While the residents had been out since Tuesday night the transient killer whales had been making use of every corner of the Salish Sea. Many different groups were seen in different areas. We left Snug Harbor in the late afternoon and headed east towards Sucia Island where one of our regular families had been seen earlier in the company of a family that I had never had the privilege of meeting before---the T65As and T77s.
T65A5 surfaces between two of its companions.
The whales had been in the area and traveling together for the past few days and they seemed content (at the moment) to keep their current company. They had traveled south from East Point earlier in the day but were stalled out as they swam in large circles, rising together for several respirations before diving for upwards of five minutes. While the behavior seemed almost indicative of resting they would often pause at the surface, logging together and then dive suddenly, as if they were feeding. The telltale smell of a slick was also noted---evidence that they had made a kill and were feasting on it.
The T65As logging at the surface, sharing a meal.
The whales continued like this for the duration of the encounter, and while it was a mellow meeting it was beautiful to see them rise to breathe together below Mount Baker. If only the mountain had more snow!
T65A2 sporting his new nick surfaces alongside his mother, T65A.
The T65As surface beneath Mount Baker.
**Note: T77A was not with the T77s in today's encounters. He often travels separately from his maternal group.