Saturday, April 19, 2014

4-19-14 They Got to See Orcas in the Wild for the First Time!

Saturday, April 19th
On with the rain gear, 
hold on to your hats,
for whale watching 
at the adventurous level!

...out on Maya's Westside Charters for a late afternoon trip...others had been with a group of transient killer whales for a while...they were heading in our direction...the wind was beginning to pick up...the seas were a bit 'bouncy', and none of our passengers had even seen orcas in the wild before - we were thrilled we would be able to change that!
...that's Spieden Island in the distance...
...the seas rarely look as rough in images as they are when you are on a boat...and getting pictures was quite the challenge...this was my first glimpse of young T137D through the boat window - any way I can get the image I'll try...this young one is about 2 years old now...I hadn't had an encounter with the T137s since before this one was born...(I'll be updating another page in the book!)
...I talked to Dave Ellifrit of the Center for Whale Research to find out who this little 'notched' whale was...the fin shape looked like T137C who had evidently died...but did he/she come back to life? :)...and it didn't match up to the baby pic in the catalog of T137D.  However, their unique fin shape won't always show up when they are newbies...
...a comparison of the two little guys we saw today:

...
...in this family of four,the T137s, three of the four have notches...

...T137B...no notches-yet, but one very large/broad dorsal fin for his/her age...
...the whales moved over closer to Henry Island...
...and continued to stay close to the shore until they passed by Kellett Bluff...
...a bit more and we left the whales going down island...there were 7 in total, the four T137s and the three T36As...it looked like they were pushing offshore a bit and going into even rougher seas...we already had some very wet folks, so we left the whales for another day...
...while posting this evening I heard some calls on the Lime Kiln hydrophones at 8:57pm...brief...but they hadn't gone too far, at least for the moment...
video

...our boat full of 'newbies' had a great encounter...
Thank You Whales!


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