Morning saw us pushing north as the last reports from the night before were of whales way north in Canada, but as we passed Blakely Island we got word that the whales had traveled for under the cover of darkness and we changed course, cutting through Peavine Pass into Upright then San Juan Channels and out Cattle Pass. At least one group of whales was off the south end of San Juan Island and they were having a great time.
The first whale I saw was Blackberry (J27) but he was heading south with a purpose and there was some definite splashing up ahead. OFf our starboard side were two L-pod whales, Spirit (L22) and her son, Solstice (L89). Spirit breached twice as we got on scene.
Spirit (L22) breaching.
The breaching seemed to be contagious because the next group of whales we saw, the K13s, were catching some serious air time too. I saw breaches from Spock (K20), Deadhead (K27), Scoter (K25), and Cali (K34). They were breaching on their sides, doing belly flops, and back dives. It was like a competition between them! Also in the area were the J14s and J17s, and they were feeling just as gravity-defiant!
Se-Yi-Chn (J45) breaching.
Notch (J47) breaching.
There were so many whales everywhere when I went through my photos later I saw whales I didn't even realize I had seen! Opus (K16) and Sonata (K35) had snuck through. The whales weren't going anywhere fast as they goofed off. Hopefully this means they're finding enough food.
Our afternoon trip took us up through Peavine Pass again but instead of cutting south through Upright Channel we headed out into Speiden Channel to meet with K-pod whales that were heading north. As we rounded Henry Island we found them grouped up in resting mode off of Kellett Bluff. The K12s and K13s were grouped up together while the K16s (including K21) were close by but not swimming with the larger group.
Deadhead (K27) with her son, Ripple (K44) along Kellett Bluffs.
Cappuccino (K21) with Opus (K16) and Sonata (K35) along Kellett Bluffs.
The whales followed the shoreline of Henry Island around the point before pushing more north keeping to the same groupings as before. Cappuccino, Opus, and Sonata eventually pushed further off shore through the glassy waters, diving for four to five minutes as they swam closely in resting mode towards Stuart Island.
Sonata (K35) following his mother, Opus (K16).
Meanwhile the rest of pod was grouped up together, also in resting mode, pushing north past Speiden Island. It was amazing seeing all those fins pop up together.
The K13s an K12s in resting mode with Speiden Island in the background.
Two brothers, Cali (K34) in front of his older brother Scoter (K25).
Here's some video from the encounter. Enjoy!