I was headed to Fritz Cove when I heard that there were orcas in the area. I quickly got out there and immediately found them right next to shore just off from the road. They had a group of sea lions pinned against the shore, although I believe that is a defensive tactic for the sea lions; move into shallow water. We could see the bottom where the sea lions were. That is how close they were to shore and the orcas were just out from them. It was quite the sight. However, I made the mistake of getting out of my car and attempting to follow them along the road on foot. They were moving way too fast for me to keep up. By the time I made it back to my car and attempted to catch up with them, they were gone.
The orcas I photographed have been identified as the T064s. There was a larger group that passed by that I was unable to get photos of. Judging from a video I saw that a friend had taken, there were at least ten orcas in the area. I was able to get photos of three.
I did notice at least two humpbacks in the area; however, I did not get any photos of them.
We decided to check out the whale activity in Fritz Cove from our boat. We found Flame along with three other whales. Two of the whales (Twin Peaks and False Butterfly) were traveling together, while Flame and Nibblet were off by themselves. We left the area and headed toward Saginaw Channel. The water ended up getting rough so we headed back towards Auke Bay and encountered a pod of orcas near Spuhn Island. We watched as they headed towards Fritz Cove. We knew they were transients and expected them to go after one of the many sea lions or even harass one of the humpbacks in the area. They were pretty elusive and seemed to be heading towards Shaman Island when we lost sight of them. We briefly looked for them, but they simply vanished. We left the area thinking they were gone. Close to two hours later we stopped by Fritz Cove and found them again. I am thinking they went into stealth mode and began hunting sea lions causing us to lose sight of them earlier in the day. When we saw them later in the day, it was obvious they had successfully made a kill based on their behavior and the bird activity in the area.
Photos are super cropped and super grainy. It was nearly dark when we saw them the second time, and they were super elusive the first time we saw them.
We spent some time in our boat and spotted a pod of five or six orcas, including a small calf, exiting Barlow Cove. I immediately recognized T072, aka Young. We have seen him at least two other times. The T100Bs and T065Bs were also identified. These are transient (mammal eaters) orcas. We were in a hurry, therefore, I did not get many photos of them.
We spent some time on our boat and saw multiple humpbacks in the North Pass area. They were seemingly everywhere. I believe there were at least 20 in the area. I was able to get fluke shots of eight of them, and was surprised to see that there were several that we are unfamiliar with. After spending time watching the humpbacks, we spotted a large pod of orcas near Gull Island. They were heading south toward Lena Point. They were very playful and super fun to watch. We saw one breach and multiple tail slaps. I was excited to discover that it was AF22 pod (residents). We saw them for the very first time 11 days ago.
The pod was spread apart and pretty elusive at first. They would surface and dive for long periods of time. They eventually came together and were easier to track. At first I thought they were transients, but I eventually found out that this was AF22 pod (residents). This was the first time we have seen this pod.
We spotted a large pod of orcas just north of Amalga Harbor. The pod was spread out, but eventually came together and began socializing. We watched as they rolled around, slapped their tails, and we got to see a couple of spyhops. The pod was identified as AG pod of the Alaska Resident Orcas. A few individuals have been identified.
We spent time in our boat and saw five humpbacks near north pass, including #1538, Flame and her calf along with #1447, Juneauite and what appeared to be a calf. This is the first time I have seen Juneauite this year. There also appeared to be a couple of humpbacks near Favorite Reef.
As we were heading in, we spotted a pod of orcas (approximately seven) near Point Retreat. The pod of transients were moving quickly and diving for long periods of time, making them extremely difficult to track.
I have submitted photos to happywhale.com and am waiting to hear back from them as far as ID's go.
As we were heading back to Juneau from a camping trip, we spotted a large pod of orcas near Howard Bay in Chatham Strait. The pod was spread out over a large area. It was difficult to determine how many individuals there were. We did manage to get photos of two large males. This pod has been identified as AG pod (Alaska resident orcas). As we watched the orcas we spotted two humpbacks in the area as well. I managed to get a fluke photo of one of the humpbacks.
We spent some time in Icy Strait and saw many Dall's porpoise. They seemed to be in every direction that we looked.
I happened to look out our window and saw a pod of six to eight orcas going by. They were heading north. Although it was late in the evening, I was able to get a few photos. However, they are grainy due to distance and lighting issues. It has been determined that these were resident orcas, likely part of AG pod.