We spotted a lone orca near Auke Bay. The encounter was a bit frustrating due to the water conditions, the elusive behavior of the orca, and the large number of whale watching boats jockeying for position. The orca has been identified as T087. This is the second time I have seen T087 (November 26, 2016, was the first time).
The humpback encounter was equally as frustrating with the water conditions and the whale watching boat traffic.
I believe the orcas are from AG pod of the Alaska residents (fish eaters).
I happened to look out the window and noticed an orca breaching. The weather was terrible, making it extremely difficult to see them. If I had not seen the breach, I do not think I would have noticed them at all. It looked like there were three or four in the pod. They appeared to be traveling south so I drove down to sandy beach. I watched for 20 minutes and briefly saw one of them surface.
My photos are extremely blurry to due weather and distance.
A large pod of orcas were observed in the Gastineau Channel directly across from downtown Juneau. The pod was spread apart and moving very quickly. I was quite far from them, therefore, my photos are heavily cropped. The orcas appear to be part of AG pod of the Alaskan residents.
A pod of three orcas were seen in the Gastineau Channel close to Douglas Island directly across from downtown Juneau. They were moving very slowly. It appeared as though they were swimming in a circle or at least staying in the same spot. They eventually began moving south. It was almost dark, and they were at least a half mile away from me, therefore, the photos are grainy. The male has been identified as T087.
We observed a small pod of orcas near Point Retreat. There were three to five animals in the pod. They were elusive and difficult to track. We also observed three humpbacks and a pod of Dall's porpoise (no photos) in the same general area.
These were transient (mammal eaters) orcas. T065A and T65A2 have been identified. Many thanks to Northern Resident Orca Population for identifying these whales for me.
A pod of five orcas were observed near Point Retreat. As we came into the area we noticed a large number of gulls flying around and landing on the water. After a few minutes we realized there were orcas in the same area as the gulls. We quickly determined that the orcas must have recently made a kill, which attracted the gulls. As we were moving closer to the area, but still approximately 200 to 300 yards away from the pod, we were shocked to see one of the orcas making a beeline for our boat. We quickly put our motor in neutral and watched in amazement as it circled our boat for two to three minutes. It then left and went back to the rest of the pod. The pod stayed in the area, clearly feeding based on the bird activity. At times they appeared to be celebrating and socializing with breaching and tail slapping. As we were watching the orcas, a humpback whale surfaced and passed by.
The pod has been identified as the T124Ds and T124A2s. These are transient (mammal eaters) orcas. Many thanks to Northern Resident Orca Population for identifying these whales for me.
This was a new experience for us. One we surely never will forget.
I took a lot of photos and decided to post them separately .
He has been identified as T040, aka Captain Hook. Photos are blurry due to distance.
A small pod of orcas were observed near Vanderbilt reef. Unfortunately the pod separated before we could get near them, and I was only able to photograph a juvenile male. He was difficult to track, as he was moving quickly, zigzagging, and porpoising out of the water. Suddenly he began slapping his tail and breaching. A flock of gulls appeared out of nowhere and began circling the area. I believe he made a kill.
We eventually made our way into north pass of Shelter Island and saw two humpbacks.
On two separate occasions throughout the day we saw pods of Dall's porpoise near Vanderbilt reef.