May 4, 2009

J POD IS BACK!!!


When I arrived to work today, I heard word that J Pod was rumored to be in the Haro Strait. As the morning continued, Captain Craig confirmed the word that the most frequent visiting Southern Resident community pod was indeed back in the islands! Captain Craig, a group of excited guests and I departed Friday Harbor with high hopes of seeing orcas! We headed up toward Boundary Pass. As we rounded the northern side of Turn Point and headed into Canadian waters we began to see dorsal fins! I spotted trusty old J1 (the eldest male orca in J Pod), wavy dorsal fin and all, far off leading the way. The group was spread out, heading northward. We caught some great looks of J26, Mike and of J27, Blackberry. These are two adult males, whose dorsal fins have reached heights of up to 6 feet.



The most exciting view of the day (by far) was some nice glipses at one of the new calves to J Pod! The young orca was surfacing head first, right alongside mom. When they are young, the white pattern of the orcas is a more orange-tinged white, making them extra easy to spot (that, and there small size - well, at birth calves are 6-8 feet long. So, it was small only in relation to its relatives).



Along the way home we saw large herds of Muflon sheep along Speiden Island. There was even a group of lambs being herded around by one adult female Muflon. Seeing so many babies has really given me the feeling of spring is in the air (despite the clouds in the sky).



WHAT AN EXCITING DAY! VERY EXCITED TO HAVE J POD BACK IN THE AREA!



Over and out.


Ashley, Naturalist