Do Not Copy

Do Not Copy

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

7-31-13 Taking for Granted

the last day of July 2013...


Monday, July 29, 2013

7-29-13 What's Missing...

...sunrise on the west side...
...sunset on the west side...
...it's July, What's missing?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

7/22-23/13 Same Point Two Days in a Row

Monday, July 22nd
...early morning, one killer whale seen going down island and into the fog...it stayed foggy along the west side for several hours...
...at about 1:30 four Transient killer whales were encountered several miles south of the island coming north...they came up San Juan Channel on the Friday Harbor side...
...late in the day out on Maya's Westside Charters we met the whales north of Friday Harbor and south of O'Neil Island...
...it was very challenging to get images with the glaring sun...they went into the north side of Rocky Bay...and continued north along the shore line, surprising some people fishing at the point...
...Spieden Island in the distance, the T77s went into Spieden Channel...

...it was time for us to leave...a few hours later I learn they were coming down the west side...I stepped outside to hear their blows as they went down island...it seems they just about circumnavigated San Juan Island today!

...Tuesday, July 23rd
...didn't realize I'd be at that same point today watching whales, only this time from shore...it was T20 and T21...they were not close to shore, but nice to watch them from afar as they went on up...
...yes, two more very unusual days to add to this season...

Saturday, July 20, 2013

7-20-13 K Pod Came South and Headed On Out

Saturday, July 20th
...from what I heard, K pod went all the way up to the Fraser River yesterday and today they were heading back down...and against a strong incoming tide...just before 3:00 pm they began passing by Lime Kiln lighthouse...
...Lulu L-53 was in the lead and near her was Lea K-14...
...the sun glare made picture taking very difficult...however, this male helped everyone out...
...after Scoter K-25 breached a few times he continued, moving slowly against a strong current...pink salmon (they are very small) were leaping and one leaped just in front of him...
..his dive angle changed...he seemed to stop and get that salmon!...he was very animated this afternoon...
...Saturna K-43 and her mother, Sequim K-12 were some of the last of K pod to pass by at the lighthouse...

...the K pod whales present are the same as yesterday...and Lulu L53, whether her other 3 subgroup members were present or not, I don't know...
...after a while the whales began to head back up island, but turned and slowly moved offshore in a southerly direction...bye-bye for this time...

...I wonder what they will tell Granny J-2 about their jaunt to the Fraser River...

Friday, July 19, 2013

7-19-13 Part 3 - Lulu and Ks and Transients

Friday, July 19th - Part 3 of 3
...out on Maya's Westside Charters we catch up to the whales several hours later, some in the Strait of Georgia and others still in Boundary Pass...
...K pod whales and Lulu L-53 were heading toward the Coal Docks...
...we went to see them first...Lulu is known for doing this and when she gets her tail going the speed is amazing...
...Skagit K-13 - wow!..she's the first whale I ever adopted...
...lots of playful behavior for a few minutes, then they continued on their way...
...Deadhead K-27 and Ripple K-44...
...Lobo K-26, Skagit K-13, and Scoter K-25...

...I wasn't surprised to see Lulu up with the leaders because she was with them when they went past the park several hours before...when they had gone past the lighthouse I noticed that Racer L-72 and Fluke L-105, members of Lulu's subgroup were more up with the K pod whales...and they were still up toward the front when I saw them up island a ways...however, Nigel L-95, the other member of this subgroup (L37s), was with the other three family groups of Ls (L4s, L21s, L26s), and they were the large trailing group...
...I didn't see Racer, Fluke, or Nigel with the K pod whales, and the L pod whales had splintered into some very active playful groups, making it impossible to see where those three whales were...
...Mystic L-115 and mom, Marina L-47...

...Crewser L-92 and Mystic with an inverted tail lob! 

...whales were breaching in the distance...and Mystic join the activity...

...the L pod whales turned a different direction from the whales who were heading toward the Coal Docks...the L pod whales traveled east, on the north side of Patos Island, but changed their minds and came back to the west side of Patos...eventually heading back down Boundary Pass...
...we left the scene at the beginning of their travel east...
...parting shots...
...same whale as above...I just loved this landing!

...Moonlight L-83...
...Patos Island Light and Mt. Baker...

...as we were leaving the dock at about 3:00 pm we learn of whales coming up island...Residents?...no! Transients!...just one more thing to add to a very unusual season...Transients acting like Residents, traveling along the the same 'route' the Residents commonly do...it was the T30s and the T75Bs and T75C...passing County Park where Low Island sits just off the shore...
...T30A and T75B left the group (8 in total) and went on a date!  We surely do think they did :)


...they were off from the rest of the group for a while, then joined back together...not long after they made of meal of a harbor seal...
...you could call these 'shopping'...looking for what they wanted...
...'here it is'...

...and then continued on their way...
...I heard later that they had made it up to Turn Pt. and began to go up Boundary Pass, then changed and headed west toward Morseby Island...I wonder if that's because the Residents were nearby...they do give each other a wide berth...
...the L pod whales reached Lime Kiln Lighthouse at 9:00 pm or later...it was about too dark to even attempt images...I imagine they are going back out...I wonder what they will tell Granny J-2...

