Sunday, July 27, 2014

7-27-14 Crazy Days of Summer Whales!

Saturday/Sunday, July 26/27th
...the whales were gone on the 24th and 25th...everyone was expecting a long absence...but on the 26th some were coming back in...it started to become a crazy mixed up time which will probably just continue!
July 26th
...at first it was L pod coming in...then some said they were watching K pod whales...when we were on scene on Maya's Westside Charters with Capt. Andy in the late afternoon we saw only K pod whales too...





...then in the evening as it was just about dark and some of the whales had reached the park...I heard over the Lime Kiln hydrophones what sounded more like a couple J pod calls...there is this one call that reminds me of the Three Stooges program - "nek-nek-nek"...and yet others said it was L pod whales that had gone past the lighthouse...and then I heard calls on the Lime Kiln hydrophones until close to 11pm...but did any continue up island?...crazy day!
...as I was reviewing my images I noticed Cali K-34 had a new nick.  It looks pinkish...I looked at previous images of Cali from the last time I saw him, the day before they went out and couldn't see the nick...that was also the day he and Onyx L-87 seemed to be spending a lot of time in close proximity...just wondering...
July 27th
...whales began to appear on the horizon at about 8:30 a.m....lead by Cali K-34 who was out ahead of all the others...Onyx L-87 was no where around - at least in the beginning of this pass by at the park...Cali was followed by members of his family group the K13s...
...but mixed in with them were a couple L pod whales - Muncher L-91 and Marina L-47 and Mystic L-115...
...more came along...


...still more came along...and the parade of whales lasted until at least 11:00a.m.
...oh, but that wasn't all of it...some whales turned back down island before they even made it to the park and stayed down there the rest of the day...others were miles off shore - Cappuccino K-21, Opus K-16, Sonata K-35, and Sequim K-12 with her two youngest - Rainshadow K-37 and Saturna K-43...
...the other two members of the K12s - Sekiu K-22 and Tika K-33 - were close in...but they weren't the closest! - it was one of those magical pass bys at the lighthouse...people were in amazement as to how close the whales were...with so much under the surface right along the kelp line...

...and the rest of the day...as Capt. Jim put it:  "Are you with the north-north group, the south-north group, the north-south group,  or the south-south group!"

...and inquiring minds want to know ' Who is Onyx with today?'
...as they were passing by the park Onyx L-87 was very close to shore, and near some of Group A whales...looks like he is back with Group A...at least for a while!
...I found it interesting that Cali K-34 was so far out ahead of all the others as they passed by at the park this morning...I got a look at the right side of Cali's dorsal fin...the nick was not noticeable on the right side like it is on the left side...

...whales were in many unusual groupings today...Blackberry J-27 and Tsuchi J-31 seem to have ended up going north with Group A and K pod...Mako must have stayed back down island with the other Group B whales...

...while out on the boat we saw Fluke L-105 surface, pushing something...
...I don't often get to see them playing with their food...

...when I first looked at 'the something' that he was pushing I wondered if it was a harbor porpoise, mainly because of the color, but my images weren't that good...then he gave us a half eaten view...
 ...that was a very large salmon!


Let's hope
there are more
out there
for the whales to get!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

7-23-14 One, Two, Three, FOUR!

Wednesday, July 23rd
...Granny does like the early morning up the westside...but it took a phone call to wake me up!...sit back, relax, pretend you are here...enjoy your morning with the whales...it's not exciting, it's just the whales being the whales, living their early morning day...
video

...up they went  at 5:20 past the lighthouse - pass by #1 of the day...I saw Lobo K-26 and others but no other large male...I was looking for Mike J-26...I wonder where he and his family are...they were here yesterday...

...10:00 a.m. down they came - pass by #2 of the day...



...now I could confirm that Mike J-26, his mom Slick J-16, and the other two kids Alki J-36 and Echo J-42 were not with them!...then I learn from Ivan of the Western Prince that those four whales were seen out at Sooke, BC, west of Victoria!...I know these four have gone off on their own in the past from time to time...now we can add this to that list...

