Do Not Copy

Do Not Copy

Friday, July 3, 2015

7/1-3/15 Ever Changing Days

Wednesday-Friday, July 1-3
Wednesday, July 1st

...whales were coming in front the west...out on

Peregrine for an afternoon trip the whales began to disperse as they got closer to San Juan Island...as we arrived on scene Granny J-2, Onyx L-87, Samish J-14 and her family, Shachi J-19 and her family and Lea K-14 and her family all headed up island...Tahlequah J-35 and Notch J-47 surfaced right by us - "ah! so the J17s are here"...but we didn't see them after that...



...off the boat and to the west side I get there just in time to see some whales turning and going back down island...it was the J17s and Tsuchi J-31...hmmm...that was strange, I wondered where Blackberry J-27 and Mako J-39 were... I realized later if I had read the encounter reports from the Center for Whale Research (link on left column) I would have found out where those two and others were!


Thursday, July 2nd
...4:00a.m. wake up 'call' (Lime Kiln hydrophones) from the whales!...I figured it was the J17s and Tsuchi from late yesterday...but that was a guess...

...8:30 a.m. Granny and the whales who had gone up yesterday (see above) were coming back down island...
...by the afternoon trip on Peregrine both groups were south and east along the bottom of Lopez Island...just as we were arriving on scene the whales were grouping up and coming back west...when they were reaching the east opening to Cattle Pass Granny and the 4 K14s - Lea K-14, Lobo K-26, Yoda K-36, and Kelp K-42 - who were in the lead, stopped and remained at the surface.  The others continued on and now Granny and the K14s were the trailers. 
As the whales crossed the entrance to the pass and reached the west side, they turned and quickly went into the pass (strong flood tide).  The J14s, J19s, J17s, and J-31 were the whales who went into the pass.  They traveled up past Goose Island, a small island on the east side of San Juan Island, and did a sweep across to the west side going down, hugging the shore line, traveling between Goose Island and San Juan Island.  They were in the pass for about 20 minutes. Their behavior, while in there, was similar to the earlier encounter this year when they (L pod whales) went into the pass except this time they didn't stay as long.

Now J2 and the K14s were in the lead and remained that way, and a good distance ahead of the rest. Granny and a few others ended up at Kellett Bluff and foraged for a while and then turned and went back down island, meeting the others and they all went down...okay everyone in the same place -whew!








Friday, July 3rd
...well that 'whew!' didn't last very long...
...shortly after 4:00 a.m. this morning another 'whale wake up call'!...
...I waited and watched and saw some offshore...was able to ID Lobo K-26 and Kelp K-42 and I could hear others up ahead of them...all going north...
...but I didn't know exactly how many...
...a long while later I get another 'call'...more whales on the Lime Kiln hydrophones...I figured that was the second group - sort of how they had been yesterday...I waited for them...oops!...I should have gone to the park because they didn't get into my view and turned and went back down island!

...out on Peregrine in the morning to attempt to see who was where...
...Shachi J-19, Eclipse J-41, and baby J-51 were here and with them were Tahlequah J-35 and Notch J-47...what an unusual group...we left them and headed down island to see who was there...at first we saw Princess Angeline J-17 heading back down island and it looked as her other family members, besides Tahlequah and Notch, were also heading down...and then we saw the J16s!...when did you show back up?!







(...Granny and her group had evidently continued north this morning and were heading up...possibly toward the Fraser River...)
...by mid afternoon the whales had made it up to the lighthouse and passed it...or some of them did...

...Tahlequah J-35 now had baby J-50 by her side...for a while...when they reached Kellett Bluff they split up as they often do...Mike J-26 foraged along the outer side and some of the others went deep into Open Bay...when they moved on, the J16s and the J19s were in close proximity...but of course that didn't last long...
...I know 'what a saga' ...they continued to move north but the two family groups split apart, sometimes one group ahead of the other and then they would drop back...
...Tahlequah and Notch...they too came along but were well behind the others...
we left the J16s, J19s in the Strait of Georgia...Tahlequah J-35 and Notch J-47 were behind them, but we last saw them coming up toward East Pt....

...all that and then we learn of more whales on the west side in the late afternoon...
...to have Tahlequah J-35 and Notch J-47 split off from their family...well, that's just one more unusual thing to add to this season...and it's still very early...

note:  7-3-15 there were lots and lots of salmon, leaping and leaping high...heading up...it was a wild sight to see...I believe they were Pink salmon...but 'they' say that the whales don't eat Pinks...they sure are echolocating a lot with less chatter...finding food is serious business.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

6/28-30/15 A Plethora of Variety

Sunday-Tuesday, June 28-30th
...and it continues on the same...
...except that on the 30th some L pod whales were seen!
...the J16s, of course, who stayed south again and evidently went west in the night, were seen coming back in toward the west side and not far from there were other whales spotted coming...I heard they were the L12s, but I wasn't out there and didn't see them...
...all day long they stayed south...each year it used to be the L12s who 'took up residency' down there, but in the last few years others have taken their turn spending time in that down island area...
...some of the days Granny and her group - Group A and sometimes Group A Minus (minus the J16s) would either be going up island in the morning or down island in the early evening...but who and when were ever changing...
...and some of the time I watched from shore and other times from the Peregrine...
...while waiting for whales a kingfisher showed up...
...a little while later...
...glad to be there early in the morning...sun had reached the whales off shore but not the whales who were in shore right in front of me...


