I was thrilled and surprised on my first full day back on the island - March 24th - to hear that J-Pod was on the west side of San Juan Island! When I got off work I thought I had probably missed them at Lime Kiln, so I headed for the boat and hopped out into Haro Strait. Turns out the whales were still further south and the seas were a bit lumpy, so I turned back, but not before stumbling across the humpback whale Big Mama BCY0324!
|Big Mama BCY0324|
I ended up getting to Lime Kiln on shore just in time to see the J19s foraging off the lighthouse.
|From left to right calf J51, big sister J41 Eclipse, and mom J19 Shaci|
It was cool to see little J51 swimming in big sister's slipstream rather than in mom's. It must have been big sister day, because later on I saw baby J50 swimming alongside sister J42 Echo rather than with mom J16 Slick!
|J51 pops up on his/her own....|
|...followed a moment later by mom and sister|
These three whales were seemingly hanging out waiting for most of the rest of J-Pod to catch up. The other Js took their sweet time, but from the south end of the park I could see them slowly, slowly heading our direction close to shore!
|There's no better than feeling than watching whales approaching!|
The J22s, J17s, and J14s slowly passed Lime Kiln in one big, semi-playful group. It was an extra special treat because it came in March!
J34 Doublestuf did several series of big tailslaps!
The sadness of leaving beautiful Baja and the friendly gray whales behind was definitely softened by this unexpected J-Pod passby! Here's hoping for a spring full of whale-sightings - April and May used to be fantastic months for seeing J-Pod here, but that's been less true in recent years.
|From left to right (I think): J37 Hy'Shqa, J14 Samish, J46 Star, and J28 Polaris|