Posted by: onboardtourswhales | May 22, 2011

J-Pod is Home!

May 20 & 21, 2011

J-Pod has been in the Salish Sea for over a week! They headed north out of Puget Sound on Friday with a strong flooding tide, into the Strait of Juan de Fuca, spread out on long dives, seeming intent on hunting salmon.

Saturday, J-Pod families came down Haro Strait into the Strait of Juan de Fuca, with the end of an ebbing tide, heading to Salmon Bank. We had a few glances of a Minke Whale, then we saw the Orcas, who seemed relaxed in the calm, slack water. A few females logging-resting at the surface, then some of the Orcas started tail- fluke slapping the water, spy hopping, breaching, and rolling around on their backs and each other!. It was neat to see all the vessels were US and Canadian wildlife tours following the guidelines and laws. Along with Soundwatch, Straitwatch, and Gato Verde, monitoring the boats and researching the whales.

J-Pod decided to swim through Cattle Pass into San Juan Channel! We don’t often see whales going through this narrow pass into this smaller channel, very exciting! Many of the whales joined up and it was great to see a group of calves, females, or the males together. Able to identify J-2 Granny with L-87 Onyx! L-87’s dorsal fin is wavy like J-1 Ruffles, his dad? And Granny’s grandson?! Also ID’d J-8 Spieden and the ‘boys’ J-26, J-27, J-30.

The harbor seals and Steller sea lions on and around Whale Rocks seemed aware of the resident Killler Whales, but not panicked as they would be with the transient Killer Whales. We also saw a few harbor porpoise, Bald Eagles, gulls, cormorants, common murres, rhinoceros auklets, and pigeon guillemots! So most of the wildlife and all of the stars of the Salish Sea!

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