Orca breaching

Bigg’s orcas put on a show at Golden Gardens

A group of orcas stunned onlookers on Saturday morning at Golden Gardens Beach.

A pod of Bigg’s transient orcas was traveling south and stopped at Golden Gardens in what appeared to be a hunt for harbor seals.

Ballardite Nathaniel Peters was at the beach, telescope poised and ready after hearing an alert from the Salish Wildlife Watch, a WhatsApp group that sends out text messages to its members*. He and about 30 others looked on as the whales put on an incredible show.

“There was power, and there was play. There was breaching, tail-slapping, and spy-hopping. There was a furious fixation of activity that appeared to be a successful Harbor Seal hunt,” Peters wrote in a Facebook post. “It was breathtaking; seriously, their breath was audible, and I TOOK IT ALL IN!!!”

Peters said the activity went on for about 30 minutes. “WHAT A GIFT!!!” he wrote.

Photo: Nathaniel Peters

Videos: Nathaniel Peters and Shawn Behling, Salish Wildlife Watch

*The original version of this story incorrectly identified the alert as coming from the group Salish Sea Wildlife Watch