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Saturday, November 23, 2013

11-22-13 Now That's Just Plain Freaky!

Friday, November 22nd
...for close to an hour I watched a California sea lion outside my window...
...at first it looked like a log, but then one end of the log moved as he brought his head up for a breath, and then turned into a log again...every few minutes he did this as he floated not far from shore...
...at 9:52 a.m. I sent an email to a friend, "calling all transient killer whales in the area. There's a lazy California sea lion hanging out in front of my place for the last hour. Come and get it!"
...at 10:24 a.m. I happen to look out and there were blows - whales coming up island!
Now That Is Just Plain Freaky!!  :)

...I knew that on Thursday, from Ivan of the Western Prince and Ken Balcomb of the Center for Whale Research that there had been Transients near Friday Harbor (again) and also Transients in Puget Sound...could these be them?...I quickly called the Center for Whale Research and others...luckily these whales were moving at a steady pace and going up island...out with friends to see just who we had...luckily CWR was ahead of us and we were in contact with them and they gave us the IDs...with the whales and this lighting I wouldn't even bother to try to ID them!
...however, I called it out that the whales were probably going to go through Spieden Channel and then head down San Juan Channel and be at Friday Harbor at about 3:30...(because multiple times in the last week killer whales have been seen from the ferry at about that time, at the same location - two times with a proof of presence picture and one without - so only two of the sightings are confirmed)
...they were passing Battleship Island...
...oh, my they started making the turn into Spieden Channel!...
...and that's when I saw the ARROW...
...the international ferry passing through Spieden Channel with the whales...I think this makes the 4th time in a week that whales have been seen from one of the WA state ferries in these islands (it's not common and always exciting for those who get that opportunity)...
...they continued east and moved closer to the east end of Spieden Island...
'Arrow' was still showing us the direction..(that's actually T38C)...
...at the east end of Spieden Island we thought the whales might run into some Steller sea lions, but none were seen... 
...well they didn't go down San Juan Channel, but instead headed up President Channel on the Waldron Island side...
...they had been rather sly in taking seals..
...but some scrappy gulls sure helped...one had the prize...
...then dropped it and another gull got it...
...the brown gull took off, the white one went after it...the prize dropped onto the water again and the fight was on...  
...nothing like standing on your foe to get the prize!
...not only were the whales veiled, like in this image, when taking seals, they were like that when we last saw them...

...all seven had surfaced as a group heading toward us and then they disappeared...scan as we did we could not find them...
...later, as I walked up on the deck at home I could hardly believe my eyes...5 Steller sea lions tight together moving down island...perhaps they had left Spieden Channel when the Ts came through!
...one minute later...
...about as pink as it could be - a magnificent sunset!

 

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