We left the dock with a report of Split Fin the humpback off Kelp Reef, and possible orcas in a few locations around the Salish Sea. Our captain, Chris, decided to head to Race Rocks first, to see pinnipeds, birds and possibly find humpbacks or orcas. We ended up finding harbour seals, elephant seals and one lone Californian Sea Lion, along with many birds! When we left, we did a large loop south to see if we could spot any other cetaceans. We didn’t find any large ones but we saw dozens of harbour porpoise! They are a very shy animal so the quick glimpses we caught of them were a wonderful thrill for all! While we were looking for humpbacks and orcas, we received a report that J Pod had been spotted off False Bay, San Juan Island – so that is where we headed! They were very spread out, foraging and celebrating their catches.
We found L87 “Onyx”, an orphaned male from L Pod that now stays with the J’s. He seemed to be finding lots of salmon because he was happily celebrating with breaches for dramatic effect!
We also spent time with J26 “Mike”, J2 “Granny”, and J42 “Echo”! They had been moving north when we arrived, but switched and turned south, with many individuals foraging far offshore as well.
A great trip!!
This story was modified from a blog post, read the original here