Captain’s Blog

SUPER POD of Orcas – July 6, 2015

July 6, 2015

On our morning whale watching tour we saw members of J and K Pods, foraging around San Juan Island. Killer Whales use echolocation to locate their prey and prefer to catch salmon. Orcas recirculate air through their blowhole then directed the sound through the fatty melon on their head. The sound waves bounce of the object and travel through the whale’s lower jaw and into the inner ear. Killer whale echolocation is very precise and allows them to distinguish between the 5 species of salmon on our coast. We were able to get a good look at K-21 or “Cappuccino”, born in 1986, as he was hunting.

This evening we were extremely fortunate to see members from all three pods, J, K and L, swimming along the shoreline. The whales are normally spread out and forage along this area but tonight they were grouped up together in a couple different groups. We estimate at least 40 whales were in the area! During the summer months is when Orcas are most predictable, hunting for salmon in coastal areas. This is the time of year when the three pods have the most interaction with one another and it is suspected to be the time when most of the mating occurs. We were fortunate to witness some possible mating between a couple of whales.

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