The orcas were slightly spread out along the shoreline and in a very active/playful mood. As we got closer, somebody new caught my eye. I waited for him to surface again to confirm his identity. It was Wave Walker L88, an adult male who travels with the L54s!! Inshore of him, Ino L54 surfaced. They had finally returned!! This was the L54s first known visit further into the inland waters besides the few times they had seen out near Sooke in the Strait of Juan De Fuca. The L54 matriline is made up Ino L54 and her two offspring: son Coho L108, and Keta L117, whose sex is still unknown. After becoming the last living members of their own families, adult males Nyssa L84 and Wave Walker L88 seemingly found a mother figure in Ino L54 and both travel with her and her kids.
The orcas, seemingly celebrating the L54s arrival, erupted from the water with tons of breaches (Marina L47?, Keta L117, and others), back dives (Nyssa L84 and others), belly flops (Muncher L91), pec slaps (Keta L117 and many others), tail slaps (Ino L54, Nugget L55, Nyssa L84, Wave Walker L88, Coho L108, Finn L116, Keta L117, and others), inverted tail slaps (Moonlight L83, Nyssa L84, Wave Walker L88, and others), dorsal fin slaps, cartwheels (Kasatka L82, Nyssa L84, Coho L108, and others), spy hops, and kelpings (Nugget L55, Wave Walker L88, and others). Of course, my camera decided it was the perfect time to start malfunctioning while this was all happening so I missed much of the action.
Towards the end of the encounter, both Nyssa L84 and Wave Walker L88 chose to come over towards the Odyssey and gave us some great looks. It was so nice to see almost all of L pod together (we were just missing the L12s) and in such an active mood. I miss seeing the pods traveling as a whole, not splitting up and fragmenting like they do now. Maybe in time, and with more Chinook/King salmon to eat, their society can be repaired.
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