June 6, 2009

North of the border with Orcas!

What a wonderful welcome home! With it just being my 2nd day back in the islands, I and the other guests aboard the MV Sea Lion were welcomed with great views of a couple of Orca whales, harbor seals and soaring eagles!
We spent the afternoon cruising north from Friday Harbor, straight shooting it for the Canadian waters off of Saturna Island, British Columbia to catch-up with a few members of K-pod. (K-pod being one of the three local resident pods of Orcas.) With the incoming tide the Orcas were swiftly swimming along northbound; fortunately that same flooding tide was also pushing us along to catch up to them! We paralleled the mother K20 and her 5 year-old calf K38 in the smooth waters off the Strait of Georgia. Where is the rest of K-pod? That's to be determined, I suppose.
A funny side note- a few years ago K20 (nicknamed Spock), was believed to be an adolescent male since her dorsal fin was a little taller and straighter than the average female. A characteristic of a maturing and/or mature male Orca is a very tall dorsal fin. Then lo and behold in 2004 this supposed male was seen swimming with a little calf close by....and K20's true identity as a female was revealed!
The afternoon was beautiful and the guests were very enthusiastic with lots of questions and interest about the wildlife of the area. A lovely start to my summer and a great day for our guests visiting the San Juan Islands! Feels good to be back.

-Jaclyn, Naturalist
Orca Whales and Wildlife Are Our Only Business. ©