Tag Archives: Jim Maya

Orca photos: Capt. Jim offers his favorites of 2011

Capt. Jim Maya of Maya’s Westside Charters on San Juan Island sent me his favorite photos of 2011.

“Though perhaps not technically my best,” he wrote. “they are my personal favorites. I hope you enjoy them and have a great 2012.”

Jim sent the photos on Jan. 1, so the delay in getting them online is all mine. The captions below each picture are Jim’s comments about the events and circumstances of the moment. Click on each photo for a better view.

Nov. 19. Ts with Sucia Island and Mt. Baker. We first found them at Speiden Island thanks to Kim and Karl Bruder, who run Lonesome Cove. Evening light. / Capt. Jim Maya
Aug. 26. Spectacular speed swimming! We call it porpoising for some reason. Strait of Georgia headed toward the Frazer River. Wish the lighting had been better, but you get the idea. / Capt. Jim Maya

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Capt. Jim shares his favorite orca photos of 2010

Capt. Jim Maya of Maya’s Westside Charters sent along his best wishes for a New Year along with his favorite killer whale photos of 2010. I’ve chosen my favorites of his favorites. Thanks to Capt. Jim for allowing me to share his photos throughout the year. And may everyone have a great 2011.

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Killer whales live wild and free in the San Juans

Knowing the precarious nature of the Southern Resident killer whale population, it’s hard for me to write about the loss of individual animals, as I did in Tuesday’s entry in Water Ways, when I reported the deaths of three orcas.

Life goes on, but it’s hard to duck a mild feeling of gloom when I think of these families struggling to survive — with some whales dying before their time and a number of female whales failing to mother any calves in the peak of their reproductive years. Given uncertainties about food, disease and unknown catastrophes, I’m reminded that the risk of extinction remains very real. We’ll hear more about this potential in the coming months, as the National Marine Fisheries Service completes its five-year status review under the Endangered Species Act.

All in all, it’s been a good summer for killer whales in the San Juan Islands, according to Ken Balcomb of the Center for Whale Research. The orcas appear to have found enough salmon to be considered a healthy size, and it appears they are fit to go into winter.

Capt. Jim Maya of Maya’s Westside Charters sent me some nice photos of the orcas in the San Juan Islands. He said I could share them with you. It’s an important reminder that these animals live in tight-knit family groups, traveling together, sharing food and helping each other raise the young ones. To me, that’s what it means to be wild and free, no matter what their future may hold.

(Click to enlarge.)

Photos by Capt. Jim Maya