Upon departing Friday Harbor, Captain Craig heard reports of whales traveling south from Lime Kiln Point State Park; we caught up with the whales just west of Eagle Cove (48°27.92N, 123°04.29W) at the southern end of San Juan Island.
Eight members of J-pod were spread out and traveling east along the coastline. J26 “Mike”, a 21 year old male was traveling with his mother J16 “Slick” who was born in 1972. In general, male killer whales stay with their mothers their entire lives, only briefly leaving her and the pod to mate with females from different pods. Needless to say, these males bring a whole new meaning to the term “Mama’s boy.” We also saw J14 “Samish” a 38 year old female.
Although the whales were primarily traveling they were surface active and did exhibit other behaviors including acrobatics. A calf breached not once, not twice, but FIVE different times. Another whale turned over on her back and then slapped the surface with her tail while upside down.
Sunshine, calms seas, and whales, what a lovely day!
Amy, Naturalist, San Juan Safaris Whale Watching and Wildlife Tours