First things first. Orca whales are actually dolphins (the largest member of the dolphin family, in fact) but have been called whales because of their nickname “killer whales.” Orcas live in the waters around Washington’s Puget Sound State and the Gulf Islands in British Columbia, travelling to parts of northern California and southeast Alaska. Orcas of the Pacific Northwest live in three clans, or pods, named J, K, and L pods. Each pod uses unique sounds to communicate, though certain calls are common amongst all three pods. The calls can travel 10 miles or more under water. Orcas are classified as endangered species.