We spent some time on our boat looking for whales and found Flame #1538 and her calf in north pass. While we were watching them, we heard someone mention on the radio that there were orcas near Lena Point. We headed over there and found a very large pod of orcas. They were seemingly everywhere. I found myself looking in every direction only to miss individuals as they surfaced all around. I ended up with a lot of blurry photos. The pod has been identified as AG pod of the Alaska residents. It was so great to see residents again. Watching this group is pure joy. They seem to be having such a grand time. We saw breaching and tail slapping. It is like watching a big orca party! It was wonderful seeing them. I personally do not see residents in Juneau as often as I did while we were living in Ketchikan. Although I enjoy seeing transients, residents are very special to me. They are such a neat ecotype.
After watching AG pod, we headed over to Vanderbilt reef and did a little fishing. While we were fishing a humpback swam near us and sat at the surface of the water for several minutes. At one point one of its pectoral fins came out of the water. After the humpback left, a pod of Dall's porpoise showed up. It was a terrific day to be on the water!
We spent some time in our boat in Icy Strait and saw three humpbacks in north pass and four along our route in Chatham Strait. While we were in Icy Strait we saw several Dall's porpoise. As we were coming home we spotted a few whale watching boats stopped in Chatham Strait near Cordwood Creek. We decided to stop and look for what they were watching. After waiting for several minutes, a pod of four orcas surfaced very close to our boat. We were a bit startled as we did not know what the whale watching boats were looking at, and we were not expecting orcas to surface so closely to our boat. Nevertheless, I was able to get great ID shots of the orcas. They have been identified as the T100s. They are transient killer whales.
We spent a couple of nights camping at Taku Harbor and did some sight seeing up Speel Arm. We saw two humpbacks at the entrance of Taku Harbor and three humpbacks while exploring Speel Arm. From our campsite in Taku Harbor we watched a whale possibly trap-feeding near the entrance of the harbor. When I first noticed the whale we thought it was spy hopping, but after watching it through binoculars and through my camera I could see that it was sitting motionless at the surface of the water with its mouth wide open. It would then close its mouth disappear and then surface and repeat. It was not lunge feeding. There was another whale with it who appeared to be swimming around in the same area.
While on our sight seeing excursion in Speel Arm, we stopped to watch a humpback and noticed another whale swimming toward the whale we were watching. Suddenly the whale we were watching began breaching and slapping its pectoral fins on the surface of the water. The whale swimming toward it responded with a couple of tail slaps. It appeared as though they were communicating with each other. It was very neat to see.
I was shooting photos directly into the sun so many of them are blown out.
I was really hoping to find a pod of orcas, but we ended up finding lots of Dall's porpoise. They seemed to be everywhere. They are always fun to watch.