June 29, 2009

Lovely Looks at L Pod of the South End of San Juan Island

Having heard a report that some members of the Southern Resident Community (the salmon-eating orcas) were spread out all down the west and south side of San Juan Island, we boarded the guests and cruised south down through San Juan Channel. The weather was warm, the sky was remarkably clear, and the water was calm. As we cruised through Cattle Pass the guests and naturalists gazed at a wonderful view of Mt Rainer (a mountain that we don't usually see from the San Juan Islands' waters) to our southwest.

When we arrived on scene, Captain Craig slowed down the boat to get a grasp on orcas whereabouts. Members of L Pod were spread out in the water off the south end of San Juan Island. We shut down the engines after cruising offshore and had some closer view of two L Pod members, L 78 (Gaia) and L 2 (Grace). L pod was fishing offshore of the island, making their their surfacings unpredictable and sporadic. This mother and son duo surfaced behind our stern, then off our starboard side (right side, for all you non-seafaring folk) and off our bow!

Eventually these two L pod members moved further offshore and met up with a larger group (perhaps 4-5 more L pod members) travelling away from us. In this group was at least 2 adult males. We had some wonderful views of the orcas breaching, tail-slapping and fishing during the day trip today!

Over and out,
Ashley, Naturalist

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