We got even luckier on our second early morning out, coming across J-Pod Group A (The J2s/J14s, J19s, and J16s, plus L87 Onyx) and the K14s right outside of Mitchell Bay at about 7:30 AM on June 24th. The first whale we saw was J26 Mike.
I love watching whales from shore in the early morning because of the lighting, but once we got out there, turns out the light is pretty amazing from the water side, too.
|Backlit blows of the J14s: J14 Samish, J45 Se-Yi'-Chn, and J40 Suttles|
|J2 Granny: a classic Pacific Northwest scene|
This group of whales was just the example I was hypothetically talking about a few days before: with members of all three pods present, but just 20 whales present, is this is a superpod? I don't think so....but of course that doesn't make it any less "super" :)
The K14s have been regularly breaking off from the rest of K-Pod and traveling with Js this year. We later learned that most of the rest of K-Pod - the K12s and K13s - had split off and gone back south along the west side of San Juan Island, where they would spend the day doing the so-called "westside shuffle", going back and forth.
|K26 Lobo and his sister K36 Yoda with Spieden Island in the background|
After just 45 minutes it was very tough to break away, but I had to go to an appointment in town. As we were leaving, we commented how we had seen all the expected whales but not L87 Onyx. As if on cue, we heard a blow offshore behind us. There he was!
|L87 Onyx doin' his own thing|
Little did we know that our best morning on the water still awaited us!