We caught up with the two brothers off of Moresby Island as they slowly headed up Swanson Channel in Canada. The difference in dorsal fin height between the two brothers is very interesting. You would expect the older brother, T128, to have the taller fin since he was born in 1988. It’s actually the opposite! Younger brother T125A, born in 1998, has the taller fin! The two didn’t travel too far while we were with them and they may have gone into resting mode for much of the encounter. We left them still slowly headed up Swanson.
It was just the J14 and J19 matrilines, a fraction of J pod. Adoptee Onyx L87 was with Granny J2 as usual and all together there were ten individuals. With less salmon around, we see J, K, and L pod splitting up more and this a good example of that. Seeing southern resident pods in their entirety is not as common as it once was.
We arrived on scene with the orcas spread out off Saturna Island near Java Rocks in Canada. Once they reached South Pender Island, they crossed over to Stuart Island in the US. Almost everyone then joined up and started porpoising for Turn Point. Trailing the porpoising group was Ti’lem I’nges J49 who was trying to catch up, and then even further back was Granny J2 and Onyx L87 who were taking their time. Samish J14 and Se-Yi’-Chn J45 tail slapped a few times and Suttles J40 cartwheeled twice as they rocketed toward Turn Point. Once off of Turn Point, everyone slowed down and began to mill about. This allowed Ti’lem I’nges J49, Granny J2, and Onyx L87 to catch up and that is where we left them.
On July 7th, the Odyssey was able to see the Js and Onyx L87 again. They had come back down from the Fraser River via Rosario Strait and were coming back up the west side of San Juan Island. We arrived on scene with them as they neared Lime Kiln State Park. The ten of them were very spread out but we ended up seeing Granny J2, Hy’shqa J37, Ti’lem I’nges J49, and Onyx L87. Onyx L87 stayed offshore while the other three were inshore. Granny J2 was in the lead and when we reached Open Bay, she surfaced with a piece of salmon in her mouth. We left them at Open Bay as they continued on their journey, perhaps back to the Fraser River.