Members of the Southern Resident Killer Whale population were observed along the west side of San Juan Island near Lime Kiln State Park (48°31.53N, 123°10.47W). We first saw L87, “Onyx”, an adult male that frequently spends time with members of J-Pod. Closer to shore we identified J26, “Mike”, another large, mature male. We suspected J26 to be foraging as he was changing direction quickly and frequently; his nearly 6 foot tall dorsal fin slicing through the water at all angles as he maneuvered.

Another group of at least 10 whales from J-Pod were traveling in close proximity to each other, near shore. This group included adult females, one sub-adult male, and one calf; among them was J27, “Blackberry”, a 21 year old male. The whales were slowly traveling north before they decided to perform a number of surface behaviors: one whale spy-hopped, not once but twice then the calf entertained us with a wee breach, while a few other whales lobtailed.

What a great way to spend a gorgeous, sunny afternoon.

Amy, Naturalist, San Juan Safaris Whale Watching and Wildlife Tours