Do Not Copy

Do Not Copy

Saturday, May 23, 2015

5-23-15 Distance Perception on the Water

Saturday, May 23rd
...it was about 6:30 a.m and loud over the LK hydrophones came one call - what?...off and running out the door and to the park...but when I got there it took a long time to find a whale... and thanks to Kane who spotted the first whale, offshore and down island from the park...
...it was the J16s and those were the only whales I saw...by about 8:30 they were heading down island, so home I went...out on the Peregrine at about 10 a.m...we met up with the J16s...similar to yesterday, the rest of J pod was located a few miles away from the J16s...
...this morning 'CatchUp' J-50 was all caught up and was with her mom, Slick J-16...in these first few months I had seen her more often with her sister, Echo J-42...but perhaps J-50 is done having to 'catch up' all the time..no one actually knows what that was all about in the early stages..we can all guess but only the whales know for sure...
...it looks like Mike J-26 is directly behind his mother and his sister, Echo J-42, I'm trying to imagine the under the surface orientation of the rest of their bodies or if this is an example of distance perception on the water..
...a moment later 'CatchUp' surfaced just to the right of Mike's dorsal fin...

...at one point Alki J-36 was pushing her baby, J-52...he was up on mom's rostrum...J-52 was on his back...
...they were far in the distance but I kept taking pictures hoping I would actually be able to see something of what they were doing...notice this little guy's pectoral fin and its indentation...
...now they both had a pec fin up!..looks like they were lying next to each other...mom and babies...sweet stuff...
...the whales are very social beings, touching, rubbing and rolling on each other...with their tight family relationships they stay connected...

...of course there are times that when they are in 'down time' one might wonder what mom is thinking as her little one bee-boops all around her...baby J-52, was leaping over top of his mom, Alki J-36's, back...
...the J16 family soon had company...the rest of the whales began moving in toward them and they all began to head up island slowly...
...back to distance perception...
...this is an interesting image...at first glance of the picture it looks like T'ilem I'nges J-49 is landing on the side of that boat...it looks like his pectoral fin is touching the boat...
..glad I got the whole series...here's the landing...
...yes, the boat was within the 200 yards required by law, but the whales don't read the laws...notice the boat is stopped - motor not running - the splash from J-49 landing is not reaching the boat or the person taking the pictures would have been startled and at least leaned back and I would have gotten that shot (!)...the whales were moving up island...the boat was there...and they just traveled on by...you don't ever set yourself up for that - it's against the law - or everyone would so they could have their close encounter...just think of what that could create for the whales...
...watching them in their world without interfering in their lives - being respectful of the 'people of the sea' - is what it is about...this is their home and it belongs to them and not to us...
...the whales continued up island, passing American Camp...
...we headed back to the harbor...when we left the whales it looked as if they were at a steady pace coming up island, so off to the park I went...and there I sat for 3 hours before they got there!...but it's always worth the wait...Eclipse J-41's mom was in the lead, quite a ways ahead of Eclipse and her baby J-51...
...there was another group approaching, passing close along 'the wall' at the south end of the park and continuing up to 'my rock'...glad I wasn't on it today only to be able to get this image...sweet!...
... that's baby J-52 with his mom and uncle Mike J-26...
...Notch J-47 with his mother, Tahlequah J-35...off from them is Tsuchi J-31...
...T'ilem I'nges J-49 is quite the 'action guy' these days...he was doing cartwheels, tail slapping, and of course breaching from as far as I could see him before they got to the lighthouse and even after they passed by...
...all of J pod passed by quite close to shore...the only ones I didn't see were Granny J-2, Onyx L-87, and Blackberry J-27...they would have been the ones far offshore...

...hopefully they are finding enough salmon...but I remain cautious at this time because I remember 2008...it was a very lean year for the whales, yet J pod just wouldn't go out to where we knew Ks and Ls were - way out west where they were getting lots of salmon...



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