Posted by: onboardtourswhales | July 28, 2012

Summer Salish Sea Orcas!

Unusual weather and unusual whale travel patterns this July. Our ‘sunny San Juan Islands’ have had cooler temperatures and many clouds, rain, and windy squalls moving through, so we appreciate these sunny days even more.

The whales seem to be more surface active in the choppy water; they may have to rise further to be able to breathe. Our Southern Resident Killer Whales (still their official NOAA name), have been off the west side of San Juan Island more often this season, doing the ‘waltz’; swimming north then south, back and forth in Haro Strait. Delighting all of us watching and listening by land and by sea!

Orca families, members side by side, working together foraging and lunging for Chinook salmon. Then they have energy and spy hop, breach, cartwheel, swim upside down, pectoral fin and tail fluke slap the water, all the while vocalizing and communicating with each other, holding our human attention! How do I describe J-2 estimated 101 year old Granny, the respected matriarch of the whole community, in the lead on that full moon influenced strong flooding tide, exuberant whale day? Unforgettable Independence Day (someday for cetaceans too??)!!

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