After hanging with Cappuccino K21 for a short time, Slick J16, Mike J26, Alki J36, Sequim K12, and Rainshadow K37 approached from the south, followed by others like Shachi J19, who breached as she swam past us. All were moving at a quick pace, but the others behind them were moving even quicker. Members of first group (Samish J14, Tahlequah J35, Hy'shqa J37, Suttles J40, Se-Yi'-Chn J45, Ti'lem I'nges J49, Lea K14, Opus K16, Sonata K35, Yoda K36, Kelp K42) as well as Sekiu K22, Tika K33, and Saturna K43 suddenly came into view along the horizon behind us. They had all lined up and were speed swimming or porpoising along at a pretty good clip towards us. Shoulder to shoulder, they all surfaced high out of the water together, which created large splashes. I had never seen anything like it before. Why were they in such a hurry? They were aiming in a northwesterly direction, towards Victoria. What was over there for them? I wondered if L pod was inbound and if J and K pod had heard them and were rushing over to reunite with them.
Their quick approach took us by surprise and they were soon closing in on us. We didn't want to be unpredictable when they were moving at that speed so we stayed put and held our breath. They all rushed past on both sides of the boat and one orca, Saturna K43 even splashed me as she zoomed by. They continued on at the same speed, even after we left to head back to San Juan Island. Another boat reported that J and K pod got to Constance Bank and then headed west in the Juan De Fuca Strait, porpoising along with an occasional break to forage. Were they just in hurry to get to the open ocean, or was it possible they were meeting up with L pod?
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