J Pod Returns Down Sound

The thwack-thwack-thwack vibrating through the floor and the open window at 2:45 AM on September 20 sounded similar to fireworks. Nashoba, Dog Genius, barked.

I knew distinguished guests – our Kéet relatives – had arrived. We heard loud blows and even louder percussive activity: tail slapping, pectoral flipper slapping, and breaching as 28 endangered Southern Resident killer whales (SRKW) socialized and chased salmon in the dark.

We saw dorsal fins, some splashing, and one spyhop in reflected light from Gig Harbor as the gregarious orcas spilled out of Colvos Pass, sashaying over to Commencement Bay. A coyote pack erupted in resplendent howling above Point Defiance. Did Nashoba’s wild cousins hear the boisterous whales, too? We marveled at the relative pre-dawn warmth and the wind and wave conditions conducive to this auditory ceremonial.


orca with salmon