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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

4-21-15 Where Are the J17s?

Monday/Tuesday, April 20/21
...Monday there were whales at the opposite end and side of the San Juan Islands...so we headed up and over the top and down San Juan Channel, hoping to meet the whales if they were coming west...
...Transients had been located in that vicinity in the morning and J Pod was spotted coming down Rosario Strait...we were heading for J Pod...Capt. Jim gets a call that there are whales just outside of Snug Harbor, and we were half way between both places...we elected to go to J Pod...the others were transients and no one was with them...
...as we arrived on scene, the whales, who had been foraging (yay!) were grouped up into two groups and heading west - coming toward us...
Granny J-2 and her group of Onyx L-87, the J19s, and the J14s, along with the J22s and the J11s...


...a few minutes later the J16s, the family group with the two babies, were grouped up, following behind Granny's group...

...the J16s barely passed us when on their next surfacing they had change direction and were now heading east...it looked as if maybe they were breaking off from the other group...
...but on the next surfacing both groups surfaced together...
...the J17s, a family with three adults and three juveniles between the ages of five and six, were not present...
video
 ...the seas were calm and the lighting was good for seeing blows...but no blows were seen...when we left, the whales were heading up Rosario Strait and they were going with a strong flood tide...
...it was curious as to where the J17s were...most likely just out of our sight...
...when we left the whales we headed west and then up the west side of San Juan Island where we met up with those transients who had been spotted earlier in the afternoon...lucky us...
...what looked like a notch when I first saw this calf  is looking more like it's part of the 'crinkly' base of the fin...that is normal for babies...after all their dorsal fin is folded over and straightens up within their first 24 hours... 
...T65A3 has a faint open saddle patch on both sides...this is not common with Transients...
...sometimes shadows show up in interesting places...
...today they were moving slowly, reminded me of the Residents...and this group was going down island...we then continued on our way up island...


...by the time we returned to the harbor we had circumnavigated San Juan Island!
 
...today, Tuesday, was much different from Monday...whales in San Juan Channel...no matter where I went there was no place to see them from shore...home to work...mid afternoon with very rough seas...whales aproaching Lime Kiln...off to the park and miss them!...back up island but so difficult to even see them...J Pod was going up with the current...
...I was able to catch a few of them from a porch up island...

...this wasn't the day to see if the J17s were with the rest of J pod...maybe someone saw one of them...but with the rough seas even that might have been a challenge...
...this April has continued to be out of the ordinary when comparing it to month of April over the last 10 years...

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