Do Not Copy

Do Not Copy

Friday, August 7, 2015

8-6-15 It May Have Taken All Day

August 6th
 I hope.
...all encounters are unique...and what went on in my day before 4:30pm, made this encounter, well...like I could not believe the timing of it all!
...it started with a humpback coming up island at about 6:30a.m. at the park...I didn't know the humpback was there until I was startled by the loud exhale...the humpback was a couple hundred yards from shore and right in front of where I was standing, going a bit up island and turning and going back down island...about a half hour later 'she' did it again, and this time 'she' was practically on the rocks at the 'wall'...


...after a while decided to head home...no sooner do I get there and all of a sudden calls burst over the Lime Kiln hydrophones...I was running...back to the park...I could see a (different) humpback whale coming up island...
...it was just up ahead of a couple killer whales who were not far from shore...about a 1/2 mile from shore there was fog and no visibility across Haro Strait...but I kept hearing calls...something wasn't right...I listened to what I had recorded and there were mostly K pod calls...what wasn't 'connecting' was that 16 of the 19 K pod whales were in Rosario Strait and that meant that the remaining three were the ones making the calls...which I would get to confirm later in the day...
...after nothing else materialized I went home only to have my car break down...I had just gotten it fixed...oops...had to have it towed again and rent a car, etc....all which took the majority of the day...
...by that time I figured I had missed any whales along the west side...but I decided to travel home via that route anyway...
...as the water came into view I could see some boats that looked like they were heading down island..."oh, well, sometimes you just have to get things taken care of" I thought to myself...but I still decided to go to the lighthouse for a chat...getting out of my car I hear, "they're coming" - what?...oh, my...lucky-eee...


I get a place on the rocks and there I sat for the next three hours - yep!...since I focus on trying to understand some of what goes on from the social aspect of these whales...these three hours were awesome...
...some whales 'entered' the park...Granny J-2 was in the lead...there was another with her, but the glaring afternoon sun created a challenge...I thought it was Oreo J-22 but that didn't 'make sense'...then DoubleStuf J-34, Oreo's oldest offspring, surfaced and all of a sudden it did make sense!...
...in the vicinity were Lea K-14 and Kelp K-42 and behind them was DoubleStuf J-34 and behind him farther was Lobo K-26...
...they were moving up island and soon turned and some headed back down...a few lingered...
...south of the park someone was tail slapping - a lot! and with force!...I got a picture of her tail flukes and could see a notch that made me think it was Granny...
...when the tail slaps ended whales began to move back up island...Granny and and Onyx L-87 were in the lead...
...with them were the J14s, K12s, K13s, and the K14s, and a 'new addition' to this summer's Granny grouping - 'The Cookies'! - Oreo J-22, DoubleStuf J-34, and Cookie J-38...
...of the K13 family...
...of the K12 family...
...there were still boats down island from the park and they were ever so slowly moving up...it looked as if the whales were letting the tide carry them as they socialized because they certainly were NOT in travel mode...

...about 40 minutes after the first group had gone by these other whales made it to the park...the first of this group were Shachi J-19, Eclipse J-41 and baby J-51 (vote for the baby names while at The Whale Museum or vote on The Whale Museum's web site)...
...and what a surprise!  "Cappuccino K-21! I haven't seen you in weeks?"...and of course Opus K-16 and Sonata K-35 were with him...
...Eclipse J-41 and baby J-51 surfaced right at the lighthouse...
...and with them were Tahlequah J-35 and Notch J-47 - on multiple occasions I have seen J-51 and J-47 together and often both moms would be off together...

...it started to get a bit busy...some whales were moving in from off shore...
 
...some were heading into the cove just north of the lighthouse...and some of them went way back in there - Shachi J-19, Eclipse J-41 with J-51, Notch J-47, Tahlequah J-35, Mako J-39, Tsuchi J-31...

...Cappuccino K-21, Opus K-16, and Sonata K-35 went in too but not as far...they came back out along the kelp line in front of the lighthouse, while the others exited the cove and moved straight off shore...

...and for several minutes they were all going every which way!

...Blackberry J-27 stayed offshore a bit...and Princess Angeline J-17 and Moby J-44, Polaris, J-28 and Star J-46 did as well... but for a few minutes they moved in...

...then the J16s came along...they were the last of the whales...and eventually they all moved north slowly...
...at this angle he resembles someone he is not...who might he be?
...all these whales plus the others who had gone by starting at 4:30  - now 3 hours ago - were ALL of J pod and Onyx L-87, and ALL of K pod!  What a concept!...of course that didn't last too long...by 10p.m. over the Orca Sound and the Lime Kiln hydrophones I could hear that at least some of the whales were coming back down island...
...the question remains:  was it all of the second group:  the J11s, J17s, J19s, J16s, and the K Klik (Cappuccino K-21, Opus K-16 and Sonata K-35)...or only some of them?...
...hope we get the chance to find out soon...

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