Saturday, November 30, 2013

11-28-13 Thanksgiving Day Whales

Wednesday, November 27th
..."a squeak?" "What?" "It's the Residents!"...oh, wow, after three weeks of not hearing from them!...it sounded to me like they were coming across, but there was no telling where they would be the next morning...
video


Thursday, November 28th
...based on what I thought I knew from listening to the whales last night, I was out the door scanning early and was completely surprised when, right away I saw whales a few miles to the south and off shore...
...at first I thought it might be Transients, because I only saw 3 whales and last night I knew I had heard J pod whales, a few L pod calls and possibly some K pod calls but I couldn't be sure, but I knew it would have to be way more than just 3 whales...
...and then...oh, my goodness!...there they were - all over the place! 
...it wasn't long before I found myself out on the Center for Whale Research boat...when Dave spotted the whales I think everyone said, " Happy Thanksgiving!"
...the whales were spread for miles, slowly moving toward and up island...they were so full of energy, mixed up, lots of socializing - it was wonderful to see just about all the members of the community...as they passed by Lime Kiln Lighthouse they were very vocal...
video
...early afternoon I found myself on another boat...by now the whales had gone north past Kellett Bluff, Granny J-2 and some others were up ahead in the middle of Haro Strait...others, who were behind her, had moved off shore, going east to west, but still going up...
...what they did next was really interesting...one group made a turn at Halibut Island and traveled west along the island, coming out at the west side of Halibut and angled up to the south east side of Mandarti Island...

...then they turned and headed back into Haro Strait, turned left and continued heading up...
...then when they got to Tom Pt. off Rum Island, I could still see whales out in the middle, still going up Haro...(you can see on the video clip a whale, in the distance, breaching)
...the ones we were with stopped just south of the Rum Island and the next thing they did is something we don't get to see very often...we were getting a glimpse into their world of communication - perhaps deciding which way to go, maybe they were communicating with those out in mid-strait letting them know what they were going to do...it lasted a few minutes and was fascinating to watch...
video

...they traveled west along the south side of Gooch Island...
...having fun along the way...
...the west end of Gooch - a bald eagle in that tree...

...they then turned and traveled east through the very narrow channel between Comet (corrected from Canoe)Island and Gooch Island, and ended up back in Haro Strait...


...I think it may have been to avoid a strong ebbing current...

...when they came out into Haro Strait again, some others joined them and now the group numbered close to 40...they continued moving north...Simon, of Ocean Ecoventures was out on his boat...CB-CA = Cowichan Bay, Canada...
...he told me he could see blows up along the bluffs at Pender Island, that's where Granny and 20+ other whales were...
...with Morseby Island on their left, the 'island hopping' group we were with was heading up their way...

...and we went the other way very thankful for the day...

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