Sunshine and zodiac tours watching transient Orcas - what a perfect start to this Sunday!
July 3, 2011
“Afternoon Nap with J-Pod”
Today took us East towards San Juan Island between kelp bluffs and Henry Island. We found the J-Pod there, napping in the warm afternoon sun. The whole group was packed in together, rising and sinking as one. They were so close that their sides touched and they took on the appearance of a single entity. When orcas sleep they rest half of their brain at a time, becoming trance-like, but with enough awareness to continue breathing and swimming. A few whales in the group will stay awake, guiding the pod along, ensuring no one is left behind. We watched this magnificent show for a long time, not that it took that long to get a good photo, with the whole pod slowly swimming along. On our way back we found a plethora of seals around the Chain Islands. Their grey bodies were clearly visible in the water and some of them had a roundness that bespoke the imminent pupping season. A hot, sunny afternoon with tons of wildlife, doesn’t get any better!
“Afternoon snack with J-Pod”
An evening sun kept us warm and led us once again to the J-Pod. They had woken up from their afternoon slumbers and were hunting for dinner. The currents and eddies around South Pender Island were apparently the ideal spot for salmon and games as the Orcas dove, slapped tails and fins, rolled upside down and spy-hopped. It was a fun filled night with lots of action and excitement. Often, when orcas hunt they will herd the salmon against a rocky bluff where they are easier to catch. It looked like this technique was being used tonight, against the Southern Pender rocks. The orcas put on a fabulous show, and there were many happy faces on the cruise home.
Here are more beautiful photos taken from Captain Liz onboard our July 2nd tours.