June 2, 2013

Southern Residents and a Humpback

Another beautiful day on the water. Leaving Friday Harbor Captain Mike, myself and our guests, once again traveled north along San Juan Island before reaching the west side of Henry Island where we met up with northbound traveling J pod as well as the small group from L pod, the L12s. Right away we saw one of my favorite group of whales from J pod, the "Cookie Clan" consisting of J22 (Oreo), J34 (Doublestuff), and J38 (cookie).
As the whales traveled right next to Henry island we dropped our hydrophone in the water and instantly began to hear the calls of J pod. The looks on the faces of our guests when hearing this amazing sound is priceless.
Each pod of Orcas in the Southern Community has a signature call that is specific to their pod, a way for the Orcas to differentiate themselves by sound.
We continued to travel north with the whales until it was time to head back to port. After leaving the Orcas we heard reports of a Humpback Whale traveling south along Orcas Island. With not much of a detour we caught up the Humpback near Waldron Island next to Orcas Island. It didn't take long before we recognized this Humpback that has been in our waters for almost a month. This whale has been cataloged as PCY0324.
It's not often you see both Orcas and Humpbacks on the same trip but it looks like this will start to be more common.
Amazing day on the water!

Kevin, Naturalist, San Juan Safaris