Friday, November 15, 2013

11-11-13 The Pacific White Sides Are Back - With Visitors!

Monday, November 11th

...first seen this morning by Ken Balcomb, Center for Whale Research...he called some friends who then called me...I went 'running' and was able to get some first looks from shore...which soon turned into closer looks from their boat...

...at first the Pacific White Sided dolphins were heading down island, but soon turned and headed north...and then...
...they began heading down island again...
...a glimpse...
video

...and they had a visitor - wild!!
...not sure if that is a juvenile California or a juvenile Steller? but it was leaping right along with the rest of the PWSs...I finally got a picture with both the PWSs and the sea lion in the same frame...
...he was going up island, down island, and back up island with the PWSs...
...the black line is our boat track for the first part of the encounter...
...soon we saw the Center for Whale Research boat coming on scene...
...and Capt. Jim arrived and so did Capt. Spencer on Legacy...the PWSs were 3 minutes outside of Snug Harbor...nice!
...one of the PWSs 'flying high'...going back down island...

...but soon...
...back up island they came...
...that's Kellett Bluff in the distance...and the PWSs were heading off shore...
...soon we heard there were other visitors in the area...
...yikes! Transients!...Mark of Prince of Whales located them from Vancouver Island and directed Ken to them...the whales were a family group of 3...the T123s...and T123A has tag wounds from a previous tagging...
...T123C sure has grown a lot since I last saw him/her in April...
...we all had gone to see the Transients...they were close to shore coming up island past Lime Kiln lighthouse...

...the PWSs were near D'Arcy Island, maybe 3 miles out from Open Bay and Kellett Bluff...Spencer left the Ts and went over to keep an eye on the PWSs...he was on the radio letting us know what they were doing - they were staying in that area...Ken was interested to see if the PWSs would change their behavior, perhaps due to detecting the Transients...
...the Ts were not showing any signs of moving toward the PWSs, BUT when they reached the area just about directly across from each other (apx. 3 miles apart) the PWSs began to...
video


...after getting off the boat, I went to the park and saw where the PWSs were...they were barely visible...mainly just churned up water and dark things (dorsal fins) in and out of view...I last saw them at about 4:15 pm...in the vicinity of Beaumont Shoals marker...going back and forth...
...so I wonder if that stampede (my term) was caused because they heard the Ts and got the heck out of there...or maybe that's just the way they travel...
...since the internet was still not working enough to have the hydrophones streaming, we may not ever know if the PWSs detected Transients' calls, but perhaps they detected them in another manner...and I imagine those 200+ PWSs were making lots of sounds (see a previous post for their calls)

...what a day!...

 

No comments: