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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

9-23-15 An Interesting Morning With Nugget and Family

Wednesday, September 23rd
...the L pod whales of yesterday are now the L pod whales of today...
...mid morning they began to come up island...and what some of them did was quite interesting...
...on shore at Lime Kiln Pt. State Park...I could see the whales as they were slowly making their way up island...as the leaders got into the park two of them began porpoising...at first it looked like they would continue up island, but instead, before the lighthouse they angled in toward shore and others began to join in too...Kasatka L-82...
...and her mother, Nugget L-55...

...they were heading for the cove north of the lighthouse...and porpoising their way in!...what?...were they going to have breakfast on the beach?...I hoped not...it was 10:19 a.m....
...at 10:23 Kasatka and Finn L-116 were exiting the cove...they were coming straight out but not angling up island like her sisters and brother were...
...at 10:26 those sisters and brother - Lapis L-103, Jade L-118, and Takoda L-109 were a good distance off shore and heading up island...other whales were out there as well...Crewser L-92, Nigel L-95, Racer L-72, Fluke L-105, Marina L-47, Moonlight L-83, etc...

...at 10:26 Nugget also exited the cove and came south along the shore line, toward the lighthouse...it was there that she spent 6 minutes and 43 seconds (based on image time stamps- the video was taken during the middle of the event) but it felt like about 10 minutes, going back and forth right in front of us...
...it seemed like she was waiting...
video

...at 10:32 Nugget became directional and was heading down island...
...NOTE:  there was absolute quiet over the Lime Kiln hydrophones during that time...no echolocating and no calls at all...
 
...at 10:35 Kasatka L-82 and Finn L-116 surfaced just north of the lighthouse and were slowly heading down island...And Then...they disappeared!

...that is until 11:10 when they showed up again, a half mile north of the lighthouse a good distance from shore and Nugget L-55 and three of her offspring - Lapis L-103, Takoda L-109, and Jade L-118 were coming down, but Kasatka L-82 and Finn L-116 were not with them...
...at 11:30 some high speed Dall's porpoise were coming up island, right past us, and where did they go?...into the cove!

...at 11:35 Nugget and those three offspring who all went down island at 11:10, came back up island, off shore again...

...I wonder what was going on with them...later in the afternoon Kasatka was seen with Muncher L-91 and the newest L pod baby, L-122... they were in the lead going down island...and Finn and all the rest were spread out behind them...somewhere...
...okay, since we all love the babies...and since this baby has been pretty far from shore...here are a couple:  "Find the Baby" pics...just for fun...

...and then...
 ...with Ophelia missing (stated by the Center for Whale Research) it seems that Kasatka is taking over that role...Ophelia would have been right in there helping with the baby - I would imagine...seen her do it in the past more than once...


...J and K pods were, once again, not seen today...wonder just how far north they went?...maybe there is more salmon coming down from the north than coming in from the west...Granny J-2 knows...


...oh, and did I mention there was a California sea lion off the lighthouse from late morning, for hours, just moving back and forth along the kelp line and in and out of the cove!...that is not common for this area...some folks at the park today sort of yawned when I said California sea lion, you see they are from California...but for us, well we usually see harbor seals along here...so I wonder if that will change with a sea lion 'taking up' residence in someone else' spot.

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