Thursday, June 20, 2019

6-20-19 Killer Whales on the West Side Today

Thursday, June 20
...what began as a quiet day and a list of things to get done, ended up very differently...









...for a day that began as quiet as it did, it sure ended up full of unexpected things...
...the group of whales are the T124As and one or two others in this group.  There were three other groups in other various places today too.


Wednesday, June 19, 2019

06-19-19 Pack It In Pack It Out


6-19-19
Pack It In Pack It Out - 
Events occurring at Lime Kiln Point State Park in the next couple weeks - Orca Sing and the 100th Celebration of the lighthouse.

So here's an idea. Whether you are a 'local' or a visitor please leave all 'one-use' plastic items at home and bring your beverage and food with you in RESUSABLE containers. How about make this year be the least amount of trash left behind after each of these events. 

There used to be signs in many places on this island: Pack It In Pack It Out. It's also a great way to help others learn about making good choices for the environment. And what a better place than along the shoreline at the park. If you are on a boat that day, PLEASE be aware of the dwindling kelp beds and stay a good distance away from the shore. Every positive step you take may just help another make changes too. Enjoy the festivities, take in the beauty of your surroundings and start to walk a new talk - Change Matters.

...and no matter where you live - Change Matters...what events will be going on where you live and how might you approach them with doing things a bit differently this year - it's for the sake of our children's and their children's future.  REALLY!

Friday, June 14, 2019

6-14-19 Whales and Whales But No SKRWs

Friday, June 14th
...been without internet for a week now...ugh...
...but then again not a whole lot to post...
...except that the new J Pod baby, J-56, was seen with Tuschi J-31 again about a week ago...that was near Tofino again...
(note: I have not seen an 'official announcement' about the new baby, but I did see on a Center for Whale Research post where they mentioned both of the new calves, L-124 (first seen in January 2019) and J-56 (first seen on May 30, 2019)...so that's official enough for me.)

...I don't know of any other sightings of any of the SRKWs since then...
...there was a report with video of a large group of transients moving up the Oregon coast...then four or five days ago a large group of killer whales, unknown eco-type, near the entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca...
...it was likely some if not all of those Ts who have shown up over the last several days...
...but before that there had been a humpback or two...one afternoon the best one could do was to get some of the exhalations of those two humpbacks...

...a couple days ago, I think it was the T124As who were seen passing County Park...missed them...went back to land bank...got a call from a friend telling me there were whales coming up island (thank you very much!) - what?...how long ago?...just now?...and here came another group, the T73As, that I've only seen once, and with them T75 and her oldest offspring, T75A, who has a very tall, and wavy/wonkie dorsal fin...
...will post pictures of them later--okay here they are:











...amazing...they passed the lighthouse along the edge of the kelp, turned on their sides as they did - just under the surface...maybe checking out those kayakers who were properly parked deep in the kelp and appeared to be 'frozen' !!  I followed them, from shore, for as long as I could, last seeing them as they rounded the corner of Spieden Island...
...then today, many whales inbound - I'd like it to be SRKWs of course, but it was Ts...several groups spread out...one was T77A, a bachelor, known for playing with crab pot lines or things like that...he made it to Haro Strait and came up island far from shore...the others were in the Strait of Juan de Fuca but so far hadn't come into Haro Strait...
...BUT, before that another group was spotted from shore in the early morning but it took several hours before they reappeared again...and when they did they came up island...
...they have passed by Lime Kiln lighthouse many times in the past...and today was no different...and boy were they close!
I'm always looking for boats flying the Whale Warning flag...everyone that does is helping to educate those on the water who may not be aware that whales are present...or those on the water who are not paying attention...the flag is bright and obvious, but only obvious if boats are flying the flag when with whales...today I saw this boat, Outer Island, and of course Soundwatch...



...there is a 6th member of this family group, T49A2...a male who decided to disperse from his family at an age younger than most...of course, he also had spent more time with his aunt than his mom when he was young, so something was going on there...anyway, no telling when/where/with whom he will appear with...

...where are J, K, and L Pods?  Out in the open ocean.
...why aren't they here?  lack of food most likely, possibly the loss of a strong leader or re-forming, which could take a long time, after the loss of Granny J-2 in late 2016.

