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Friday, May 13, 2016

5-13-16 J and K Pod Whales on Friday the 13th

Friday, May 13th
...a superstitious 'bad day' it is supposed to be, but today it was a good day...
...it was the first appearance in the daylight of any K Pod whales since last October...
...K Pod whales did come through with J Pod and some L Pod whales on January 5, 2016 but it was in the dark on their way up and also in the dark when the K and L pod whales went back out...

...in the morning of May 13th I knew that whales were coming in and I was looking for the J16s to be coming up from the bottom end of San Juan Island, so when I saw them coming from the opposite direction, down from the north!...well, wow!  That was interesting...
...I watched at a distance from shore as the J16s came down...some cormorants were watching too...
...others were coming across...I could see Scoter K-25 and Spock K-20 because of their distinguishing dorsal fins...the whales were well spread all heading down island...too distant for images from my vantage point...
...out on Peregrine we headed down, way down, because by the afternoon the whales had just continued going south and east...
...we got to where they and a zillion halibut fishing boats were...and now the whales were heading south...it was about 2:00 pm...

...the whales were spread for miles...way in the distance I could see the researcher drone boat...
...it was challenging to get a good look at just about any of them...one would surface way over there and another way over in the other direction, etc. etc. and then Deadhead K-27 syphopped!...Ripple K-44 surfaced nearby...
...Deadhead's brother, Scoter K-25, was coming our way...you can see that he still has some metal stuck in him from being satellite tagged a few years ago...
...ah, there's Tika, K-33...


...later we came back out on the Peregrine and this time it was almost to Port Angeles...at one point the whales were almost to Dungeness Spit which is east of Port Angeles...so they were trending west toward the open ocean...

...when we first arrived on scene the J16s were the first whales we saw and they appeared to be heading back north...we liked that idea...others seemed to be too, but then they shifted and continued west...it was sort of like stair stepping - up then west then up then west...


...Zane and his family were quite fun...
...oops, I repeated some text...oh well...

...I'm always looking for Granny J-2...she had been with the K12s but was now south of them a bit...Onyx L-87 was way south of her...

...
...by now Granny was off to the west...

 
...somewhere close to 10pm I heard a few minutes of J Pod calls over the Lime Kiln hydrophones...they were faint, passing by in vocal range of the hydrophones...they could have all been going west or just maybe the J16s came back up...doubtful...but we won't know until we see them again...

...it appears pretty obvious that there isn't much food in here for them...usually at this time of year J Pod would be going up to the Fraser River and back down, over and over, finding food...evidently not yet this year.



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