SEATTLE -

A large pod of orcas in Puget Sound this week has been thrilling whale watchers.

But they were especially exciting on Tuesday when they came close to a ferry from Seattle as it approached Bainbridge Island. The killer whales surrounded the ferry and splashed in the water.

 By coincidence, on board the ferry were officials from The Burke Museum in Seattle who were returning tribal artifacts to the new Suquamish Museum. The artifacts were dug up nearly 60 years ago from the site of the Old Man House, the winter village for the Suquamish tribe and home of Chief Seattle.

Also on board was Suquamish Chairman Leonard Forsman. He believes the appearance of the orcas was no coincidence. He believes they were welcoming the artifacts home to the reservation.