K-pod Morning, Superpod Afternoon!!

Anacortes am
*K-pod orcas in the K12 Subpod
*Bald eagles, harbor seals, and harbor porpoise

We started out heading north through Rosario Strait to kick things off today because there had been a report of some animals in the area early in the morning.  Along the way we stopped to check out Peapod Rocks where we found two bald eagles and a bunch of harbor seals.  At that point we got word of some orcas that had been spotted on the west side of San Juan Island so we turned and aimed in that direction.  By the time we reached the killer whales they were at Henry Island heading north.  It was K-pod.  We had the K12 subpod, including K12, K22, K33, K37, and K43.  K33 is looking considerably bigger than he did last year!  K37’s dorsal fin also grew a bit over the winter too!  These whales gave us plenty of good viewing as they swam consistently toward Stuart Island the entire time we watched them!

Anacortes pm
*J, K and L pod orcas swim in from Canada 
*Harbor porpoise
*An amazing sunset!!!

During our afternoon trip we found ourselves all the way out in Canada watching a resident superpod swimming northbound near Constance Bank.  The conditions were perfect with flat calm seas and golden light.  We could see multiple groups of orcas swimming in several spots.  Orcas we spotted included J26, J27, L84, K26, K36, K21, the L54 subpod, the J17 subpod, J2, and many more!!  This was the most killer whales Capt Carl and I have seen all year long during one trip!!  One whale in the L54 subpod did a cartwheel, and a mix of L and K pods were tailslapping and potentially mating as they swam our way.  The whales were pretty tightly grouped up and appeared to be mostly resting, but at least some of them were being a little rambunctious!  Toward the end we saw two orcas spyhop, and we got a good look at 105 year old, J2, Granny!  The highlight of the trip, however, happened when Capt. Carl turned off the engines and we watched the orcas swim right by us, hearing their exhalation blows loud and clear in the calm summer air as the sun was setting!  What a magical moment!!  On our way back toward the dock we witnessed one of the most spectacular sunsets of the summer!  What an ideal day!  Naturalist Bart Rulon

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