The first boat I worked on was a whale watching boat run by San Juan Cruises. Every day, we'd leave Bellingham to go whale watching and spend a couple of hours in Friday Harbor. It was exciting knowing that if the whales were out there, I'd get to see them. I remember one day in particular, when we witnessed something called a greeting ceremony. That day all the members of the three local killer whale pods met up on the west side of San Juan Island. There were about eighty whales. They divided into two groups and each group lined up fin-to-fin, with the two lines facing each other. The whales slowly started swimming to each other. We could hear their vocalizations above the water as they grew closer to one another. When they met nose-to-nose, all the whales dove, leaving us whale watchers on the surface wondering where we'd see them next. After a short while, the whales surfaced as a group, swimming quickly, as if they were in a race.