Success! Nancy and I headed out from Roche Harbor and headed north in search of some members of K pod that had been spotted earlier that day. Whales in K pod are members of the Southern Resident Community, resident killer whales that spend their summers here in the Salish Sea as they hunt the salmon that pass through on their way to spawn upriver.
After a long boat ride (cruising with the current at 18 knts) we encountered the whales just a few miles south of Point Roberts. There we saw K 20, Spock, and her 5 year old calf Comet. Spock is a female killer whale with quite a large dorsal fin. It is so large that researchers had long thought her to be a male, so it was a big surprise the day she was spotted with a calf! These two were swimming slowly north at a pretty relaxed pace. We were able to spend time with them, watching them surface and dive in unison, and get fantastic clear looks at the dorsals and saddle patches.
After a long spell Nancy turned our boat south and as we headed down the channel and neared Skipjack Island, we started seeing the small fins of harbor porpoises all around us. Nancy shut off the engine and we counted dozens of porpoises surrounding the boat. They were pretty unconcerned by us and continued to surface. It was a pretty neat sight!