Posted by: onboardtourswhales | September 17, 2020

2020 SRKW Superpod!!!

We will all remember 2020 as perhaps the most challenging and difficult year in our lifetimes. My compassion and empathy goes out to all people and all living beings. I keep hope that we can and will help heal earth ocean life and ourselves, creating better times.

This season I was fortunate and honored to work with Oceans Initiative on a land based Southern Resident killer whale (SRKW) orca research project, helping with and advising a great crew of field technicians collecting data when these orca were sighted from San Juan Island.

Most of the Southern Resident orca sightings in the Salish Sea were in July this year, none in August which adds to the decline of sightings in their historical habitat.

For the first time in 4 years, a true Superpod- all 3 pods, all Southern Resident orca came together in the Salish Sea on September 5, 2020!!! Then the Superpod spread out into small mixed groups socializing and surface active, all along the eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca and southern Haro Strait as far as the eye could see and beyond. We even heard above water vocalizations!

Researchers went out on the water to account for and photo identify every individual. J35 Tahlequah, who 2 years ago her calf died shortly after birth and she carried that calf with her for 17 days “Tour of Grief”, was sighted with a brand new baby designated J57!!! The Center for Whale Research described J57 as looking “healthy and precocious”. It seemed the Superpod happened to introduce the new baby J57 to the clan, now 73 individuals.

My photos from July 25 at Cattle Point Lighthouse when some Southern Resident orca went south down San Juan Channel, which they don’t often do, and against a very strong flooding tide they were actually pushed back for a time by the currents! And a few photos from September 5 Superpod evening, tho the fire smoke haze was moving in then.

We are all grateful for this very much needed joy, a new life, a happy day to remember in this dismal year. May we learn and act accordingly.

Superpod Orca Group Blowing Heart Shape

Superpod Orca and Research Boat Are Tiny In Front of Ship

Birds In Tree Also Watching Superpod Orca?

Superpod Hazy Sunset

July 25 Orca Breach!

July 25 Is Male Orca Waving Hello With His Pectoral Fin to Center for Whale Research?

July 25 Orca Male Upside Down Tail Fluke

July 25 Did Fox Watch Orca Too?

Research Field Site and Equipment


  1. Very Interesting, Great job Dad

    • Thanks Dad! And thanks for being my most supportive whale fan, love you 🤗

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