Saturday, October 6, 2018

10-6-18 Killer Whales at the Lighthouse Today

Saturday, October 6th
...the rain had come yesterday and today was a beautiful day...
...off to the lighthouse to talk to folks today and hope that J Pod might reappear...haven't seen them since they went north on Oct. 3rd...no telling where they are...but not seen nor heard from in the last few days...
...meanwhile some Ts showed up!  Now that was interesting...All of a sudden some boats began appearing from down island...
...it was the T49As and the T65As...both families have a teen/adult male...both families have a baby - one about a year old and the other about 5 months old...both families have a few other kids mixed in the middle...
...when they passed the lighthouse today, there were two who went by - 'middle-school' sized kids...a good distance behind them were the two 'big-boys'...and far offshore were the rest of them...and they were split into a couple groups for a while too...
...they went by at a steady pace but spread out...




...a woman told me that she had walked along the path from the parking lot to the 'wall' (at the south end of the park) not thinking she would see any whales - you know there is a sign that points to that path that says something about whale viewing...(ha-ha)!
...well, she is now officially spoiled...because no sooner did she get there is when the two 'big boys' surfaced right in front of her!!!

...while I was putting pics together tonight...I heard Ts over the Lime Kiln hydrophones for close to 2 hours...interrupted by some loud ship noise...but they were still there...it's now about 10:35pm and it's quiet now...no ship or killer whale calls...at the moment...but that can change at any time...

...hoping to hear J Pod - maybe?...will find out at some point...



 

Friday, October 5, 2018

10-5-18 Most Stunning Echolocation Clicks

This is from July 26th of this year..
...a late day watching some of the Southern Residents as they struggled their way through the summer in their 'summer core habitat aka summer home area' where the fish are supposed to be plentiful...

...late on this day, a few whales came up island, pretty far offshore...Cappuccino K-21 was one of them...and Hy'Shqa J-37 and her boy, T'ilem I'nges J-49 were the others...what an unusual combination...there were a few others far offshore...none had gone very far up island from the lighthouse before they started to come back down...

...they were all on a food search...
T'ilem I'nges J-49 was close to shore and echolocating...with 'flair!


...Best I've ever heard...

...I knew I had the images and the audio, it just took this long to find the time to get it all together... 

Sunday, September 23, 2018

9-23-18 Whale Days Like Today

Sunday, September 23rd
...What's it like to sit on the shoreline and watch whales for hour upon hour?


...Amazing is what it is..
...Being September, it's been more quiet of boats.
...Private boats have been more respectful when the whales have been present.
   Thank YOU! It's wonderful to see more awareness.
...the Whale Warning Flag might be helping in that...
...the tanker, bulk carriers, etc. who are participating in the ECHO Program - a voluntary vessel slow down are also slowing down, which in-turn reduces the noise, which helps the whales when foraging...Thank YOU!
...the people who come to visit are asking questions, not questions like 'when do they breach' but questions that reveal that all that Tahlequah J-35 went through, was not for naught, but that she 'spoke to the world'. Thank YOU for caring!

...a few images, from today...




...it was especially, special...when they came up to the lighthouse and proceeded to spend the next 3...oh, no, it turned into 4 hours...
...it was good to see Tahlequah J-35 mixed in with others - Hy'Shqa J-37 and Oreo J-22...it was an afternoon of foraging...
...the whales were spread all the way down island...
...our hope is that they are getting enough to eat...
 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

9-19-18 You Know When the Time Comes

Wednesday, September 19th

...it's been a tough season in many areas...tough for the whales of the SRKW community and tough for the people who care so deeply about these whales...
...it's been tough personally...as we all go through 'stuff' in our lives...mine, no different from anyone else...but it's still 'stuff' - 'my stuff' to deal with...

...I've listened and read others' accounts of their struggles about the whales - from sadness, to giving up, to anger...
...I've listened.  I've made a few suggestions to others too...

...well, today it was time I listened to what I had suggested to others, because I was feeling at a total loss...what to do...
...I decided to go out the door and to the park, like I do everyday...but today I felt it would be difficult to talk to others...

...'In, Step the Whales'...

