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Sunday, September 6, 2015

August 17th: I finally see K21!

By mid-August, the L54 sub-group was the only Southern Resident group yet to come into Haro Strait this summer, but there was one other whale I hadn't seen yet this summer: K21 Cappuccino. He's not around as much as the rest of K-Pod, but he had been seen numerous times, and I had even seen his regular traveling companions K16 Opus and K35 Sonata. I couldn't imagine I would go the whole season without seeing him - I've always managed to see everyone in the population at least once. Finally, on the evening of August 17th, we came across a trio of whales right near Open Bay - and it was K21 Cappuccino, K16 Opus, and K35 Sonata.

K21 Cappuccino, K35 Sonata, and K16 Opus

Cappuccino - such a striking whale!
The whales were really spread out. There was another individual traveling well offshore of us, but after a fleet of Canadian Naval boats left a huge wake, he got active surfing the wake and breaching several times.

I actually missed the first breach because I was distracted by this common murre who drifted right alongside us:

A little further south we were following alongside J27 Blackberry, who we thought was by himself. We should have known his little brother Mako was around somewhere, but we didn't see him....until he popped up right alongside us! I think I literally jumped on his first surfacing, but I recovered in time to snap this photo on his second:

The last group of whales we saw before heading in was the K12 matriline - here are K22 Sekiu and K33 Tika, two whales I've gotten to spend a lot of time with this summer.

K22 Sekiu and K33 Tika

It was another beautiful summer evening on the water!

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