...out on Peregrine and up to Boundary Pass...now I think I know why J-50 is having to 'CatchUp' all the time...she's goofing around so much!
...J-50 was on her back along side of mom, while mom took a breath...'CatchUp' didn't need to catch up this time...but soon she might!
...off in the distance as we entered the Strait of Georgia...
...on the 29th some went up in the morning...

...others came up and back down in the afternoon...the west side - busy with whales...
...June 30th...if you know my blog you already know I like to get these kinds of trees and whale pics...they are usually out of focus...I got lucky this time!
...June 30th...while waiting for the whales I noticed the Heermann's gulls are back...very cool.
They skim across the surface, using their feet for momentary brakes and get a fish with their beak and eat it as they keep on flying!
...then a Minke (pronounced mink-key) surfaced!...and kept on several times, heading down island...
...still waiting for the whales...not sure if this person knew how cold this water is and I wasn't sure of his intentions, so I kept watch for a couple reasons his well being and the whales' (who were still farther to the north)...but he got out of the water rather quickly...so all was well...
...and then they came...and even those who have seen these whales more times than you might imagine were still in awe...
...what a great way for us humans to end the day...hope the whales find enough food to fill up and keep on going...

Saturday, June 27, 2015

6/26-27/15 Did The Whales 'Get' You?

Friday/Saturday, June 26-27th
It's more than a full time job just trying to keep track of who is where, and who is with who!

But First:  a message from a concerned whale watcher - me
...if you watch or watched the whales from land or sea and you continue to use harmful to the environment chemicals and other harmful products then you just didn't 'get' the whales...
...if you watch or watched the whales and have gone home asking yourself the things that you could do differently and are making changes then 'the whales got you'...
Which is it for you?  I hope 'the whales got you', because it will change how you look at everything from now on, and that is something that is sorely needed for the environment now and into the future.


Over the last three days...
...there has been so much whale activity along the west side that maybe the whales need to check in at the lighthouse as they pass by...
...one day the J19 family group with baby J-51 stayed with the J16 family group with two babies - J-50 and J-52, while Granny's group - Group A - and the K14s went north...
 ...at 27 minutes past midnight J pod calls woke me up over the Lime Kiln hydrophones...I found out later that it was actually the J16s and the J19s who went north and met up with Group A and the K14s...
...while this was going on there were whales coming in from the west...lost in the fog one of those days, only to turn up in two places the next morning...the K12s and K13s made their way up island, very spread out, moving slowly...now that's the way to 'check in at the lighthouse'...the others were seen heading back west in the Strait of Juan de Fuca...they too were Residents...not sure who though...

...some of the time I watched the whales from shore and other times I was out on Peregrine...
  
...just about every condition - rain (though not enough to amount to anything), hot, hot, hot with no wind unless the boat was going fast, rough seas, rolly seas, flat calm seas that looked like glass...












...watching the whales' behaviors has me wondering just how much salmon they are getting...people see whales and they are thrilled and that is good...but are the whales 'thrilled' at how they are doing?...that, to me, is the most important question...



Thursday, June 25, 2015

6-25-15 Group A and the K14s Today

Friday, June 25th
...Group A (which includes the J16s) and the K14s came back down from the north in the night and back up the west side in late morning...



...it looked like they were going to keep going north but of course they didn't - they flipped at Kellett Bluff and headed back down...
...out on Peregrine for a late afternoon trip...the J16s were by themselves before heading toward the other group which we soon went off to see...
...they were crossing the bottom of Lopez Island...


...they consisted of Granny J-2, Samish J-14, Hy'Shqa J-37, T'ilem I'nges J-49, Suttles J-40, Se-Yi-Chn J-45, Lea K-14, Yoda K-36, Kelp K-42, and Onyx L-87 nearby.  Behind them a short distance were Shachi J-19, Eclipse J-41, baby J-51, with Lobo K-26 nearby.

...when we left them they were still heading east...


Notes:
...the K14s have spent time with Group A in recent years, so this is not something new...
...the K12s, K13s, and the 15 L pod whales went west in Juan de Fuca Thursday morning...
...I think the most recent day Group B, Cappuccino K-21, Opus K-16, and Sonata K-35 were seen was on June 21st...it is most likely they have gone out west...

...hardly any burp sounds over the Lime Kiln hydrophones in the last few days...