...this afternoon at about 1:40 and in the rain Granny and 'her crew' came up island - pass by #3 of the day...this time in the rain...



 ...this evening at about 7:30 down island they came - pass by #4 of the day...


...Other whales?  none seen anywhere...

...salmon...it's getting more and more difficult to find...not good...that can change in a day...let's hope that it does!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

7-22-14 Onyx And Others Not Present Today

Tuesday, July 22nd
...when daylight came and the whales came down from the north, here's who was present...
Granny J-2, Samish J-14 and her kids and grand kid J-49, Slick J-16 and her kids, and Lea K-14 and her kids...now that's an unusual combination...a few of the whales who had come down...




...many searched many areas but no other Southern Residents were seen today at all, anywhere...
now this is getting to be very unusual...



Update on Onyx L-87:
This is the second full day that Onyx L-87 was not with Granny's Group, and we don't know who he is traveling with right now.
He has traveled with J pod since August 2010 for four years.
Prior to that he traveled with K pod for four years.
Prior to that his mother was still living.

Monday, July 21, 2014

7-21-14 Breaking News About Killer Whale ONYX L87!


This post has been updated to include the rest of the day...

7-21-14
...watching the whales come up island this morning I see Cali K-34, Scoter K-25, Skagit K-13, and the rest of the K13 family group...along with Rhapsody J-32, Moby J-44, a few others and Onyx L-87  - what? wait? he's supposed to be with Granny's Group - Group A - who went up toward the Fraser River late yesterday!!!...and they are still up in the Strait of Georgia..
...and now here was Onyx traveling with the K13s and five J pod - Group B - whales as they came up island and 20 minutes later came back down!



Is this a temporary visit with them or is he in the beginning stages of shifting to yet another group?

Can't wait to find out what he does next!

Added later:

Same Day - late in the afternoon...
...hanging out with the whales...the whales were milling about and spread out for miles...and with the whales not traveling it's a wonderful opportunity to spend time 'hanging out with the whales'...
...on Maya's Westside Charters we came down island to see the whales late in the afternoon...I think maybe these two paddle boarders were surprised to see they had company - in the form of whales!
 ...this young lady braved the rough seas yesterday and enjoyed the calm evening with the whales today...
video

...Onyx L-87, who was with Cali K-34 in the morning was still hanging around him this evening...
...interesting to note is that ever since K-44 was born, which meant that both his sisters now had offspring, Cali seemed to not know where he belonged(my interpretation)...he is just about always seen on the outskirts of his family group...so it's nice that maybe for a day or two he has someone to hang out with...
...so with Granny's Group staying up north today, it looks like Onyx will be with this group for another day...we shall see what goes on...
...this is getting very interesting...

Sunday, July 20, 2014

7-20-14 They Left Then Changed Their Minds

Sunday, July 20th
...I wasn't surprised to learn the whales were heading west in the Strait of Juan de Fuca this morning...being so spread out last evening when they came down Haro Strait made me think they might be gone...
...however, J pod, Onyx L-87, and K pod turned around and came back in, but the rest of the L pod whales continued west...
...out on Maya's Westside Charters to meet the whales...east of Race Rocks...moving very slowly in one large group...it looked like a resting pattern but then one would breach...


...later on she spyhopped...
...it took them many hours to reach the west side of San Juan Island...nearing Trial Island the whales woke up for a minute!...they were like a burst of fireworks going off...I missed most but managed to get this...fun stuff!

..when they got over to San Juan Island some went down island and others up island...
...Granny J-2 and Group A whales went up, along with K pod whales...
...it was getting dark - there's one whale (a killer whale dot) in the distance going up and the near whale facing down...there was lots of foraging going on...
...some stalled out near the Orca Sound hydrophones (about four miles up island) for over an hour and a half...then it sounded like K pod whales over the Orca Sound hydrophones that were coming back down island at about 10:30 pm...

...will need daylight to try to see just who is where tomorrow...