We then headed inshore were there were two large social groups and a few smaller ones scattered around. The first large group was made up of at least Mike J26, Polaris J28, Star J46, Lea K14, Spock K20, Lobo K26 (who then left for another group again), Deadhead K27, Yoda K36, Rainshadow K37, Comet K38, and Onyx L87. We scanned the other large group for Mako J39 but did not see him. Some orcas in this other large group were Alki J36, Hy’shqa J37, Eclipse J41, J51, J52, and Opus K16.
We checked another nearby group and found Granny J2, Oreo J22, Sequim K12, and Saturna K43 (who was full of tail slaps), with Doublestuf J34 and Lobo K26 having bro time a little further offshore of them. No Mako J39 so off we went to check out other groups. Instead of milling about, pretty much everybody was Northbound in their groups now. We found members from both of the previous large groups we had seen already again, as well as a few orcas we had not seen yet. At one point, Hy’shqa J37 lifted her head out of the water and balanced a small strand of kelp on top of her rostrum. Tsuchi J31, Mako J39’s sister, was nearby with Shachi J19, Skagit K13, Spock K20, and Comet K38. Tsuchi J31 and Comet K38 tail slapped multiple times and Spock K20 breached once.
After checking a few more social groups, one being made up of Mike J26, Lobo K26, and Rainshadow K37 having bro time, we headed far offshore to look for Mako J39 and finally found him with Cappuccino K21 traveling North. Blackberry J27, Mako’s older brother, was paralleling them further offshore. Mako J39 breached once, which let us get a good look at his mouth and see that there was no fishing gear hanging from it. He then left Cappuccino K21 and began to forage/zigzag around a couple of miles off of False Bay.
While still trying to get shots of Mako J39, we found Slick J16, Echo J42, and J50 as they traveled slowly North. We then saw Mike J26 and Rainshadow K37 rolling around together. While waiting for them to come back up from a deep dive, I could hear whistles that sounded like they were very close and was confused on whether it was coming from a nearby whale watching boat's hydrophone. I then looked to my left and Rainshadow K37’s face was just below the water next to the boat and I understood then that he was the one whistling! He and Mike J26 then surfaced right off the now and continued goofing off. We then went back to Mako J39 and tried to get a few more shots of him while he foraged.
The next day, some Js and Ks left the area through the Strait of Juan De Fuca while the K12s and K13s were up near the Fraser River. On the 8th, the K12s and K13s were back at San Juan Island while J, the rest of K, and almost all of L pod was inbound in the Strait of Juan De Fuca. The next day, everyone except for the L54s was back in the area. The L12s remained at the island while J, K and the rest of L pod (minus the L12s and L54s) headed North.
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