A Magical First Encounter with K Pod – 2017

It was 2017. My whole life I have loved whales, specifically orcas. After a lot of research my husband and I booked our trip to San Juan Island, including a whale watching trip with Maya’s Legacy. I had followed them for months on Instagram and Facebook and couldn’t wait to have my own Orca encounter. Days before our trip they were seeing tons of residents and my excitement grew. Our whale watching day finally came and my excitement was through the roof. As we came out of Roche Harbor we were notified that the whales had swam out into the open ocean the day before and there was no reports of them coming back in. Heart breaking I tried to convince my husband and myself that it was ok and I would enjoy enjoy everything we saw, even if it wasn’t Orca. We were blessed that day with many Humpbacks and even a Minke! When we got back, the kind naturalists said that if the Orcas came back in and they had room on their charter, that they would take me back out. Thankful for their offer we continued into town for dinner. The next day, still bummed from lack of Orca, we drove into town to see the whale museum. Our AirBnB was located right next to Lime Kiln and we took the road along the coast enjoying the day. Windows down and eyes on the water I was hopeful to see something, anything. As if on command I saw a higher black dorsal break through. I screamed at my husband, “turn around, turn around I saw a dorsal!!!” Turning back as quickly as he safely could we found a spot to park only a short distance from where I saw the dorsal. Minutes passed by and nothing came up. Thinking my mind was playing tricks on me I sadly told my husband, “let’s go, it was nothing.” My husband, being the in the moment man he is said “we are already here, let’s just hang out a bit longer.” As if on queue all of K Pod surfaced. Blows were coming up everywhere and I began sobbing. A lifetime of love erupted from the pit of my heart and soul. Anytime I am having a bad day, I think back to that moment and remember what it felt. I was alive and I have never been more thankful to be in the presence of these beautiful creatures.


One thought on “A Magical First Encounter with K Pod – 2017

  1. What a spectacular experience! I also went on a whale watching tour off Tofino, Vancouver Island about three years ago with my sister and two of our sons. The weather had turned cloudy and drizzling rain and the sea was really rough. I thoroughly enjoyed the wild ride on huge swells, sea lions, eagles and other birds, but sadly did not see Orcas. Some passengers, including my sister, saw a far-off humpback whale tail, but I couldn’t see it. I’ve lived for 46 years in an area where Southern Residents, Northern Residents and Transient pods all live, hunt, play and travel and have still never seen wild Orcas. I follow a couple local whale watching companies on FB as well as sites dedicated to identifying, protecting and tracking these magnificent creatures. It’s been my biggest dream and wish to go out again in hopes of experiencing the privilege of sharing some time with them in their world. Sadly, I’ve become chronically ill and don’t know if I’ll ever be able. I may have to continue to live vicariously through folks like you who share their own experiences and photos in groups online. Thanks for telling your story.

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