Do Not Copy

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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

4-6-16 Transients and Residents in the Same Neighborhood

Wednesday, April 6th
...the J17s and J22s have not been seen since Saturday afternoon and it would be interesting to see where they showed up next...
...by mid morning there was a report of a small group of whales up north, near Active Pass. ah-ha!...maybe that was the J17s and the J22s...but then it got confusing...soon after a large group of Transients were added to whales in that same general vicinity...
...by afternoon, out on Peregrine with Capt. Jim, we headed up that way...and we arrived just at the right time...
...there were several groups of Ts, check the Center for Whale Research's encounter summary from this date, for all who were there...I did see the T137s, T99s, T36As, yet there were some others present too...
...a few highlights...
...Steller sea lions can weigh 2,000 lbs or more...not sure on the size of this one...Simon of Ocean Ecoventures said that Steller was at least 10' above the surface...the whales, about 15 or so, lots of juveniles included, went after this Steller for a few minutes and then left him...they will do that, sometimes it's for teaching purposes...there were two Stellers in the midst of this...see the one on the surface on the right side of the image...
...not sure which of the whales this is (below) but it appears to be using its tail...and that's another method of attacking...
...on the right are the flippers of the Steller sea lion...there were two sea lions who were being harassed so no telling if the trashing was equal for both...but as mentioned, the whales left them and moved on...
...killer whales need to eat and if you happen to be there, right place at the right time, or as some would prefer to not see that, wrong place at the wrong time...however, this is what these apex predators need to do in order to stay alive and that is eat.
...The Steller sea lions, harbor seals, porpoise, and many other animals are part of the food chain and today's example of these apex predators was striking.  This event today was not for a meal but more possibly for a training session...but looking at the length of time 'on' the Steller, only 4 minutes, it would have had be have been honing a skill perhaps or teaching the younger ones a skill.  Had they been intent of having a meal it would have taken a long time, sometimes up to an hour and a half - preparing and eating it.
...after they had moved on for several minutes, the transients began changing direction at the surface, a sign they might have found some prey to go after...yep...looks like they got a harbor seal...it was quick and on they went...there was evidence at the surface that they had made a kill and were possibly taking their meal with them.

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...at that time we didn't know that the J17s and J22s were in the area, but we found out and went over to see them...they were only a couple miles west of the Ts and were spread out...
...friends David and Barbara on the Peniel - All Aboard Sailing...

...Capt. Jim had said something to the passengers that all we needed now was a bald eagle...yes, of course, several minutes later, a bald eagle flew by and he had some food in his talons...
...these two and Moby J-44 (not shown here) with Patos lighthouse in the distance.
...far off from them were four others and Cookie J-38 (not shown here) was moving back and forth between the two groups of Js...
...DoubleStuf J-34 surprised us all with this breach!
...one more bald eagle at Green Pt....while all the Stellers there were 'lounging' around in the water...
...and a good day it has been...then again everyday is a good day...you just have to make it so...


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