Fog was rolling in but it wasn't long before I spotted a few orcas off to our right as we headed down the shoreline of San Juan. These orcas turned out to be the J16s: matriarch Slick J16, and her three daughters Alki 36, Echo J42, and J50, but no Mike J26. Slick J16, Echo J42, and J50 mostly stuck close together and Alki J36 would occasionally join them for a bit before pulling ahead and traveling by herself. J50 being her usual independent self, would sometimes surface behind the others, or stay near the surface while everyone else was on a dive. At one point, while waiting for the orcas to resurface after a long deep dive and keeping a slow, predictable path of travel at what had been the correct distance away from them, the four decided to pop up right next to boat and check us out before contiuing on their way. The J16s led us across Haro Strait in the fog to Discovery Island, where we left them to get ID's of other J pod members.
Resting lines always prove to be some of the most beautiful behaviors to watch orcas do in my opinion.
It is when the orcas go to "sleep" by shutting off one hemisphere of their brains at a time. The pod usually lines up shoulder to shoulder and synchronizes their breaths, slowly moving as one.
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