Do Not Copy

Do Not Copy

Monday, September 23, 2013

9-23-13 Haro Strait - It's Been A Busy Place!

Friday afternoon, September 20th
...that afternoon after having seen a group of Transients in the morning, and after learning that some of the Residents were off the south end of the island, we headed up to meet the other Residents...they were coming our way...
...it was a confusing day, trying to figure out who was where...but at least we knew there were some K and some L pod whales coming down...here's a sample...

...Spock K-20...Comet K-38 is about to surface off to her right...
...most of the L4s were in this dark lit water...

...the next day Saturday (9-21) the reports of whales in Puget Sound ended up being confusing as well...
...so the day after - Sunday (9-22) - when I began hearing whales on the Lime Kiln hydrophones and the wind was whipping up and the rain was starting...well, good luck on figuring that out...based on what I thought I was hearing on the hydrophones...
...K Pod whales were quite present...
...I only heard a couple distinct J pod calls...was there a 'shout out'? or a quiet J pod or just a few J pod whales?...I don't know...
...Ls...well they would take until the next day...except for that one distant in the chop image I took...
...I couldn't find a fit in K or J pod for that fin, but I still couldn't tell who it was...then in the late afternoon I get a call that there are Transients nearby...stepping outside I see a very interesting group...
...evidently the females of these - T21, T18 and T19 were up ahead of them... 
...so then today, Monday (9-23), I get a call that 6 whales were seen in Haro Strait...maybe those Ts from yesterday???...nope...just a few minutes later I began hearing calls on the Orca Sound hydrophones and the first calls I heard were L Pod calls - ah...thank you very much - you were here yesterday!...
...off in the distance I saw...
...and when they started passing by at Lime Kiln a little while later...

...we saw you two on the 20th coming down with some K pod whales...and now today (9-23) coming down again...

...belonging to the same family -Tika K-33 (saw on 9-20) and Rainshadow K-37 (9-23)...

...and Crewser on the 20th and again today (9-23)...
...members of the same family groups of K and L pods I saw on the 20th coming down, and again today the 23rd, coming down...and these were said to be the ones (maybe others as well) in Puget Sound on the 21st...it's a challenge trying to get the puzzle pieces to fit!...

...no J Pod whales did I see...but the whales were spread for miles and my camera just doesn't reach that far for IDs...

...the Center for Whale Research was out with the whales today...they'll know!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

9-20-13 Our Tour Guides...

Friday morning, September 20th
...ooohhh..."Ts in Saanich Inlet"...that sounded interesting...and it wasn't too long before we were off to go see if we could locate them...we might have a great boat ride to a new area or...we'd give it a try...little did we know we would be taken on a great tour...our guides - the Transients!
...scanning as we got closer...not knowing if they had come out of the inlet or were way deep down in it...nothing...so we kept on going...slowly..."there! up ahead! some blows and some fins!"..."Got 'em!"...
...the first whale we see is...T41A...she's the mom of a new baby...
...they were coming up out of the inlet...they stopped and did a 'round about' at the marker...
...then on their way along the top of the inlet to the east...
...it wasn't long before the whales stopped and it looked like they were after something...I guess they were...
...I had posted before about this group, the T41s, T109As and T12A - that they were either inept or very sly - I guess they are very sly!
...and on to the next kelp bed...
..I think this is kelp she is flinging around...
...it could be guts but the coloring is more of kelp...guts are pinkish...
...and on to the next eatery...



...this group of whales did the most backward swimming I have ever seen and I still had a tough time capturing it on video...at the beginning notice the tail coming up (it will be on the right of the screen) then I about miss it all...


...we came past Piers Island...then Pym Island...Swartz Bay ferry terminal...
...and instead of going along the top of Cole Island, they took the narrow John Pass...too cool...
...once through there they hung a left and they went through Little Group and Dock Island...beautiful places for us to see and eateries for them...


...baby T41A2 with mom...
...and now it was time for our tour to end...
...thanks Canada for your beautiful Canadian Gulf Islands, or at least the many we saw today!...and thanks whales for the tour! 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

19-19-13 Part 2 - The 'Niceness' Turned to Awesome!

Thursday, September 19th
...and the day continued...(see previous post)
...their next location would be passing by County Park...I've only seen them go inside of Low Island once before, and always looking for that 'next time'...almost, but not quite today...
...and on up island they went...