...oh, so sorry, but to not have had internet for a whole week (poor me)...I am just running at the keyboard!

Last week I began a 30 challenge - purchasing nothing that comes in a plastic container.
...so far I have learned that I will automatically reach for a product and then realize it's in a plastic container.  Oh, no! ...so I have to look for something similar that is not...It's quite an eye opener.

Oh, how we are accustomed to convenience...convenience that will someday 'bite' us all if we don't stop now.


 

Friday, May 31, 2019

05-31-19 A New J Pod Baby !

Friday, May 31st

...what a day...it began with three family groups, the T65Bs, T75Bs, and T75Cs several miles from shore off Lime Kiln.  They were going down island and they were so far out that I could barely even seen the boats that were there...
...but it was not windy, and the air wasn't cold, so I decided to just watch...not thinking anything other than knowing there were whales out there near those boats...but oh, well...
...then the boats slowed to almost a stop...hmmm...then a boat turned...hmmm, interesting...then another boat turned and another...very slowly...the whales were going back up...
...then a boat turned in the direction of the lighthouse...still couldn't see a whale out there, but this was getting really interesting...
...then another boat..and now the boats were actually coming directly toward the lighthouse...
...a fella visiting with his family was telling me that his son's school class had built rain gardens that act as a natural filter to clean the water that runs off driveways, roads, roofs, etc....he asked what I was seeing, at this point the boats were at their furthest...his comment, "If I could see them today that would be just fabulous!"  Well, the whales must have gotten his 'desire' because they came all the way across and were close to shore, right in front of the lighthouse.  WOW !

 ...the whales, three moms, two juveniles, and three under the age of two, were very surface active...having a great time...


...in between the above images and the below image there was a boat incident, with a sail boat, motoring, no sail up, appearing to not have a clue as to the presence of whales right in front of him...(incident reported)
...here are four of the eight whales, right after the event...I followed them up island and was able to verify that all were present as they passed by County Park...whew...

...while this was going on today, here...along the outer coast, off Tofino, J Pod was encountered and they have increased in size by one! 
There are images on the news, on social media, and all of us in this area and everyone who isn't, hopes J Pod will eventually, when there is enough salmon, make their way here, with the newest member of their pod !
It's been a long time since J Pod had a calf...
The mother is not yet confirmed...but the only images I saw - the calf was next to Tushci (J-31), and with them were Star (J-46) and Suttles (J-40).

...and that's a very interesting group...
...Star and Suttles were both escorts with Tahlequah (J-35) in the early part of her long mourning period in 2018, when Tahlequah would not let her deceased baby go.  
...Star helped as best as she could when her mother, Polaris (J-28) was declining and her baby brother was too, in 2016.  
...Suttles acted like a playground monitor, traveling behind Scarlet (J-50), as if to make sure she kept up...J-50 was just 3 months old and her mother, Slick (J-16), was helping her daughter, Alki (J-36), with her brand new baby, in early 2015.  ...see Blog Post from 3-30-15

...There are more accounts of others...Tsuchi (J-31) has been like an auntie whale...she seemed to be in attendance with Polaris and Star, after Polaris lost her second calf in January 2013. 

No matter who mom is...I just hope we all will get the opportunity to meet this new member to J Pod, watch him/her have a long life.

~~~

...on May 29, two humpback whales came up island, then down island and then up island again...and sometime during the night they came back down island and were seen heading west in the Strait of Juan de Fuca...
...this one actually has three IDs - MMX0005 (temporary ID by Mark Malleson, when first seen in these waters), BCY0660, and BCY0458...
..not easy to see but the dots and line on the left fluke match up and on both flukes the raggedy edges match up...what was confusing was the right fluke...
...this is BCY0160...that's an easy one, due to the 'H' mark on the left fluke...
...I wonder what this next week will bring?....

...in the meantime maybe it will bring for you:
 - a reduction in your use of anything plastic
 - being stingy with your water usage
 - reading labels to find how close to your area your food comes from

...that's just for starters...I think we all might agree that each of us must, without delay, make changes for the sake of saving the earth and all that live on the earth...
 - have you read about setting up a water dish for bees? - they need water too
 - do you bring your cloth bags to the grocery when you shop?

just a few ideas...think of what you can do and then start doing it.
Change isn't easy, but if we don't change we will not make the world a better place.