Do Not Copy

Do Not Copy

Friday, June 7, 2013

6-6/7-13 You Win Whales! We're Totally Confused!

Thursday, June 6th
...last night at about 10 pm I heard L Pod calls on the Orca Sound and then on the Lime Kiln hydrophones...it sounded like the L12 subgroup was coming back down island...
...at 5:00 a.m. I hear them again on the Lime Kiln hydrophones...
...at about 8:30 I see two whales heading down island...one was Skana L-79...
...okay, so the L12s are doing what they do...meander up and meander down...
NOT!
...when we went to locate the whales on Maya's Westside Charters, there were only three whales present instead of 10 - Spirit L-22, Skana L-79, and Solstice L-89...

...then we hear that whales were located way north heading our way but it would be several hours before they reached the west side...
...believed to be J pod and most of the L pod whales from yesterday...and someone said that Mega L-41 (one of the L12s) was up there...but that part could not be confirmed...
...when we met the whales coming down Boundary Pass at about 4:30 pm they had decreased in number, from close to 60 whales to about 15!...now where in the world were the others...no one seemed able to locate them...:)
...Racer L-72 and Fluke L-105...
...rounding the turn at Turn Pt. with Mt. Baker in the background, Crewser L-92 and Ballena L-90...
...heading down toward Kellett Bluff, the whales found a pocket of salmon and stopped for some...I've seen this a lot lately...they turn and converge and then are down for a few minutes, then up with some chin showing, sometimes rolling around on one another, and then move on...

...after getting off the boat I went to the park as quickly as possible and made it just in time to see the approximately 15 whales go by...
...I went home and turned on the hydrophones to listen to them to fade off into the distance...and that's when things really got wild...
...those 15 L pod whales had passed the lighthouse at 7:30...as they were going by...someone went after some salmon...
...it was about 7:30 when Lulu L-53, one of the whales in this group of L pod whales, passed the lighthouse going down island...
...an hour later when I began hearing L pod calls on the Orca Sound hydrophones (4 miles to the north) - maybe that's the others???
...and then some L pod calls (from other whales) on the Lime Kiln hydrophones...
...all of a sudden J pod calls!!!  They were about an hour behind the rest, coming down!...amazing, and no one could find them...stealthy whales!
And since I could only hear them and not see them, I assumed it was all of J pod...NOT!

Friday, June 7th
...whales were located out by Constance Bank in the late morning and were heading in toward the island...
...it was a shore day for me so I went to the park to wait...
...while waiting for the whales to come up island, I learn that whales are coming down island, a few miles north of the park - now who's that?
...after a while I see 4 whales approaching the lighthouse from the north and then stall out not far from the lighthouse...The J16s - Slick J-16, Mike J-26, Alki J-36 and Echo J-42...
...off to my left was a large group of whales was coming up island...


...and in this group were some J pod whales - those must have been the whales I heard on the hydrophones last evening...Blackberry J-27, Tsuchi J-31, Mako J-39, Oreo J-22, DoubleStuf J-34, Cookie J-38, Rhapsody J-32, Polaris J-28, Star J-46 - I have proof of presence images of all of these coming up island today, but I don't have them for the other four members of Polaris' family...-
...this is J-34, J-38, J-22... 

...there were many more whales in the group and they were L pod whales...they all went down under the surface and after what seemed like a long time a group surfaced to the north, but it was not the large group...we waited and soon another group surfaced...they had stopped and turned around and faced south...

...and they stayed there...I was able to get positive IDs on some of the members of the L26s, L4s, L37s, and L21s...shooting into the glaring sun and rough seas makes it a challenge, at the least!...

...three more whales came up from our left - The L22s - Spirit L22, Skana L-79 and Solstice L-89...they met up with the large group...
...there was a party - just listen! - it's really loud at times...

...they all went down island - L pod whales only...when they surfaced the L22s appeared to be the leaders...
...she was one of the last as they moved down island...
...Lulu L-53 taking a big leap!

...here's a snippet...then my cell phone began ringing...

...the J pod whales that I have in bold above had already moved farther north to join up with other J pod whales - and who else I don't know - and from what I heard they continued north...


...this has been two wild days of trying to figure out who was where!...and we still don't have all the pieces of this puzzle :)

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