May 7, 2017 – JPod Southern Resident Orcas Return
May 7, 2017
This morning was a special treat in the Victoria whale watching world as we welcomed one of our Southern Resident Killer Whale pods back! Our morning trip didn’t have to go too far out of the harbour before encountering the J16 family group of J pod heading east towards their favorite foraging grounds. The J16s consist of J16 Slick, her 4 offspring J36 Alki, J42 Echo, J26 Mike and J50 Scarlett and her one grandchild J52 Sonic. Scarlett and Sonic are now two years old, we can’t believe how much they have grown! The water was like glass and the sun was shining as this family travelled together. To top off our trip we headed into Race Rocks Marine Ecological Reserve to see our abundant pinnipeds (flipper-footed semi-aquatic marine mammals). We were delighted to see both species of sea lions – California and Steller, as well as Harbour Seals and our charismatic local sea otter, Oli!
The afternoon trip was equally wonderful as we headed off to the east following the path of J pod. Once again we were thrilled to have an encounter with the J16s, but this family group was now joined by several other whales including J22 Oreo and her son J38 Cookie – who’s dorsal fin is sprouting and growing nice and tall. He is barely recognizable from last year! Cookie’s good friend J39 Mako was also foraging with his sister J31 Tsuchi and brother (as well as crowd favorite) J27 Blackberry. This trip was complete with an encounter by a Steller Sea Lion and pair of hunting bald eagles on the Environment Canada Kelp Reef weather buoy in Haro Strait. A fantastic day with our Southern Residents!