May 14, 2010

They're Here...

Hopefully.  Thinking positively, then the orcas are back and they look great!  We spent the trip yesterday afternoon with numerous members of L pod over in the Canadian Gulf Islands.  The first reports came in early in the morning with the orcas being well outside of our northern range.  They covered an incredible amount of water in a short time though and when we left the dock they were slaloming through Active Pass between Galiano and Mayne islands.  Capt. Mike did not waste any time and in an hour we found ourselves at Moat Point on N. Pender Island along with the rest of the whale watch fleet and big beautiful orcas.

The question now, of course, is are the residents back for the season and where will they be next?  I was amazed at the speed the animals were traveling, going over 7 knots most of the time that we were with them.  There was even some porpoising (arcing out of the water with the waves) and lunging.  Both are activities that are associated with feeding, which is what we like to see.  With our Southern Resident Killer Whale population burgeoning with 7 calves from over the past 15 months, the more food and eating we see the happier we all are.  Orca IDs were hard to come by, but at least one of the new calves was with the groups that we were seeing today.  You could even discern the orangish coloring where its white patches will eventually be.

Well it is time for another nature adventure and I do not want to miss it.  So, from all of us at San Juan Safaris, to all of you who have been waiting for the good news, thank you and we will...

See You In The Islands!

~Tristen, Naturalist