Orca pod attracts a crowd in Douglas

Juneau residents had a nice surprise when a pod of orcas made an appearance in Gastineau Channel Thursday. Dozens of whale watchers, including a nearby preschool class, flocked to beaches and sidewalks to watch the pod swim down the channel.

Preschoolers walk across tidal flats to view an orca pod off Douglas Island Thursday afternoon. (Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska News)

Three members of an orca pod surface in Gastineau Channel Thursday afternoon. (Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska News)

Three members of an orca pod surface in Gastineau Channel Thursday afternoon. (Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska News)

An orca pod surfaces in Gastineau Channel Thursday afternoon. (Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska News)

A small crowd of whale watchers use binoculars to view an orca pod from the Douglas Boat Harbor parking lot. (Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska News)

Families watch an orca pod from the tidal flats below First Street in Douglas Thursday afternoon. (Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska News)