We were motoring slowly around Stuart Island when L Pod began to pick up speed. They were travelling southward in Haro Strait, heading for the Strait of Juan De Fuca.
L92 “Crewser” was extremely active, often breaching and spyhopping throughout the encounter. L82 Kasatka even joined him in a number of breaches and L118 “Jade” playfully bellyflopped once or twice.
However, it was L72 “Racer” and her son, L105 “Fluke,” that stole the show! We were motoring slowly when the two of them came over for a close pass – it was my first time experiencing “whale breath!” They zigzagged their way intermittently throughout the other L Pod members, before diving and reappearing a little ways offshore from the main group. It was interesting to see how this small family wove their way in-and-out throughout the encounter, and completely bittersweet to observe them after the passing of L95 “Nigel” earlier this year.
It was a fantastic evening encounter with L Pod and friends, motoring back into the harbor with memories for a lifetime.