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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

11-26-14 The Answer Came on Wednesday

Tuesday, November 25th
...it was about 8 a.m. when I began hearing the whales over the Port Townsend hydrophones...the whales were heading out...
...several hours later their calls could be heard very faintly over the Lime Kiln hydrophones...I guessed that the whales were somewhere in the Hein Bank area...
...then another hour or so later they came across the Lime Kiln hydrophones again, only this time a bit louder, though still in the distance...as I was listening, their calls (Js and Ks I only heard) increased in volume...and they sounded like they were reacting to something - they were very vocal!...I made a note:  "fish or more whales?"
...soon they moved out of hydrophone range...and I heard nothing more over the hydrophones until the next morning...

Wednesday, November 26th
...early light (almost). flat calm water...in fact it was so pretty out there I stepped outside and just looked...and looked and soaked it all in...I thought "it would be nice if the whales were here." - I didn't think they were...
...over the Lime Kiln hydrophones I heard a short squeak...then nothing...then a ship's noise began...I heard nothing more until 45 minutes later, when at 7:43 a.m. the whales' calls burst over the Lime Kiln hydrophones!
There was the answer from yesterday: "more whales"!  J and K pods must have heard L pod coming in from the west! (but no one would know that until later in the morning.)
 
...I called Ken Balcomb at the Center for Whale Research...he said he could see them...etc...so out the door and to the park I went...
...when I saw the whales they were heading down island...maybe close to three miles off shore (or more)...I wondered if maybe they had come through Baynes Channel...
...I watched as the whales, I was seeing, got to Beaumont Shoals marker and turned away from San Juan Island...I had expected they would have continued on a right to left direction as I was watching them, but instead I could only see them as they headed away...but that is only from my visual point on shore...and I wasn't seeing 78 whales...
...out on Maya's Westside Charters...Capt. Jim gathered up the people early and we were off the dock...by that time the whales were somewhere in the area of the south Hein Bank marker (it's out there in that big span of water-water, and they were heading for Puget Sound...
...on our way Capt. Jim talked to Dave of the Center...he and Ken were out there and stated that all members of the Community were present!  WOW!
...what a wonderful day it was...at one point I felt like on whale overload!...we have hardly had all members of the Community in here at the same time - a real full Superpod - this entire season...

...when we saw them they were in mixed groups...
...with Blackberry and Comet were Spirit L-22 and Mako J-39...there were others with them as well...
...off in the distance was a large group...
...they too were all mixed...they don't all surface as a full group at the same time and this was a good example...best I got in this group were 8 up at the same time...and all the images I took of this distance group showed that there were at least 12 whales - ...Racer L-72 and Fluke L-105, Shachi J-19, Eclipse J-41, Matia L-77, Joy L-119, Ocean Sun L-25... Tahlequah J-35, Notch J-47, Cali K-34, Tsuchi J-31, Calypso L-94...and more I couldn't get a positive IDs on...
...the farthest to the left is the tail fluke of Fluke L-105!...everyone else was moving along and he was 'goofing along'.
...one of the whales spyhopped and then on her next surfacing had kelp on her head...
...she continued on and then surfaced again with the most kelp I have ever seen a whale carry on its head...maybe she had a salmon caught in it!
...a different group surprised us...they too were all mixed...
Moonlight L-83 and Midnight L-110 in front...not sure who is behind them...also in this group were Hy'Shqa J-37 and her boy T'ilem I'nges J-49 and Solstice L-89!
...Ocean Sun L-25 started doing these 1/2 breaches!  wow!
...Capt. Jim caught sight of a submarine next to a ship - whales and ships heading in the same direction...
...when we last left them it was just 1:00pm...

...it was 6pm when I began hearing them over the Port Townsend hydrophones...

...those in Puget Sound may have Thanksgiving whales this year like we did in the San Juans last year....and who knows (well the whales do) we might just have Thanksgiving weekend whales too!


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