September 11, 2013

K Pod on the Horizon

The M/V Sea Lion left our Friday Harbor location and headed south today, out through Cattle Pass and out to Hein Bank. It had turned into a gorgeous day with sunny skys and calm water. Everyone was happy to be on a boat rather than on land! Along our way to Hein Bank, we came across many steller sea lions! These guy's are just huge, and never cease to amaze me with their size! They were on and along whale rocks fighting, roaring, and some that were just laying in the sun. Yep, they've got it rough...

When we left the sea lions and got out to Hein Bank, we saw nothing but dorsal fins along the horizon. Those fins happened to belong to our resident K Pod. These orcas were forging for fish in their normal spread out pattern. Family members, however, were close together traveling in small groups of two or three. These Orcas have matrilines where their mother (or grandmother) is dominant, they will behave in accordance to what she wants to do; male orcas will not leave their mothers side their entire life while female offspring will stray some when she has her own caves around the age of 14. We saw K12, Sequim, her daughter, K-22 Sekiu (1987) and her grandson, K33 Tika a "sprouting" male born in 2001. Family is everything to these gentle giants.

Heather, Naturalist, M/V Sea Lion

San Juan Safaris