The orcas were very spread out across the strait as they trickled down and we saw the K13s first. While we were watching them, some Ls passed us so we soon caught up with them and they were Crewser L92, Racer L72, and Fluke L105. These three then slowed down a little and Racer L72 milled about momentarily. She then spy hopped and Spock K20 followed with a slow spy hop of her own nearby as the K13s passed us again. Back behind us a little and further across the strait were the L4s, L47s, and Nigel L95. Racer L72 then spy hopped again and all the orcas began angling for Thatcher Pass instead of down the middle of Rosario.
On 8/12/15, all of the Southern Resident orcas, except for the L12s and L54s, were back around San Juan Island and I headed out with some friends to see them. We found a tail slapping Granny J2 in the lead as the orcas headed North past Andrews Bay along San Juan Island. Behind Granny was the rest of her family: her granddaughter Samish J14, great grandchildren Hy’shqa J37, Suttles J40, and Se-Yi’-Chn J45, and great great grandson Ti’lem I’nges J49. We let them pass us and then started heading slowly South to find more Northbound orcas. We then spotted Onyx L87 offshore of us. He was pointed North at first like the others had been but he soon turned around and headed slowly South with a tail slap. Inshore, Granny and her family had also turned around and were headed South quickly.
We moved further South and saw Blackberry J27 and Mako J39, with the K14s offshore of them near Hannah Heights. These orcas were also headed South at a good speed but Granny J2, her family, and Onyx L87 soon caught up with them and they all joined sleepy social groups spread out and milling off of Pile Point and False Bay. As we neared the first social group, Scoter K25 spy hopped offshore of us and gave a few tail slaps as he headed inshore. Crewser L92 was right behind him and also joined the social groups. Membership of these social groups often changed as some orcas would split off and new orcas would join.
Since the 12th, and as of this posting on the 21st, at least some of the Resident orcas, if not almost everyone (minus the L12s and of course, the L54s) has been in the area each day. I wonder if and when the L54s will visit San Juan Island? Time will tell.
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