Traveling with the T064s! – 22/8/13

We were moored in at the Penrose State Park dock when weather reports came in of a storm. With up to 50 knots of wind. We had planned to stay another day, but with that big of a storm coming, on our 22 foot sailboat we wanted to be safe in the middle of our marina Swantown. I was very disappointed being the young boy on board (I was 7 at the time) who loved sailing, and since there was no wind that day it would be a 6 hour motor home. Booooring. Or so I thought!

After 4 and a half hours of boring motoring through calm waters with the only perk being the Harbor Porpoise we saw just after leaving Penrose, we attempted to raise a sail (I think they only did this to try to cheer me up). There was really no wind so we sat and drifted for a while, but then as we were about to start the motor back up, we heard a strange clacking noise. Then we heard the blows. The clacking turned out to be the 10 or so Transient Killer Whales that had suddenly surfaced and surrounded our boat clacking their teeth together. To this day I have tried to find out why they did that. A few of the orcas were males. These fully grown males were ten feet longer than our boat, so a little scary, but mostly super cool.

They swam around our boat, not apparently doing much along the lines of foraging or anything. Alternately some disappeared and some resurfaced, making it hard to keep track of the exact number of the orcas in the pod. I think it was the T064s because I looked at which orcas had been seen where most recently and just a few hours after our encounter they were seen not more than 10 miles from where we were. Eventually, they split off from us and went around the other side of an island into another channel as we puttered down Budd inlet. To this day it has been possibly the most memorable moment of my life. Part of what made it so special, is that it wasn’t on a whale watching boat, that followed the whales, but it was that the whales chose to surface near us and travel with us instead.

-Abram

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