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Sunday, April 17, 2016

4-17-16 And They All Got Back Together

Sunday, April 17th

...watching two humpback whales slowly coming up island not far from shore, with no bite of coldness in the air, no wind, and feeling the warmth of the sun coming up over the ridge, was a great way to start the day...
...following from shore as they came up, my last stop would be Lime Kiln where it appeared they would be coming right by the lighthouse...they had other ideas...about a mile south of the park they made a turn offshore and looked to be heading southwest...several folks were watching and pretty soon we lost sight of them...as nice as it was they had been taking longer dives and getting farther away and with some choppy seas building, well that just didn't help matters...
...so I went back to a higher location to see if I could re-sight them...it was then that I saw a whale watch boat stopped or moving very slowly...and it was way to the west from where the humpbacks 'should' be...maybe they had turned back...
...my phone rings...that whale watching boat had spotted some killer whales...
...was it the two family groups of J Pod what had been in Puget Sound for the last many days?
...here's an updated map showing, generally, where they had been from March 24th through April 15th...
...so those whales spotted were transients and since they were offshore, I figured they would probably stay offshore, but that was only a guess...
...I headed for town to get on the Western Prince ...I was curious to see who those whales were, especially since I missed the ones two days before...

...while on our way we hear that J Pod whales had shown up behind the transients...and that possibly all of J Pod was back together!
...T11 and T11A were traveling closely...
...off to the west of them, a good distance, were the T46Bs and T46C2...
...J Pod was in three groups behind the transients by a couple miles some in closer to shore while most were two or more miles off shore...

...Blackberry J-27, his sister and brother were back with the rest of Group B...for the most part...a lot of them were intermingled...at one point Tahlequah J-35 and her offspring, Notch J-47 were traveling with Samish J-14 and her family...can you imagine what they might be 'talking' about to one another...after all, the J Pod split had gone on for three weeks and was highly uncommon for when these whales are seen in the inland waters...
...here are a few images from the encounter...




...we got a glimpse of some of the J16s who were with the J19s...one of them breached off in the distance...
...later on, when we saw Mike J-26, he was way behind the others, and the rest of the J16s and J19s were way spread out...
...though we didn't see her, we heard over the radio that Granny was present, so that's good to know...always on the lookout for her...
...good to have all of J Pod back together...for today anyway...eyes will be watching to see if the same split occurs again...
...where will J Pod be tomorrow and will they all be together?
...where is there the most abundance of salmon right now?
...I haven't noticed any large influx of herring, no large masses of birds at the surface...
...and as for the transients...they have food around just about every 'corner'...


...these whales need salmon, Chinook salmon preferably, they need it to survive.  click on the link, upper left - SRKW-CSI  -  Southern Resident killer whale - Chinook Salmon Initiative - sign the petition and call the White House and give your message to the person on the other end of the line:  'Remove the 4 Lower Snake River Dams.'
 
 


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