J-Pod & Humpback Whale – August 25, 2015
August 25, 2015
Warm and sunny out on the Strait of Juan de Fuca today with Orca Spirit Adventures!
Our morning trip found members of our resident Orcas (J-16’s) travelling from Hein Bank to a mile off Salmon Point of the San Juan Islands. We floated alongside Slick and her new baby calf. Echo, Slick’s elder daughter was also with them as they foraged for Chinook salmon. This new baby calf has quite the story to tell as it can be seen with rake marks along the dorsal side. This is unusual as these apex hunters have no predators of their own. Slick had some difficulties this year birthing this little one and it’s believed that other orcas in the J-pod came to her rescue and acted as midwives. It appears as though another orca grasped hold of the baby with its mouth (causing the marks) and gently pulled it from Slick’s birthing canal saving the precious lives of both mom and calf!
Our afternoon trip was also exciting as we were lucky enough to catch up with not one, but a pair of Humpback whales! Humpbacks are always exciting to see as these massive mammals won’t be here in our waters for too much longer. Come the fall, with their bellies full of food, they will commence their long journey south to the tropical waters of Mexico and Costa Rica where they will mate and then return again a year later to the warm waters to give birth.
After the Humpback sighting, we once again caught up with our resident J-pod and then slowly drifted through the Chain Islands where we watched lazy harbour seals sun themselves on the warm rocks, juvenile gulls learn to fly and deep diving cormorants fan their wings to dry.