...whales today: 
...K pod, except the K Klik (K-21, K-16, K-35)...
...L4s, L26s, L21s, L37s

Note: It is just very, very strange that J pod isn't here, but some K and L pod whales are...
...maybe they don't like what happened to Scoter K-25... 

7-19-13 Part 2 - Scoter and the Tag Wound

Friday, July 19th
...when K and L pod whales came up past the lighthouse this morning I was hoping to get a better (see 7-8-13) image of Scoter's tag wound...
...as he approached...
...it's obvious to see that something is not right....these whales don't have obvious protruding bumps on their dorsal fins...
...zooming in closer...
...in this next picture notice the grey area around the wound...

...he might have metal still in him...not good in my world...I've sent my images on to the Center for Whale Research...
...maybe next time Scoter will come in another 100 feet closer...I might be able to see more detail...

7-19-13 Early Morning Ks and Ls

Friday, July 19th
...there's just nothing like it...early morning at the light...
...leading the way was Skagit K-13 and with her was Lulu L-53 (in the lead with K pod??? - more later)...next was Cali K-34...
...more K pod whales...Kelp K-42...
...Scoter K-25 (more about his tag wound in next post) and Comet K-38...
...Sequim K-12 and Saturna K-43...

...some L pod whales were approaching...Racer L-72 and Fluke L-105...
...further up island I took this image as some of the L21s, L26s, L4s and L37s were surfacing...   
...then I grabbed my video...nothing but just plain beautiful!
video

...Note:  Cappuccino K-21, Opus K-16, and Sonata K-35, the K Klik as I call them, were not present...over the last few years they have often traveled with J pod...

...next post will be about Scoter and his wound...
...after that the more on Lulu and the Ts we saw...

Thursday, July 18, 2013

7/16-18/13 Transients In Haro Strait

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, July 16, 17, 18th
...Tuesday - July 16th the L22s were here doing what the L22s have been doing...they left the area sometime before the next day and were not seen the 17th or 18th...
...look at their blows - all three are showing a heart shaped blow! I thought that only whales with two nostrils made heart shaped blows...

...Wednesday - in bed with the flu and a fever - really - ugh! I missed the group of Transients (T36As and T37s from what I was told) who spent the day feeding on something out at Hein Bank...all day long they said...
...Thursday - feeling better, thought I'd take it easy...that is until I hear of a 'whole bunch' of Transients in Haro Strait...it's amazing what adrenaline can do for a person!
...out on Maya's Westside Charters and down island we go to meet up with who I thought were the T36As, but ended up being the T34s, and the T37s...four females and the kids...
...they were going every which way and slowly moving north...
...by the late afternoon trip they must have gotten hungry...during one of their long down times they found something or many somethings...
...they were bursting through the surface all over the place!
...when they got what they were after...one mom and calf spent time eating...while the others had moved off...they soon came back and joined the two and they all began to move away...
...one had the meal in full...
...another had leftovers from what they had been feeding on...
...from the way they were behaving we thought they were going after harbor porpoise, but when I looked closely at the 'full meal' it looked more like a harbor seal, I can see what appear to be spots...

Monday, July 15, 2013

7-15-13 The L22s Make Big Splashes on Day 14!

Monday, July 15th
...the L22s are still here...that makes 14 of the last 15 days...
...out on Maya's Westside Charters today...on our midday trip we saw the L22s and a Minke whale...there's something about huge rolls of fresh hay and killer whales in the same image that just doesn't compute!
...at one point Solstice was doing some inverted tail lobs...(he must have been 'warming up' for later)...

...on our afternoon trip we saw some humpbacks...on the way to see them I was telling the folks about the Elwha Valley...didn't realize we'd be just about there...
...there were three other humpbacks who joined up with this one...Split Fin was one who was there...not sure on the others just yet...

...we left them and headed back to San Juan island to see the L22s...and we watched something unusual occur...
...Spirit L-22 and Solstice L-89 were about a half mile offshore, moving down island...Skana L-79 was inshore and a bit ahead of them...
...Solstice began doing high tail lobs...
...it was just about on every surfacing...Spirit was next to him and she did not...
...Solstice's tail lobs continued and I started counting...in total during this short encounter of about 30 minutes, there were at least 23 tail lobs by Solstice...
...Skana tail lobbed a few times and then his became more intense...
...a few surfacings later all three were close, looking as if they might join up and continue their down island slow travel...
...BUT all of a sudden they changed direction and were making a bee line off shore...we only saw one surfacing and then we waited for them to surface...
...about a minute later Skana surfaced and tail lobbed...
...then someone breached (either Solstice or Spirit)...
...then Spirit breached twice...
...and then Solstice breached once...both totally surprising a boat!
...Skana was on the other side of the boat that Spirit and Solstice just surprised...and this time Skana was going to surprise them!


...at first I was wondering if their tail lobs were a way they were communicating with one another, for whatever reason...
...maybe they were trying to scare up some fish...
...but after their deliberate move toward a boat, I wondered if they were just playing around! (they passed by our boat and went to a boat that was actually further from shore)
...no one had been in anyone's path...the few boats on scene were stationery...no boat had time to move because there was only that one surfacing and no telling where they would surface next...

...no sooner had they done this, then they continued on a down island trend, as if they hadn't just had a few 'wild and crazy moments'!...