Today we left Roche Harbor expecting to have to drive north for a bit before we got to any orcas. Instead, we drove for about 10 minutes, and were surprised to find the J19s right away! Traveling with them, was Onyx (L-87), which led us to believe that Granny (J2) was also somewhere in the area because she is his adoptive mother. Everyone was so excited to see the new baby in J19 clan, which belongs to J41 (Eclipse), one of 4 calves born to the southern resident population this year. As if the baby wasn't enough, we also got to see the whales swim right up to the rocky cliffs of South Pender, where they swam through a kelp forest. It was at this point that we got to see a whale kelping! "Kelping" is a form of object play, in which the animal picks a strand of kelp up on it's pectoral or dorsal fin. SO COOL!! We were able to hang out with these guys for over an hour before we headed back through John's pass and around Speiden to see a Bald Eagle fledgling. Luckily, we wrapped up the trip and got back to the dock just before the rain started. Another good day on the Sea Hawk.

Naturalist Alex

M/V Sea Hawk, San Juan Outfitters