The Wild Orca team, Giles, Jim, Aisha, and volunteer Robyn, set out on the water at noon. It was partly cloudy and 62 degrees Fahrenheit! As we headed down the island, we saw many jumping fish – a few groups of jumping Pink salmon. We saw some porpoises and arrived on the scene with Southern Resident killer whales at approximately 12:33 p.m. Yesterday, J, K, and L pods returned to the Salish Sea. Most of them headed north, but about nine whales stayed along the west side of San Juan Island. We found this group ¼ mile West of Eagle Point.

Shortly after we arrived, we learned of Tokitae’s passing. We were heartbroken to hear of her death and are still grieving the life that she endured. It was a tearful day on the water. She is family to so many, including the Wild Orca team. We are thinking of her, her relatives, and the communities that fought for her.

Of the nine whales on the west side, the L11 matriline, L54 matriline, and L25 were present. Tokitae’s closest living relative, L25, Ocean Sun – the only whale alive when she was born – was present on the west side that day.

With heavy hearts, we collected samples, remembered her life, and returned home in the early evening.

Rest in Peace Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut

Research Vessel

R/V Cheena


Southern Resident Killer Whales


J, K & L Pod

Research Activities

Fecal Sample Collection, Behavior Data