...by the afternoon I was out on the water...the whales had come together and were in a resting pattern...what a sight to see and today the added sound of their blows was accentuated by the high cliffs behind them...
...at one point some of them turned around...going back down?/a split?...and it looked as if they were making a decision...a spyhop or two...a back flip...some logging, fins facing several directions...after several moments of this they all continued on up...
...and soon it seemed as if they 'liked' this direction...

...checking the direction??
...once in the Strait of Georgia...well, the whales sure seem to get animated, guess I would be too if I was on my way to my favorite eating spot...
...go Granny!
..and this fisherman just wanted to fish...
...I hope he left the Fraser River Chinook for the whales...



Thursday, September 19, 2013

9-19-13 It Was All Pretty Nice!

Thursday, September 19th
...after a few days of transients here and there...and yesterday T20 and T21 coming up Haro Strait in the late afternoon, with more transients on their way in, I expected today would be a day full of Ts all over the place...

...6:45 a.m whales coming up island...but they were completely quiet on the hydrophones...it wasn't long before I saw three whales, transients, coming past Low Island going up...and it was only a few minutes later that I hear Resident calls on the Lime Kiln hydrophones...this time they sounded like they were offshore, so maybe I had time to get to the park...
...I saw Slick J-16 as I was hurrying down the hill to the lighthouse...
...soon I saw Mike J-26, her oldest offspring...it was only 7:30...and I would end up sitting there until about 11:00! Nice!
...they came by slowly, some of them foraging as they went...
...DoubleStuf J-34 way off shore...
...they trickled by, one by one...then four came along, a few quickly...Shachi J-19 was up ahead and Eclipse J-41, Alki J-36, and Echo J-42 were porpoising behind her...two in this splash!



...after a while I saw the NOAA boat out with their net scooping up prey samples maybe?...that would be Nice...

...a bird framed that nicely!
...it was obvious by now that some of the whales were mixed in many different groupings...some of the K13s were together though...Scoter passed by close enough for this image...I've noticed that the whales I have seen with tags, have a grey area around the tag wound...it's pretty noticeable in this image.  And he still has the piece of metal protruding from his body- this is Not Nice...

...we could see more groups approaching...
...then they got here...
...a few looked like they were going to come in and 'say hello'...
...
...and they slowly moved on up island...it was now 11 a.m.

...I was curious to see who was here...but in the end it looked like most, but not all, were present.  Nice!
...I had been looking for the whereabouts of Nigel L-95...I hadn't seen him with the rest of his family recently-ha!
...looks like he's maybe been hanging out with Group B and the L12s group...oh, they are mixing it up!
 

...and the rest of the day had not even begun...next post...



Monday, September 16, 2013

9/15-16/13 Color Coordinating the Whales

Sunday, Monday, September 15/16th

...it's getting confusing...all mixed up and in the fog...now to just see them before they all get back together again...you see, I believe they have split into at least two groups...
here's a recap:
#1...the group that went up through Active Pass on the 12th were Granny's Group minus the J16s = Group A- (9); all the K pod whales except the K Klik (16); a mix of L pod whales, Onyx L87, who travels with Group A all the time, Crewser L92 and his aunt Ballena L90, and the L37s or at least three of the L37s - Lulu L53, and Racer L72 and Fluke L105 (6)...that's a total of 31 whales...they stayed at the Fraser River for two nights and came down during a foggy day on 9-14 (see prior post)...
#2...the whales we had passed at Turn Pt. on that same day (9/12) were the J16s (4); Group B (13); K Klik (3)...they showed up the next day in the fog at Granny's Cove (see prior post) and they were with the L12s - proof of presence images of some of them...they have not been seen since 9-12...
#3...behind the group described in #2 were, I believe, the L4s and the L21s, these two family groups are usually seen with L92, L90, and the L37s...but I don't know where they went...they were last seen heading up Haro Strait several miles behind those in #2...
#4 - the L12s most likely stayed to the south as they often do...
Sunday
...whales coming up island in the early afternoon...the only whales I saw, as they passed Lime Kiln lighthouse, were some of the whales mentioned in #1...now that really had me curious...there were others way to far from shore, so I still don't know...but there just didn't seem to be an additional 14 whales...I will probably never know...

