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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

3-18-15 The' Paul Revere' of the Whales Are Coming!

Wednesday, March 18th

...if this sounds strange refer to my blog post of 3-10-15...

...on Saturday, March 14th, with basically no burp (fish) sounds heard during the day of really nasty seas, J Pod showed up at 5:00 p.m....they were on the hydrophones for over seven hours...while they were here there were some burp sounds heard...and it couldn't be determined which way they ended up going...


...Sunday it poured rain all day, seas were nasty...didn't notice any burp sounds...
...Monday - there were a few burp sounds over the Lime Kiln hydrophones...
...Tuesday - burp sounds over the Lime Kiln hydrophones in the middle of the night and intermittent throughout the day...10:00 p.m. and a few more after that...
...Wednesday - 7:15 a.m. - J pod!! -loud and clear over the Orca Sound hydrophones...
...now if only I would make a plan once I hear those sounds!

It sounded like they were coming down from the north...
...so off to the park...but when I located them they were miles from shore and moving up island!

...the Orca Sound hydrophones are north of the Lime Kiln hydrophones the whales are heard over the hydrophones which are closest to where they are arriving from...usually that is...they were loud over the Orca Sound hydrophones and there was nothing coming over the Lime Kiln hydrophones until about 45 minutes later...those calls were fainter...

...so the other night they had gone back out...and today they were coming back in...okay, that question resolved...

The next questions that came up for me are:
-Why were there no burp sounds before they arrived on Saturday?
-Since they had been here for several hours that night, with basically no burp sounds in advance and a few during the time they were here and then the left, did they run out of salmon and then turn around and leave?

Because now, over the last couple days those burp sounds were heard and then J pod shows up today, Wednesday, and they go up island to the north...still heading that way late in the day...

(I don't know how long these burp sounds will be the 'Paul Revere' of the 'whales are coming' a happy alert, not one of alarm...but it sure seems to have that tone...at least at this time of year...it will take more years of this to know for sure...)

I went out on the Center for Whale Research boat with Ken Balcomb this morning and we found the whales spread all over the place...today their version of zigging and zagging was a mile across this way and how about two miles back across the other way...
...they were actively chasing fish...however, with being spread out as they were one would think that the salmon were pretty well spread out too...at least there were some going through these waters and the whales were certainly chasing them down...

note: When I'm on a federally permitted research boat the pictures I take belong to the permit holder - the Center for Whale Research...
(check their encounters page for pics from 3-18-15)...

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