As we approached Cattle Pass, we spotted orca blows up against Goose Island. As we got closer, it became clear that it was a pretty big group. We had been on the fence on whether the orcas we were looking for were marine mammal eating transients or salmon eating southern residents but as I counted the blows it seemed we had residents. We gradually motored over to them as the water in Cattle Pass became fairly rough. I then spotted Doublestuf J34 and his younger brother Cookie J38 and we had our answer. It was J pod and Onyx L87, part of the southern resident population!
The orcas were in a very active mood as they surfed through Cattle Pass. A few played with kelp, including Onyx L87. Granny J2, Blackberry J27, Tsuchi J31, Moby J44, Onyx L87, and a few others tail slapped. Granny J2 and somebody else breached. A few individuals inverted tail slapped, including Mike J26. A few pectoral fin slapped, and Granny J2 cartwheeled at least four times. Between the swells, I caught glimpses of the new calves J53 and J54 beside their mothers.
Please do not use my photos without my permission. Just ask!