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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

J27 Blackberry ~ A Long Trip Pays Off

This afternoon when we left the docks we had reports of orcas way up north, right near the edge of our range, and we weren't sure if we were going to make it. As always, we decided to give it our best shot and started our cruise heading up through the San Juan Islands towards the mouth of the Fraser River near Vancouver, BC - the destination for the salmon the orcas were undoubtedly in pursuit of.

It was a beautiful, warm sunny day and the sea conditions were flat calm. That meant the waters were perfect for spotting harbor porpoise and in Boundary Pass we spotted many small groups as we cruised by. We also got a great clear view of Mt. Baker in the distance. The strong flood tide pushed us along and we made great time as we traveling a whopping 31 miles from Friday Harbor - I generally say the maximum distance we can go is about 30 miles away! It's not often we go this far but today it was definitely worth it to see J-Pod spread out and foraging in the tranquil waters of the southern Strait of Georgia.

We spent most of our time there with the two brothers J27 Blackberry and J39 Mako, who I've been seeing a lot of lately. Here's J27, the 19 year-old older brother, surfacing in front of what we call the Coal Docks - whenever we see the Coal Docks we know we are a long way from our home port!

It was the kind of day where we could just cut our engines and watch as the whales zig-zagged about and looked for fish. At one point J27 veered straight towards us, making for a great "head on" photo-op. When the sea conditions are super calm like they were today, the water creates some stunning reflections as shown in this sequence of photos. Something about these images, to me, really captures the essence of a killer whale. I hope you like them too.


Dennis said...

Awesome pics, love reading your adventures. :)

Julie said...

i have a "thing" for moving water, especially something moving through the water. when i kayak, i can spend long periods of time just playing with my paddle, moving it back and forth, swirling it around, enjoying the patterns and the movement of the sea. it's kind of a zen thing for me. even more ... i love the pics that depict the same idea (and the real life experiences of seeing it) when orcas move through water... pushing it, having it bubble over their heads, and the frothy waves... it evokes some magical feeling of being one with the water. your pics capture that... wonderfully!

Warren Baker said...

Very nice Monika. What a way to spend the day. Very envious.