Whale Tales – Orcas at Play

By Captain Ken Rea

Today we were with the T123s and HUMPBACKS in Georgia Strait. A very beautiful day with calm waters, it was nice to see our beautiful Salish Sea once again, without all the smoke.

Every once in a while, the ORCAS decide to interact. After all, they are the largest of the DOLPHIN species and are playful curious creatures. They mess with birds and other animals and it only makes sense they would play with boats when they want to.

I have seen them in videos playing in the wake of boats in other parts of the country, and I have seen videos of them playing around kayakers, paddle boarders, swimmers, etc. It is what they do.

Today, we were shut down, sitting watching a pod of four ORCAS making a snack out of a PORPOISE. They were underwater then all of a sudden popped up and headed towards me.

They were already within the 200-yard clearance we must maintain, and the law says we must shutdown and stay shut down when they are within that distance. The calf swam upside down with its belly up and went underneath us while I stepped up to the bow and took a few shots of one underwater passing by me. A moment that is rare and cherished for sure.

I have spoken with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife about the behavior before and the advice is to stay shut down and enjoy the moment. The whales don’t know the rules we humans have to live by and they do what they want.

I stopped by to view the STELLER SEA LIONS and then HARBOR SEALS. I love the calico coloring of this HARBOR SEAL and noticed if you look in his eye you can see the reflection of my boat.




To learn more about Captain Ken, visit Spirit of Orca

Captain Ken Rea


Ken Rea, owner and operator of the Spirit of Orca, is also the tour guide, photographer and naturalist on his Whale Watching and Wildlife Tours in the Salish Sea, San Juan Island, Washington.


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Attractions · Nature · Streams and Rivers

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