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May 22nd – Resident orcas back for the summer?

It is always an exciting time of the year when the resident orca pods start to come back into the inland water more frequently. Today, Jpod in its entirety (including honorary Jpod member L87 “Onyx”)  were spotted off south San Juan Island. Very exciting! When we arrived on scene, we found the family of orcas known as the J22s with their close associate J32 “Rhapsody”. The J22 family group are affectionately referred to as “the cookies”, as the matriarch of the family is named J22 “Oreo”, and her sons are J34 “Doublestuf” and J38 “Cookie”. J32 “Rhapsody” lost her mother in 1998 and she has no offspring, so she travels with her aunt J22 “Oreo” a lot.

The four of them were not traveling in any direction, but instead milling in a tight cluster, likely catching salmon as we saw at least two bursts of speed at the surface. They seemed to be a very busy group with chomping salmon below the waves. It is really cool to watch resdient orcas simply doing what they do best … catching salmon! Welcome back Jpod, we missed you dearly!

14 year old J34 "Doublestuf" with his mother, J22 "Oreo" foraging for salmon together