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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

1-27-10 Ruffles J-1 Event - Part 2

Wednesday, January 27th
Part 2 


...the last person who saw Ruffles yesterday said he was tracking down island, staying with the contour of the island as opposed to heading offshore...so I decided to scan as far off the south end of the island as I could...and eventually end up in town for a 10:30 appointment...then head back to the west side... if you ever want to know when the whales are going to show up on the west side just ask me when am I going to town! It never fails...yes, I was in town when calls started coming over the hydrophones...
...off I went the west side...I met up with another friend who went south to scan and I went to the lighthouse to scan...ah, ha! it wasn't too long when there he was AGAIN, just like yesterday, RUFFLES J-1 ...he was coming from the NORTH! -- what?...did he travel around the island last night???

...when I first spotted him he was tracking down island...he was much farther to the north today and to the northeast of Sydney Island...then he turned east...he continued east for several minutes...then he turned around and went back toward the west...there was a dark hulled boat out there, farther off to the northwest, and it seemed like there might be another whale or two near that boat...but they were so far away I couldn't tell for sure...I got word from Center forWhale Research that only Ruffles was seen...I guess those were 'hopeful whales' I was seeing out there...

...in my blog post yesterday I mentioned that there were faint calls in the distance...which to my untrained ear, that's what they sounded like... but today Scott told me that his analysis of the calls does not show any of the calls overlapping, meaning that they could have all come from Ruffles, and he could have been mumbling to himself...well don't we all mumble to ourselves at least once in a while???...

...we don't know why Ruffles has been alone for the last two days however:
...could this actually be normal behavior for him in the winter and has just not occurred within visual and acoustic hearing range in the past?

...maybe all those J Pod babies just got to be too much and he needed a break.
...is the rest of J Pod up in the Canadian Gulf Islands somewhere, and he is being the salmon scout?

...do we really know if this call is unusual for him?

at some point we may know why all this is happening...for now, 'we wait'...

As of this afternoon he was in close proximity
to the west side of San Juan Island...
so we will see what tomorrow brings...

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