Several members of the Southern Resident Killer Whale population were seen in Rosario Strait today (48°38.49N, 122°43.12W). The whales were spread out from Lummi and Sinclair Islands all the way to Orcas Island.

The Killer Whales were initially traveling in small groups of 3-4 individuals before forming one larger group. This larger group, of at least 12 whales, were traveling in very close proximity with one another, and appeared to be swimming and surfacing right on top of each other. Among the group were J28 “Polaris” and her daughter J46 “Star” who was born in 2009. We also identified J27 “Blackberry” an adult male.

We saw a number of surface behaviors and acrobatics including lobtailing, spy hops, cartwheeling, pectoral slaps, and breaching. One young whale spent quite a bit of time rolling around on the surface providing excellent views of the tail fluke, pectoral fins, and even its belly.

Beautiful weather, calm seas, and WHALES, it doesn’t get any better than this!

Naturalist Amy, San Juan Safaris Whale Watching and Wildlife Tours