Today as we passed within sight of Montague Island, we came upon a pod of "resident" orcas. Fortunately, I was assigned to be on small boat ops, and we quickly deployed on AR-1 to photograph and biopsy the half-dozen individuals in the pod.
Later in the day we encountered what appeared to be a second ecotype of orcas, thought to be of the "offshore" variety although possibly transients. When we first deployed, there appeared to be three different pods, then they merged into one large pod of nearly 25 individuals. The dorsals were a variety of shapes and sizes, but there was one towering dorsal fin that presumably belonged to the "alpha male" of the group. Interspersed among the pod were several "sprouters" that may one day take the place of this large individual.
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