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Friday, May 27, 2016

5-27-16 Catching Up On Transient Encounters

5-21-16
...representative of the multiple groups who have been in the waters around the San Juan Islands for several days...on their 6th day in here...they spent several hours in San Juan Channel...they were going against a strong incoming current, so they didn't get too far...lucky for us on Peregrine because the seas were not nice at the south end of the channel...oh, they could have moved on through that current if they wanted to...evidently they didn't...on this day T93 and T97 had gone down the channel ahead of the group of moms and kids - T36As, T65As, T65Bs, and the T99s...


...but this large group decided not to follow T93 and T97...at least at that point because they flipped and went north again...
5-22-16
...T93 and T97 were seen way south, closer to Admirality Inlet area and the others were way, way to the north, out of range from here...
5-23-16
...so when a whole bunch of them plus a few others showed up coming down from the north...it was a shore day for me, so the wait was a long one...
...the T101s along with some of the moms and kids, plus the T123s came down Haro Strait, spread in groups as they went down...T101 passing along the west side...
...the T65As and the T36As passed Lime Kiln lighthouse pretty close to shore...that's the most activity of the killer whale kind there since May 13th...friends from Switzerland were there and got some nice video of them as they passed on by!
5-24-16
...many whales heading west close to the Port Angeles side of the Strait of Juan de Fuca...but then someone spotted the T123s close to Victoria and they were coming back in...thank you very much!...out on Peregrine with Capt. Andy at the helm, we met the T123s as they were getting closer to entering Haro Strait from the Strait of Juan de Fuca...


...Lime Kiln lighthouse way far in the distance...




...one of the passengers was asking where was a good place to see a bald eagle...how about just as we were arriving back into the harbor!
5-25-16
...a two trip (afternoon and later afternoon) day on Peregrine with Capt. Jim at the helm we head north to - guess who - the T123s!...we didn't have long with them...but I did get a good look at T123As newly acquired scratches...


...on our second trip...we headed back north, hoping to locate some other transients that were reported to be coming down across the Strait of Georgia...it was a long search...we overshot them but another boat picked them up...all that scanning was hard work for all those passengers who aren't used to looking at choppy water and for whales that might or might not be there...
...but the end result was that they did get to see those whales...my images showed that present were T86A1, T124A, T124A1, T124A3 and T124A4...it had been reported earlier that there were 10 whales present...maybe some had split off earlier...




 

Friday, May 20, 2016

5-20-16 Transient Family the T2Cs All Afternoon

Friday, May 20th
...by mid morning there were reports of transient orcas to the northwest, the southeast, and incoming toward Victoria in the Strait of Juan de Fuca...Oh, my goodness!...is what I lot of people were saying...
...Which way to go? Whichever way was closest! 
...out on Peregrine for a 1:00 trip with Andy at the helm we head toward Victoria...we heard that the group that had come in had split up and closest would be the T2Cs...
...I hadn't seen the T2Cs last year, so I was in for a few minutes of:  "who in the world is that?"...he had grown a lot, but even so he didn't look the same as the others...he never had...and now even bigger, it was pronounced even more...






...we had to leave...but we were on our way back out on a late afternoon trip...while in route we heard they were taking another harbor seal...








...'the spyhop' after a kill...
...it was not a day to see whales from shore...they were three or four miles out...
...and what a day it was with the T2Cs...
...with so many transients in the area I imagine there will be some around tomorrow...however, they can all just disappear anytime they want :) 
 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

5-19-16 They Stayed Day After Day

Thursday, May 19th
...well they stayed around...with others too...
...on the evening of May 17th some people on the ferry, just about to arrive in Friday Harbor, were greeted with a group of killer whales chasing after Dall's porpoise...I learned about it and how extraordinary it was when I received a frantic phone call!!  :)
...on the 18th those whales, the T75Bs and the T77s were still around, though over on the Canadian side, in among some of the gulf islands...not sure where they were, or if, seen on the 19th...
...now for the 19th, late afternoon trip on Peregrine with Capt. Jim at the helm...the T36As, T65As and Bs, the T99s were together again...T93 and T97 were off in the distance...off to the west were T11 and T11A...and a few miles north of all of them were the T123s - WHEW!




...it appears they had made a kill a short while before...

...the lighting at this time of day was pretty nice...
...I've seen them ragged and smallish nicks but this is quite large...
...Patos Island...
...Pt. Roberts area in the distance...
...day after day of these transients continues as the norm...for now anyway...

 

Monday, May 16, 2016

5-16-16 They Were So Busy Socializing

Monday, May 16th
...the day began with a tooth...needed to get to the dentist...probably no boat trip today...and then I hear there are orcas spotted in Swanson Channel - no direction, no number of individuals...
...just as I was about to go to the dentist I hear there are four whales (ended up being closer to 10) spotted near Jones Island and heading toward Spieden Channel...
...no time to go look...it ended up being an 'over the top' sort of day...
...One group...no...Two groups...where they came from and where they went can best be shown on this map... 
...out on Peregrine at noon with Andy at the helm we get to the whales (Group 1) who were now on the east side of Spieden Channel and into San Juan Channel heading down toward Friday Harbor...
...we soon learn of others just spotted (Group 2) who appeared just across the channel!

Group 1 consisted of:  T65As, T65Bs, and the T123s
Group 2 consisted of:  T36As, T99s, T93, and T97
It ended up being about 20 whales!

 
 


...when the two groups got together, there was a lot of going this way and that, and that way and this, and soon the T36As and T99s were mixed in with the T65As and Bs...T93 and T97, two adult males who travel together, were doing just that - they were behind the 'busy group,' and the T123s (three whales) were in their own group away from everyone else...
...the T36As, T65A/Bs, and the T99s socialized all day long...it didn't appear they had made a kill at any time while we were on scene - on Peregrine for the afternoon with Andy and evening trip with Capt. Jim...just lots and lots of socializing going on...
...the family groups of the T36As, T65A/Bs, and the T99s, who were the surface active ones, would split back into their family group only to mix up again a few minutes later...late in the day there was a tremendous amount of vocalizing...not common to hear them as we did......it was over the top...someone commented that it was 'sensory overload' - that's for sure!

Where are the Southern Residents?  They are looking for salmon - food to eat - and it obviously isn't in here.
If you haven't signed the petition yet, please do!  Your signatures and voice need to be heard by Washington, DC, and the 'powers that be' in Washington State!

Southern Resident Killer Whale Chinook Salmon Initiative
Please send Maria Cantwell a message today asking her to step up and support lower Snake dam removal. We cannot waste any more time with this issue. Congress does not need to authorize removal of the Snake dams. The LSRD EIS provides the authority to breach now. The clock is ticking. Extinction is forever.
More contact info can be found here: https://srkwcsi.org/take-action/letters-to-politicians/
https://www.cantwell.senate.gov/contact/email/form