Monday
...another stay at home day to try to get rid of this cold...all of a sudden in the mid-afternoon I start hearing L pod calls on the Lime Kiln Hydrophones...
now which L pod whales might they be those in #2 or #3...I just had to find out...the calls were faint so I figured they were coming across and not at the park...it took a while but I found them...Capt. Jim had a trip and was heading that way and was taking pics...the whales were quite a distance for my camera...Mike J-26 was one...and the rest of his family, his mom, J16 and his two sisters, J36 and J42...but those were J pod whales and not L pod whales as I had heard on the hydrophones...I went down island a bit...thanks Denise! they were right in front of your place, well Mystery L85 was!  ah-ha, so I would surmise that the L12s were present too...
...when I got home I reviewed the recording, and on it sounded like a few K pod calls, so maybe those three K Klik whales - Cappuccino K21, Opus K16, and Sonata K35 were with them...if so, that would explain their general whereabouts over the last few days...

...then the Capt. calls me to let me know that whales are coming down Boundary...and just maybe they will make it before dark...nope, not to be...as I am writing this as it is turning dark...and just now at 7:17 I am beginning to faintly hear them on the OS hydrophones...

...there may be one last chance tomorrow, that is, if the whales are still here tomorrow, then we can either confirm that the #3 whales are present with the rest or not at all...

...well, I know they did split into two groups...one to the north and the other either south or west...and they are now about to be back together...or so it seems...we may know tomorrow...or not!

9/13-14/13 Magic Through the Fog!

Friday, Saturday - September 13/14th
Friday
...out on Maya's Westside Charters to see the whales... Transients were nearby and not in the fog...
...one of the four offspring present today...

...you'll have to read the Granny's Cove encounter below to know what I'm talking about here...

...in the morning there were Residents off the south west side of the island, but the fog had been pretty thick down there and stayed that way most of the day...
...on the boat in the afternoon, while watching the Transients, one of the passengers commented that she had seen whales in the morning down by Granny's Cove...
Read this 'meant to be encounter' (It's just too special):  She told me that even though it was foggy she thought she would take a short hike at American Camp (she's on vacation)...down at Granny's Cove there are some big rock formations and she was trying to capture an image with the those rocks on either side of the frame.  As she was about to take the picture a dorsal fin came right into the middle of her frame, so she just began clicking away!...neat!. 
...when we got back in from the trip with the Transient killer whales, I asked if she would allow me to see her images, perhaps I could identify a whale or two...lucky for me she was staying at Snug Harbor and had her lap top, and offered to download her images so I could see them better.  Okay...what a find!  J34, J27 and J26, who are three of the whales in Group B+ who were near Turn Pt. yesterday afternoon and hadn't made up their mind which way they were going.  Some others were L25, L41 and L89!  Like wow!!  there were several other whales in the images - females and juveniles but too difficult to ID with the fog and distance...she sent them on to the Center for Whale Research for proof of presence of at least some who were down island all day long in the fog. Way to go Helena!

Saturday
...another foggy day, oh no!...whales still at the Sand Heads (at the Fraser River), that makes it two nights in a row they stayed up in that area...I guess that's where the salmon are...
...through the thick fog for a short distance and up toward Pt. Roberts, the whales were spread for what appeared to be a couple miles...

...It appeared to be the whales we had gone through Active Pass with two days ago (see 9-12 post), as I was seeing some of them, and it didn't look like there were more than what we had the other day, but I didn't know for sure...
...Granny J-2 was in the lead...

...off in the distance I saw Spieden J-8 and farther off I could see some others, and Shachi J-19, Eclipse J-41, and the K14s were traveling together...we spent our time with them...they went east, then angled south west, back toward the east and boy were they active...

...finally they made it past Patos light heading down...
...a bit south and to the west we could see the sun trying...
...a flock of surf scoters - yikes! is it that time of year already?
...and just as we were about to come out of the fog...
...thank you very much :)


...it was time to leave, and as we did the sun began shining through the fog...it looked as if thin rays of light were coming up from the water - difficult to capture, yet it was another special encounter, only this time with the sun and the fog...

...8:45 pm (9-14), I am going through images and I began hearing the whales on the hydrophones coming down...