...coming into view just few minutes after I got settled in for a 'hoped to be' happy day...the whales came into view as they came up island...

...I thought it would be a pass-by, maybe an hour.
...But it wasn't.
...It was a forage and stay and goof-around day.


...the whales gave me the answer I needed, to the questions that were running around in my head...
...Just Be...
...Okay...
...How about for 4 hours.
...Yes, for 4 hours they were there.

...Thank you whales for filling me up once again...


...It is not easy sometimes, to let go, but today was the day.
...It is time to let go of the sadness of what Tahlequah J-35 went through.
...It is time to let go of the sadness of the loss of Scarlet J-50 - aka-'Catch-Up' (I used to call her)...
 
What I 'saw' as I watched those who came up to the lighthouse:

...We bring you joy.
...We bring you peace.
...We bring you moments of just being one with us.

...Now please don't let us down.
...We need you humans now more than ever.
...There are 74 of us, and we need everyone of you humans to help us.

...we need quiet seas...(maybe like the example today) 
...we need a place to rest...(like some did today)
...we need a place to play...(like the play they had today)
...and most of all we need salmon...(like we had today)

Today was a gift, as it is each time we are in their presence.
Today was an example of how it can be.
Today was a message to all who saw that each of us can do better.

It's for the whales.
It's not for us.  
And when it is for the whales it will ultimately be for us. 

So go be a better steward of the land and sea and skies.
Everyday ask yourself, "what will I do today to make a positive difference?"
 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

9-13-18 Hope for Scarlet J-50 is Now Gone

I learned today, September 13, that it has been announced by the Center for Whale Research that Scarlet was last seen on the day mentioned below.
At that time I had to hold on to hope.
But now that hope is gone.
With tears streaming down my face, I am glad she is no longer suffering.


 Slick J-16 and Scarlet J-50

She was such a fighter, right from the very beginning.
As sad as I am, I am glad your suffering is over. 
You taught us all, to continue on, to not give up until there is no other option. We all must keep on doing all we can to restore this community of Endangered orcas. 
Scarlet, you gave us such joy when you were in our presence. I cannot begin to image the loss your mother, brother and sisters, especially Echo J-42 must feel.

~~

Below was written on September 7, when I still had hope.
Friday, September 7th
J Pod and many L Pod whales had been north for a couple days...they came down last night...likely via Rosario Strait.  Earlier there was a large group of Transients who were coming down ahead of them and they were looking like they were aiming for Rosario Strait.
Later, J Pod was in Boundary Pass and to us humans 'that means' they'll be coming down to Haro Strait sometime in the night and passing by the Lime Kiln hydrophones...NOT!

...instead of hearing J and L Pod calls in the night I heard Transient calls!

Now it's the afternoon, Sept 7th...
Ls and Js coming up island...
I love the lighthouse, but sometimes the lighthouse walls get in the way...
...inside talking to folks and based on info I had the whales were still coming up island...NOT!
...hearing one call on the hydrophones I chased everyone, including me, out the door!  Oh, my they're here already!
...the whales were spread, moving quickly with the current...Cookie J-38 was chasing a fish...Moby J-44 chasing a fish...and others were too!
...the last of the whales to come by were Slick J-16...4 minutes behind her were Echo J-42 and Alki J-36, sisters...4 minutes behind them was brother, Mike J-26...and 4 minutes behind Mike was Scarlet J-50...
...they were together, though not in a bunch...the physical distance between them was not that far...they appeared to be going up island at about the same pace...
...after passing Lime Kiln, I could see that Scarlet was moving offshore...

...'bye folks'...and off I went up island to see what I could see of the J16s...
...Soundwatch and a research boat were far offshore... 

...hmmm...where was Scarlet...lousy lighting and such distance I doubted I would see her...
...but then I saw someone coming back down - that whale was foraging...it looked like Echo J-42 (from my image) and another whale was foraging too - it was Mike J-26...
...I knew that Scarlet was in the area because Soundwatch and the research boat had her as their focus...of course...

...I did find out later that Scarlet, Echo, and Mike were seen together up island from where I had seen them...

...I know she is not 'out of the woods' yet...but they were together, sometimes spread and sometimes close...but still together.