaleresearch.com/) and Keta Coastal Conservation (www.ketacoastalconservation.org). 

 #westcoastbestcoast ... Photo by Natalie Reichenbacher

#westcoastbestcoast ... Photo by Natalie Reichenbacher

Jilann LechnerComment