Sadly, it felt like our "new normal" was a flyby visit from the Southern Residents: they would come in, take a quick look around, and leave within about 24 hours. I think many of us were afraid the same thing would happen after part of J-Pod made a surprise appearance on Saturday, but happily, the word on Sunday morning was they were again heading north on the west side! I got out there in time to see a nice close pass by a mixed group of J22s and J14s.
|No better feeling than watching a wild orca swim right at you|
|J34 Doublestuf does an inverted tail slap|
The closest group was made up of J34 Doublestuf, J32 Rhapsody, J37 Hy'Shqa, and J40 Suttles.
|J32 Rhapsody and J37 Hy'Shqa|
|A huge pec slap from J34 Doublestuf|
Sitting in the sun by the water, watching whales swim by the lighthouse, I was overwhelmed with a feeling that all was right with the world.
|Finally: whales off the lighthouse!|
A bit further offshore, another group including J38 Cookie, J45 Se-Yi-Chn, and J49 Ti'lem I'nges stopped to do what looked like some fishing. After they were done circling around, they porpoised by to catch up with the rest of the group!
If this was all I was to see on this day, I would have been a very happy camper!
But later in the day, as luck would have it, I'd get word that Js had turned back around and were heading south towards the lighthouse again. The timing was perfect for a west side sunset passby.
It was so quiet and peaceful out: no boats, and hardly anyone on shore except eight other whale watchers, all of whom I knew!
The sunset was pretty special in its own right:
But a golden-orange sunset AND whales? Breath-taking.
As amazing as all this had been, little did I know that the best was yet to come!